A rough guide to hotel rooms and managing the cushions

The Prince of Wales was in Dundee when Lynne visited Highgrove... or was he?

The Prince of Wales was in Dundee when Lynne visited Highgrove... or was he? - Credit: Archant

We are back from the Cotswolds; so posh we had to take our passports.

But whether or not you need ID to be allowed into the Prince of Wales’s back garden, your hand will always hover over the complimentary hotel shower cap.

I didn’t bring it home in this instance because I have one from the last hotel.

It is always fun to see what goodies might have been left for you. You may recall my weekday break to a boutique hotel in Brighton where we were left a small box of interesting sex aids. But, as I mentioned, the Cotswolds is posh and here we merely got Assam teabags and a packet of oat biscuits.

Hotels across the world present the visitor with common challenges.

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The TV remote can cause stress. The model on this occasion required a double press to activate the set and, for two of our three nights, we could see only the middle of the picture. Anyone left or right of centre was deprived of at least an ear. We finally mastered it the night before we came home having pressed all available buttons.

The shower is always an adventure. This one was over the bath, behind a shower screen. So you shift the screen aside to access the controls, work out which control manages the heat and turn it on. Then you mop up the water on the floor before changing out of your soaking wet top.

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Finding the hairdryer is a fun party game as is operating the lights? You press one switch and the main ceiling light comes on. You press another and you are plunged into darkness. You switch on another and the bedside lamps and the main lights come on.

And what is the purpose of cushions on the bed? Are they part of a devious mind game? You put them on the armchair, or you balance them on the suitcase stand or hide them in the wardrobe. One thing’s for sure, the moment your back is turned, the housekeeping staff will be putting them back on the bed again. They’ll find them

There’s a choice of alarm call or an unfamiliar alarm clock. Opting for the alarm call saves sitting up all night in case the alarm clock hasn’t been set correctly.

Water hardness. Coming from East Anglia, we are used to hard water. It means a lifetime battle with limescale but you get a rare cup of tea. Beware of bath foam in soft water areas. I used the Molton Brown bath foam supplied and ended up sitting in a fragrant meringue of bubbles. When I attempted to lie back the dense foam covered my head. But the worst ordeal was trying to rinse myself and get out of the bath. Soaped up and slimy, I could not gain any purchase with my feet and had to use the hand rails to haul myself out. My husband offered to help but I was too slippery for him to grip on to anything and I had to slither out and flop on to the bath mat like a seal.

But the main reason for visiting the area was to explore more of England’s pastures green. Among them, the meadows of Prince Charles’s country home, Highgrove. We had booked in advance... but should I have written a note?

Dear Sir

We are making first visit to the Cotswolds, next week, and will be dropping in to Highgrove. We would be delighted to partake of afternoon tea with you and the missus... should we come to the front door or go round to the tradesman’s entrance?

Yours sincerely,

Lynne Mortimer (loyal citizen)

I didn’t send it but Prince Charles must have had an inkling I was on my way because he was in Dundee on the date we visited Highgrove. No, he really was. The news report showed him wearing a kilt.

It must be easier to avoid people you don’t want to see when you’re Royalty. There are any number of really good reasons for being unavailable: I’m opening a new building; I’m launching a ship; I’m hosting a reception for the crowned heads of Europe; I’m talking to the trees (just my little joke).

However, The Prince’s orgas... (Stop there. I think you mean organic, Lynne. Ed) gardens are breathtaking. Do book a visit if you like gardens (especially hostas).

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