Sunday, October 12, 2008

First light, breakfast, adding to a tradition, stay off the carpet and dinner.

1. We open the curtains on our top floor room to a warship coming into the harbour. This makes Nick's day before it has even begun. Coming downstairs and seeing out the view out of the hotel's back windows for the first time, we spot furtive-looking tunnels cut into the chalk high above us.

2. Our breakfast comes on loaded plates, attention-to-detail evident in the perfect egg yolks and the gently browned mushrooms.

3. The stairs to the castle have a rail plastered with discarded visitor stickers. Later we plan to add our own.

4. In the keep's main hall, a sign warns that no-one should tread on the carpet before the king's throne. A girl tugs her grandmother's hand and says very quietly 'Shall we go on the rug?' When they do, a stern recorded voice admonishes them 'What are you doing on that carpet?'. The little girl is thrilled and tries again: 'Stay off the King's carpet.'

5. Crackling -- faintly fennel-flavoured -- on slow-roast pork. And a neat line of roasted winter vegetables. We really struck lucky for dinner at the Hubert House Bistro, which we choose almost at random because we liked the look of it.