Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

DSCF3834 (640x480) We all have our favourite places and in regards to hotels this is ours. I have written in the past about the Hungry Horse and Lodge Inn in Portsmouth, well we were back again last week.  It was like coming home, friendly smiles and whats more the staff actually remembered us, and when you consider that they have hundreds of people walking through their doors that is no mean feat. BLESMA (3) After our journey from Torquay it was nice to be able to relax between travelling and stay somewhere you not only had clean rooms but a good menu.  I can honestly say that their curries are some of the best we have eaten, so much so that we had them two evenings running. DSCF0006 (640x480) (342x445)[1] We decided to do the tourist things again so bought a day ticket and rode round Portsmouth looking at the various attractions. The dockyard was very busy with groups visiting not only the Mary Rose exhibit but Victory and Warrior as well.  The University was heaving but it was the Spinnaka tower that took the night. During the day you can go up to the top and the view is spectacular but at night when it turns blue you get to see it at its best – well I think it is – as all you see in daylight is a concrete building.

But it is to the girls who keep the rooms at the Inn Lodge clean and tidy that I would like to extend my thanks and apologies for not mentioning such important people before.  Everything was in order and when my wife asked for extra milk, sugar etc.,  they were given with smiles and the question “was there was anything else she needed?”, this is why we like staying here when we visit.

Thank you ladies, see you next year.

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

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Travel!!  Normally I don’t have a problem but this time we (my wife) decided we should take a case with us when we visited our relatives in the UK. Based in Catalunia most of the year it means we fly back for a few weeks, visit and do some shopping.  So everything was booked flights, car parking umm hotels????  But I digress, lets start with last night.


As the fridge and freezer had been cleaned and turned off  we went out to eat arriving home in the dark under a starry sky with a big moon lighting our way. This then was the start of our little adventure.  Next morning we were up bright and early and off to Barcelona to park the car. Now we had booked the car into a very reasonable parking place but finding it – even with their maps – was not easy. We followed the instructions but somehow ended up lost – not that that’s unusual – so we stopped to ask a garage who gave us directions plus a map.  Easy I hear you say NO…. we were miles to the south and had to head back the way we came only to find we must have passed the car park at least twice but finally we got there.

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Our flight with Easyjet was fine, no problems. But then came the journey from Gatwick to Cosham on South West Trains.  We left Gatwick arrived at Three Bridges and stopped.  Trains came and went there were announcements about the delay and possibility of changing to other trains, none of which went to Pompey. I just knew what would happen, they would turn off all the passengers who wanted to go to Pompey then cancel that service  AND THEY DID…. The train was supposed to divide at the station, however first they said there were electrical problems, then no driver for the rear part, I just wondered why the front of the train could not continue and the rear go into a siding  – oh well now I can see why they run at a loss. At least THIS train ran not only on time but it was fun as well..

By now it was raining, again and I had missed my appointment, it also meant that we had to find a hotel.  So we headed for the Red Lion in Cosham, arriving wet and bedraggled only to find there were no rooms to be had ANYWHERE.  Seems we had arrived on Fresher Week, Southampton Boat Show week and Goodwood.  But the landlord of the pub eventually found us a room for the two days for which we were grateful.

So next day I saw the Doctor, phoned our daughter to let her know when we would arrive, then went shopping and did the tourist thing.  After all this excitement we settled down in the bar to watch some football while I enjoyed a steak and my wife had a curry.  Next morning we were up and away to Torquay.

This then was the first part of the adventure. Oh and the moon? well it’s romantic…..

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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You will remember I wrote about The Hungry Horse/Farmhouse Inn in Portsmouth, well I’m back there, and what a difference. The last time I was here they were closing the restaurant/pub side for refurbishment, well its completed.  This pub has an affiliation with Portsmouth City and now displays its history with pride. So let me tell you about our stay.

We arrived around 7pm tired and not having eaten since early morning starving, so went to book in.  Small problem, a room! We had not booked over the internet and the place was basically full. The only room available was a ‘executive suite’ so we are now in a spacious suite with work space and ideal for that cosy supper (yep even at our age) and impressed with the whole thing. It is clean, warm and just what we wanted.

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The bed is in a wooden scroll style with a comfortable mattress, there is a pine wardrobe and dressing table/desk where I can write, bedside tables and adequate lighting.

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In the front part of the room is a comfortable leather settee with a coffee table facing a wall mounted television and a table with two chairs where I sit to use my laptop on the free WiFi. This room on the ground floor at the rear of the hotel is quiet except for the owl, his hooting made me feel quite at home but no pictures yet!!

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So now to the refurbished bit and WOW!  As we walked along the corridors to the Hungry Horse I noticed the walls were hung with new art work interspersed with pictures/paintings of  ships, sail boats and scenes of Portsmouth in times gone by.  Then there in the midst was a ‘hand bill’, looking for 3 men to crew a ship, the other was a Naval announcement of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar with lists of those lost. It made the walk a wander as we stopped several times to look at the photographs and study the hand bill, then we passed through the doors into the new dining area.  What a difference. It was nice to find the ‘crew’ back on station plus a few new faces all with big smiles and very very busy.  This is the one thing I have noticed here they ALL smile, have time to talk and joke whilst getting on with the job of looking after everyone.

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I will start with the sports bar.  Here in the back part of the bar I found the pool tables centre stage with new seating at both ends. The television’s are still dotted around but somehow there seems to be more light and space.

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In the main part of this bar I found my only concern.  This bar is still light and airy with a large television showing the sport. Add the new carpet, different upholstered chairs and you have a cheerful place to sit, eat and watch your sport. However, I have one slight comment to make.  There are two booths in front of the bar that face a television set behind it.  This does not sound so bad except that when you go to get a drink or order food you cannot get to the bar as people are blocking it.  A group of 4 is ok they fit into the booth, but any mates have to gather round the end hence a jam. That is my one and only down comment everything else is perfect, perhaps turning these booths to face into the room and the large television would free up the walkway and bar area.

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In the dining area there have been big changes.  Firstly the main part has been opened up, circular seating installed, small booths with  televisions dotted here and there, making for spacious areas. Chairs are upholstered in a variety of fabrics give life and colour to the area. Here and there are wall dividers which allow views of other parts of the dining area, these are dressed with coloured glass vases, giving an ambiance to your dining.

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But it is the murals that give the ambiance to the dining areas, Portsmouth in all its Naval glory.  This establishment is frequented by Naval personnel and considering Portsmouths history it is very fitting.  There are no pretensions here just a cheerful welcome and good food. Mind you it did seem to be busier than ever.

The Pony Club is going strong with a new look. There is a bar and seating area for the grown ups and play area for the children.  This includes an area with a television where they can try out various Wii style activities, and the soft ball area is there but bigger – memories of Sheldon….

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I have been talking about the Hungry Horse and the Farmhouse but lets face it without the girls on reception it would all be lost.  They are the first people you see when you arrive and greet you with a friendly attitude and smile.

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They are helpful and full of information about up coming events, one of which is a wedding show on the 24th of March.   They – along with the house-ladies who make sure your room is comfortable – are people of local knowledge. Again all of this is done with a smile that is genuine and you feel as if you had just returned home.

Also in reception is a map of the Portsmouth area so you can see where you would like to visit.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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