Wot no mini-bar?
January 2, 2013
Youngest and I had booked to go to Edinburgh for a couple of nights between Christmas and New year. The motivation for this was that a family friend was making his professional dancing debut as the Snowman in the ballet of the same name. His family were also making the long trek north and we decided to go on the same train. Which would have been the 10am from King’s cross if there had been any seats available. But we slogged all through the train to find no seat unreserved.
But fear not, the slow train at 1030 had no reservations and we all got on that. 5 hours later and we are North of the Border and my accent is starting to creep back. We have booked a Superbreak from the rail company and have reduced rates at a 4 star hotel with full breakfast thrown in.It’s one of those fairly anonymous hotels that tick the boxes but have no personality. Our room is fine, bathroom clean and we open the minibar. It is empty! Some mistake surely? But no, apparently you have to get your drinks at the bar. So off we trot and wait for the others to join us. What shall we have? It’s about 5pm and we are going to meet the star of the show in the bar when he finishes about 630. So we order cocktails to ease us in to the evening and move seamlessly on to wine when they are not punchy enough.
And then the star arrives and we regale him with our excitement and anticipation for the show the next day. We move to a Turkish restaurant he knows in town and then he remembers it is BYO so troops are dispatched with cash to bring back the goods. Which they do. And we eat and drink and make merry.
Back to the hotel carrying the excess wine and beers, but head to the bar for jaeger bombs. How good are they? I love them. Sensibly move on to rum and cokes and then bed at a fairly reasonable hour.
Breakfast the next morning is chaotic. A squad of waitresses who are both incompetent and rude. Our orders are taken but what arrives bears no reemblance to our requests. The waitress appears to think it is our fault and if she barks aggressively enough we will admit we did order scrambled eggs on their own.But eventually we all get something to fuel the day and we set off up the Royal Mile to the castle, pop in to the camera obscura to laugh at ourselves in the old school hall of mirrirs, the girls have a traumatic fair ride that results in a vomit in the National Gallery, and then find a lovely cafe where we eat to excess.
Suddenly it is time for the show. We are buzzing with a fever of excitement. The thetare foyer is rammed with 5 year olds and their grandparents. And us. A squad of adults now also joined by another Ealing family who arrive to take us even further up the anticipation scale.We are sitting in a block together in the Dress Circle. A Grandma leans over and tells her charge ‘They are a bit old for this’. How wrong she is. Pitched at 3 to 8 year olds, we love it. We are laughing the loudest, gasping the greatest, and tears are trickling down our faces. Oh yes we are swept away by the whole thing. And we know the star. Oh, yes. I am basking in reflected glory, desperate to tell the Grandma that we know the Snowman. In fact I want to tell EVERYONE I know the Snowman. We whoop and holler and are bursting with pride. What a joy.
Then to the Brass Monkey to meet him after the show. And the loudest cheer of the night when he walks in. Everyone wants a piece of him to tell him how great he was. And the barman asks what’s going on and tells us last year’s Snowman crashed during one of the flying scenes and broke his arm. Thanks mate, but nothing will bring us down this evening.
Pizza Express and then another pub for those who can keep going. A round of jaeger bombs appears by magic (aka our daughter) and the evening starts ramping up and we get to a local club, Espionage. The bouncer kindly offered to ID me if it would make me feel good, but the jaeger bombs had already done that.
A maze of underground rooms we stcuk with one with russian signage and music that I’d known first time around. The world’s fattest hen party arrived in skimpy cut out dresses and tiaras and an L plate. And it gradually filled up and the Spice Girls filled the d-floor. I wasn’t dressed for dancing in my woollen jumper and boots and was unable to strip down to strap tops like the youngsters, so found myself drinking to keep cool and hydrated. Felt the need to lay my head and got back to the hotel. The sound of chundering echoed through the room and it wasn’t me. It was that fair ride making an unwelcome reappearance. Must have aggravated the inner ear………..
What a great break. Great company. Great city. Great show. Great fun.