We were ckearing out my mother's flat so it was never going to be the happiest of time, but decided that rather than stay in the flat and clear around ourselves we would treat ourselves to a couple of nights at the Eastclose.
It is a lovely place, carefully decorated and the receptionist was helpful charming and friendly when she booked us in and took our order for a newspaper and arranged a wake up call (regretfully for 7am as the bed was very comfortable and I should have been glad of a lay in, only we had people to meet back at the flat by 7.45am who were taking away some of the furniture. We checked breakfast times which were rather late for a weekday, but I guess they dont get many business guests.as it seems to be an incrediably popular wedding venue.
We had a great dinner the first night, as we were just too tired to drive elsewhere but frankly there would have been no need as the menu was comprehensive and the two for one selection was diverse and represents amazing value. As it happened we both chose from the A La Carte menu - and every thing was fabulous - well until the strawberry and Lime Posset which my husband ordered arrived - complete with a rather sharp lump of white plastic buried in it in a rather jaunty manner - looking all the world like a broken plastic teaspoon
I called over one of the staff to enquire whether the abstract art was giong to cost extra or if it was a freebie. Understandably horrified she rushed away to inform the chef and presumably enquire of its provenance. The chef opined it was a piece of a carton that had broken off in the fridge. I pointed out health and safety might take a dim view of storage containers that were so brittle they could break off into other food - but all was smoothed over and I must say the restaurant staff dealt with it smoothly and efficiently. Many places have problems - the skill is how you deal with them.
We staggered up to our very nicely furnished room and were out cold by 10pm (despite the couple in the neighbouring room deciding to reenact the Wre of the Roses (movie version rather and Plantaganents and Yorks) some time arouand midnight. However, we were so tired I cant say it kep either of us awake and we were soon sound asleep again.
And stayed that way until 7.45am - but wait I hear you cry, kind reader, wasn't there supposed to be an alarm call - err, didnt happen. Neither had my morning paper but we were now in danger of being seriously late so shot out of the hotel and off to the mothers. The poor lass picking stuff from there up had t wait for our arrival and ended up having ato pay for an extra half hour of her removers time. I was just a little mortified as I don't do late.
We returned to the hotel for breakfast (which was beautifully prepared) yet there was still no newspaper. At this point I was a little boyond irked and felt a frank exchange of views with the receptionist was required. She breezily informed me that she had no idea why we hadnt had a wake up call and that the papers hadnt arrived yet (10am). They were getting later and later and if I wanted to I could find one of her associates who could look and see if there were any around. I decided to get the heck out of dodge before I really lost my temper. SHe really couldnt see that there was a serious problem or why I was so vexed.
After a very hot and rather nasty day we returned tired and sore around 5pm and I decided I would enquire again after my newspaper (I am a crossword addict and lack of Independent was not enhancing my day). This receptionist was altogether more interested in my woes and agreed with her earlier colleague on the erractic arrival of the newspapers and said she would raise lack of wakeup call with relevant manager. I shared that in my expereience the hotel would be wiser not to offer services it either couldn't or had no intention of providing. If we hadnt been offered a wake up call we would have used some of the tech we had in tow. At last count, one laptop, 2 smart phones, 2 kindle fires and one digital watch any one of which could have been utilised and that I considered this their worst sin - admitedly had my husband swallowed that plastic I may have been a little less sanguine about that incident.
We decided to take our lives into our hands again and eat in the hotel that evening so you can tell the food was pretty exceptional.
And the next morning my Independent arrived with the breakfast.Of course we didnt need an alarm call that day but we had everything set ready for action. I pity anyone in any adjoining room as they may have thought an alien invasion was imminent.
East Close - fire your newsagents - NOW. papers should be there in time for the start of breakfast or havens above you might be forced to TALK to your spouse.- particularly when guests are paying for them. And don't offer alarm calls you cannot make.
Fellow travellers, this is a lovely hotel, with charming friendly staff who want to make your stay the best it can be - I would say book with no hesitation and we probably will return - such a screaming shame it was let down by such silly things. Silly until youre at the sharp end that is.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eastclose Country House Hotel and The Conqueror Inn are one of the New Forest's hidden delights. Blending Georgian opulence with a cool, contemporary twist. Not simply a comfortable, welcoming place to stay, we are a destination for discerning diners and a unique venue for weddings, special celebrations. Set in 18 acres of beautiful parkland, this boutique hotel has long provided a place of relaxation and inspiration for guests. In fact one of them, author Lewis Carroll, is rumored to have created his tales of a certain young Alice after hearing of her adventures in the enchanting walled garden, croquet lawn and under the giant beech tree. ... more less
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