Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Posh Bird at Cliveden
It is astonishingly beautiful - there are dining rooms of a grandeur matched only by the interiors of a Venetian palazzo. We were hugely lucky to be staying in what was Lady Astor's bedroom - a vast, high-ceilinged room with 8 tall windows and a terrace big enough for a birthday party. White panels hid the doors to the wardrobe and bathroom. There was a plump sofa, a white, ornately carved tall mantelpiece and the bed...Oh! Them were the days. The most comfortable I've ever slept in - one sort of sank in and was firmly held all at once. No modern duvet nonsense either - just soft white sheets, pure merino wool blankets and a heavy cover.
We had drinks and a vicious game of Scrabble in the Great Hall (where the 1908 portrait of Lady Astor by John Singer Sargent hangs) and then a delicious supper in a long red dining room.
All totally heavenly and totally posh. It was a different world in which the very rich and powerful were entertained there 100 years ago. But as Cliveden even then had a reputation for excellent staff, good food and general spoilingness; and as the feeling even now is of staying at someone's house, I think the only difference now is that the guests write a cheque when they leave.
PS You know it's a truly posh hotel not by the liveried staff or the linen napkins, but because they welcome dogs. Woof to that, I say.