The headline is supposed to be a play on amazing! A Malmais-ing night, perhaps? No? – oh well! What I am trying to say is that it was pretty fabulous-osa! Me and Hagar, or should I say, Hagar and I, we love a bit of boutique luxury. It suits us and we enjoy surrounding ourselves with things that emulate a boutique lifestyle. We love the blend of old and new, anitque and modern. We love originality as well, so we jumped at the chance to enjoy the forces discount offered by Malmaison because quite frankly we love boutique hotels. (Plus I could use this opportunity to combine a bit of business in town as well.)
Hagar was night flying Thursday night, into the wee dark hours of Friday o’crack of sparrow’s fart, and so it made sense to book in some leave the next day and schelpp up to London town. I had been doing some chatter with some London’s hottest young thangs M. & Mme De LesHacque so it was good to go up to town and hang with them. We had been talking about it for a while and knowing that Hagar was going to be here, there and everywhere from the autumn until Christmas meant that this was our last chance at some freedom.
Co-ordinating the weekend was epic as we had to handover the kids to my Grandpa & Granny Trainspotter in Warminster, then get to London town, drink our bodyweight in liquor and then get back again on Saturday, scoop up the kids and then head on down to Pompey to see Mr Tidy and Mrs Moomin Mama for round two of big drinking, followed by raucous Singstar.
Hagar and I are pro’s at travel logistics because we do it all the time. Both of us travel frequently professionally with, and without, our kids. This was no exception – we did push the time barrier a little, but the secret is remain flexible, don’t panic, stay resourceful. Plus we are like secret spy couple when it comes reading maps, to using gadgets and getting online. The A303 was clogged up with holiday traffic, and we were pushing the time barrier, so we opened map, assessed, made a quick detour, bingo, problem solved. With 7 minutes to spare we arrived at Warminster station to collect our pre-booked tickets from the machine. A simple admin failure occurred, we had neglected to bring the customer reference number required to get the tickets out of the machine. In a heartbeat, Hagar was on his i-phone logging on to get the number, and I was on my laptop racing him to the code with my 3g wireless dongle and mac book. Inn’t technology brilliant – in under 2 minutes we had the reference. One minute before the train arrived we had collected the tickets. Mission possible!!
[Fast forward swiftly through to arrival at the venue.] The London hotel is situated in the corner of Charterhouse Square, a stones throw from Barbican Tube. The building is attractive but discreet. When you are enter the front doors, the atrium is a black, velveteen richness of modern furniture, with a Victorian edge, and the first thing I noticed was the very fruity painting hanging above the stairs.
‘Oh hello!’ I think to myself. The picture is seductive, provocative and progressive. A theme that transcends throughout our exploration of the London Malmaison experience. We get the key to our room, and once we were bedded in I wrote on my facebook:
“1st glass of vin rouge – in Malmaison London – and yes folks it’s luscious, – it’s a fruity, deep, dark, velvet rich oak barrelled new world red! The hotel and the wine that is!”
Here is a little photo degustation for your perusal.
And so the feast began. It started at the bar with a couple rumsy wumsies. M. De LesHacque, long and lean, arrived first, shortly followed by the elegantly petite, Mme De LesHacque. We then headed to our table to dine. The food was exquisite, simple, elegant and perfectly suited to the much-favoured Brasserie diners that is Hagar and me. M.DH and I opened with Dorset crab salad, with avocado, Hagar and Mme.DH had squid and chorizo. I have to be honest once the evening began I forgot to take pics of the food and we didn’t take any notes of the wine. We had two bottles of white both crisp, fresh cold and they slipped easily down our throats. For main, I had the thinly sliced, medium rare roast lamb with aubergine fritter. The others had a variety of steaks and we all assembled our plates with crunchy fries (we had to send these back as they were cold. They were quickly replaced with some that were hot), green beans and garlic, and poached spinach. The steaks arrived on wooden blocks, with sharp serrated knives and table over flowed with sumptuous delights. We washed this down with a Rioja Reserva and rich, warm Gigondas, which was just to die for. M.DH and I ordered a plate of 3 ports, including an oak aged one of 35 years, and a cheese selection from the stinky butchers block. Mme D.H had creme brulee and Hagar has sticky toffee pudding with a peanut butter ice cream (apparently the pudding was a bit dry).
And after all that gorging, we didn’t stop. We drunkenly leapt out and went just beyond Charterhouse square and carried on drinking. As I write it, I think it can’t be true!! But we did and we had 2 more mojitos and then this happened………
Calm down, it’s not what you think. It’s Hagar’s party trick – it’s called a Tequila Suicide. You snort the salt, you squeeze the lime in your eye and you drink the tequila!! Why? I have no f*cking idea!! Mme.DH and I just yammed down a bog standard tequila. And then, we had a pint of lager and played a drinking game!! In fairness that did finish us off!! Hagar and I can barely remember getting back to the room. Who knows how De LesHacques got back to their pad in deepest London town! We slept the sleep of the deadly drunken! I awoke with a mouth as dry as Ghandi’s flip flop, a banging headache and sore hips.
The bed was very hard. The bedding was egyptian cotton fabulous but the duvet could have been goose down delightful so for me that was a bit of a negative. I had promised Mr Tidy and Mrs Moomin Mama that this night was not going to impact their weekend, which had been in the diary for months so I knew we had to ‘man up wet pants!!’ There was to be no hangover allowed. I dug deeper than I have for a long time. We mustered ourselves – we even managed glorious eggs benedict and coffee for breakfast! We gathered our chattels and jumped on the train of pain to collect The Menace and The Grenade for a day of grinding torture followed by big night the sequel.
Yes, my friends I know that Hagar and I will die young and fat!! Actually, I am already planning my run as I sit here wrapped up in alcohol induced, remorse, regret, guilt and a little bit of the fear.
To take advantage of this awesome discount, you can contact Laura Dudley and quote “FORCES offer, military blog spot” on 0121 631 5792 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call bookings central on 0845 365 4247 for Malmaison or 0845 365 4438 for Hotel du Vin
Carpe Diem, my military friends – live life!! You will not regret it!