When MC and I set about planning our little Welsh mini break, we found a B&B that looked perfect online. Near the town, near the sea and very reasonably priced. It was also extraordinarily difficult to book, which in my mind just made it all the more exclusive and therefore desirable. Nobody replied to our emails. The phone would ring through to a mobile which didn't have voicemail. After about 11 days of persistence (you can see where this is leading) I finally managed to speak to the manager and reserve a room. He told me that he's often 'working' in the pub and that's why he'd missed my calls. I remember thinking it was strange that he didn't seem interested in taking any contact details or, for that matter, a deposit. MC and I put it all down to rural charm and old fashioned trust.
We arrived to find ourselves in the smallest double room known to man. Turning on the sink tap in the microscopic bathroom resulted in some rather putrid smelling water coming up out of the plug hole in the shower. The door handle - which looked as if it had been attached by chewing gum - was falling off. There was also something suspiciously pube-like on one of the pillows - and on our way out that evening we noticed water flooding through the ceiling into the breakfast room from the bedroom above.
We lasted one night, on the promise of an 'upgrade' the next day. We got back to find that our suitcases lying in our uncleaned room, with the door wide open. Our new room had stained sheets. It was 11.30pm. MC and I were drunk and tired. I thought I would just close my eyes and think of The Dorchester.
But MC sprung into action and somehow secured us an amazingly swanky new room in the most gorgeous B&B ever, right across the street. The Hellhole manager saw us leaving and didn't even ask for any money. It's not usually a policy of mine to name and shame, but if you ever find yourself in the gorgeous fishing town of Tenby, play mini golf, visit the Caldey Island monks , sunbathe on the beach, drink wine in small bottles (lots of), have dinner in the Plantagenet and try not to get shat on by seagulls (unlike us) - but don't stay at The Lynmaure Hotel. Apparently one of the owners died at Christmas and the other hasn't been seen since. You have been warned...