We're sleeping around. A different bed every two or three nights. Sometimes it's a one night stand. And to date we still respect ourselves in the morning, except perhaps for our brief encounter with the Mecure, Exeter, a once high class hotel now showing its age and in need of a paint job.
Booking accommodation online is a bit like online dating* – you begin the dialogue with high hopes, trust the photos are an accurate likeness and make a commitment to connect. It's a lucky dip; you never really know what you'll get on the day. As you follow the Sat Nav directions you hope that your hotel isn't one of the homely sorts you're passing as the clock ticks down – "3 minutes, two minutes...you have arrived".
We are currently staying at The Artist's Residence, Penzance (pictures above). It's friendly and funky, and ticks all the boxes for cool staff and inviting communal areas. Other highlights include the Lord Duchy, Falmouth a reimagined ageing beauty and The Hoxton London, the hippest hotel in the land. Most of the hotel rooms we've stayed in to date have appealing features but none so far have all that I need (sorry, Princess Picky is back, but we are staying in 28 hotels on this journey and I am becoming an expert on matters of international importance.)
So take note Hotel Gods, for guests living out of a suitcase for three months a habitable hotel room requires – a bedside table with a drawer and lamp with ample reading wattage; a desk, worthy of the title 'desk' and chair that doesn't do part time work as a stool; bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel able to wash more than a baby budgerigar and room to swing a cat (most European cities have stray cats with which to measure the floor to cat ratio).
- The last time I used a dating agency I attached my likeness etched on a pebble to the leg of a pigeon, thrown off the bow of a clipper heading to the New World, in the hope that love would come back to me, but I have 20-something daughters, so I know stuff.