The Hotel Inspector

July 16, 2010

While the real one turned up this week and we were as underwhelmed as ever by his feel for the industry, Channel 5’s own Hotel Inspector soon publishes a book of her own hotel favourites.

The good news is that Alex Polizzi thinks both the Griffin and the Gurnard’s worthy of inclusion. With only 52 hotels in the book, that is something for our teams to be really proud of. It’s a glossy book, with some great photographs and an eclectic collection of hotels. On sale at the Griffin from 6th August at £20.

Of the Griffin, she says: “Quirky curios, photos and artwork combine to give the room warmth and humour and make you feel immediately at home. Indeed, while drinking your complimentary pot of tea, you may perhaps start to ponder why the words ‘totally relax’ are not part of the motto.”

From a business point of view, inclusion in independent guides such as these is a real boon and of far higher value than the advertising we are encouraged to take by local magazines and newspapers. We resist the latter very firmly. There seems something very flawed about the quantity of advertising being more important to the local press than the quality of their content, but perhaps that is the reality of the digital age. Local newspapers should be an important part of a community, publishing items of interest and originality, but it doesn’t seem to be that way any more.

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Summer Puddings

July 8, 2010

Well, a real Summer Pudding will have to wait for another week or so, as our currants (black, white and red) are all just about to be harvested. But rarely have I had such a good summer fruits experience as the Cambridge Late Pine strawberries that I gave four of us for pudding last night at home. No need for sugar or cream. Every mouthful just a sweet, ethereal delight.

We have experimented with Gariguette and Mara les Bois varieties over the past four or five years but Joe has really hit the jackpot this year with the Cambridge Late Pine. We have been serving them on our Fixed Price lunch and supper with no more than a little cream and they have been astoundingly popular.

Doubtless the warmth of the past few weeks has helped sweeten them up, but the intense perfume of this berry is exceptional. We thoroughly recommend it to growers: it will reacquaint you with the long lost pleasure of eating strawberries.