For many years my partner Rob and I travelled around the UK staying in Bed & Breakfasts. Some were absolutely charming, with equally charming hosts. Others were….well pretty awful (read ‘Unravelling With My Aunt’ on this website and you will get the picture).
But as we both get older and more concerned about health, we no longer want the ‘full English breakfast’ that is so much a part of the B&B experience . More importantly, we are usually researching my books. We want to be up and on the road early. Understandably, B&B hosts are not always happy about serving food at the crack of dawn.
Because we are already paying for a flat at our Maidenhead base, we choose to stay at inexpensive chain motels; usually Premier Inn or Travel Lodge. And so it is true that I often sleep with a stranger. Mind you, I feel I know Lenny quite well now!
Because these hotels have many business people as clients, breakfast is normally served from 6.30am.
We book our trips in advance and take advantage of any special deals. Sometimes there is a pleasant bonus, such as this water view from our Premier Inn room in Salford Quays, Manchester.
Not too shabby eh?
And in Worcester our Travel Lodge room looked out over the city skyline, including the golden roof of The Hive, the city’s innovative new university/public library. It was quite appropriate, as I was in town to give a talk about my book The Water Doctor’s Daughters at the university.
These motels provide everything you need for a short stay …. hairdryer, tea and coffee, and decent flat screen telly (which you don’t always get in B&B’s) . And if you need an iron, just ask at reception.
We have even held a small, quiet birthday party in a Premier Inn…with Lenny looking on benevolently;
Our most recent stay was at the Hammersmith Premier Inn in London. It was during a heat wave, so a cool drink in the bar was very welcome.
Oddly enough our room was on the 13th floor in room 13o1. No superstition worries for me though, as I was born on the 13 of the 1st! This time we had a stunning view of the city skyline , the river Thames and iconic Hammersmith Bridge. Could have included it in my Thames Book!
The hotel is about two minutes walk from Ravenscourt Park Tube Station.
I hope I haven’t upset any Bed and Breakfast owners with this article. I doubt it, because they offer an entirely different service and are much loved by tourists from around the world. We have had some truly delightful stays at B&B’s throughout the UK.
Should also emphasize that I have no connection with either Travel Lodge or Premier Inn. Maybe I should send them this blog!!
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