Saturday, May 29, 2010

the grand hotel, scarborough

Graham followed my strict instructions to the letter and booked us a room in the Grand Hotel.
We had heard there was nothing grand left about the place, but that was not true at all. Our room was tiny and not very exciting (although clean and comfy with everything you would need) but the building and the public areas of the hotel were amazing, I thought.
As you can see from this picture, the hotel is absolutely massive and is right on the cliff by the beach and all the exciting amusements. The hotel was built in the shape of a V as a tribute to Queen Victoria. You can kind of see the two legs of the V going out from the point in this picture. The room where you have breakfast looks out over the sea and it was great fun to admire the view and laugh at the seagulls getting buffeted about by the wind as they tried to land on the various ledges. I ate rather a lot of fried bread while I did this and Graham ate a lot of prunes for some reason... I guess that is another benefit of doing a pensioner's holiday!
Our room was very high up and almost right at the tip of one the legs of the V, so we could see the beach from our window. I liked watching the donkeys getting ready in the mornings and checking that the big wheel was spinning. At night there were loads of flashing lights as all the amusements etc are down there.
Everything about the hotel (except our bedroom) was massive and there were lots of different areas to sit. Look at the pillars and chandeliers in the bar! There were a few different bars in the hotel (this was the quiet one) although the cocktail bar was closed while we were there, so I didn't get my birthday cocktails. Probably just as well! There was a really nice atmosphere because nobody minded if you bought a drink in one bar and then took it to another or back to your room or to one of may lobbies/balconies with comfy sofas.
Here is an example of a grand balcony! The staircase (wide enough for two ladies in crinoline dresses to pass safely) was also very impressive.
This relic of bygone days was in the corridor near our room. I think it was some sort of call system, but it was really nice it was still there. There were so many corridors and all of them were full of pictures, with lots showing what the hotel was like in the olden days and in the not too distant past as well.
Every single night there is bingo and a quiz followed by cabaret, all included in the price of your room. I was completely gobsmacked by the cabaret the first night. I don't think I had ever seen girls dancing in sequinned bikinis in real life before! It was very old school (I know what Simon Cowell means when he describes contestants as "cabaret" now!) but we got right into it. We usually had to watch from the balcony though as the hardcore experienced guests always nabbed the tables at the edge of the dance floor. Can you see the gas heater in the background? Tee hee!
We usually got back to the hotel in time to catch the tail end of the cabaret, but if not, there was at least still dancing going on. These are my afore-mentioned pals from Blantyre shaking their groove thing to the song from Slumdog Millionaire. The lady on the right had started busting some impressive moves with her arms and soon all her friends were copying her. They got a round of applause for their dancing too :)

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