1 EAGLETON NOTES: Market Forces

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Market Forces

Friday night we stayed in the four star guest house Lakes Lodge in Ambleside. The service was very friendly and helpful. The room was superb with very high quality bedding and towels (and loo paper!). The self-service breakfast was as good as I’ve been presented with in a hotel (and I’ve stayed in hundreds). The wi-fi was free and quite fast. The ice machine supplied CJ with constant and copious quantities.  The decor in the reception and breakfasting area was rather garish for my taste and out of keeping with the rest of the hotel but if you get there don’t let that put you off. In Ambleside there is so much accommodation the problem is choosing, although at the weekend in the height of the season I should imagine much of it is pretty full.



And an opportunity to mention Marmite cannot be missed.  It was available at breakfast in little heart-shaped containers along with the excellent selection of preserves.

Saturday we arrived in Cluanie. Cluanie has an Inn.  It's called, rather predictably, Cluanie Inn.  There is no other building for about 12 miles Westwards - perhaps more in the other direction. After having driven about 415 miles in indifferent and sometimes poor conditions food and a bed were very welcome.


I last stayed there about 25 years ago. They had at least two single rooms (unusual these days in many UK hotels in my experience) and a family room available.



The dinner was perfectly acceptable but not as good as the food we had in a restaurant in Ambleside for less money (and wine was 50% more expensive than a comparable glass of wine in Ambleside).  The service was good: a Czech waitress was particularly pleasant and someone doing maintenance in the morning insisted in carrying all the cases out to the car because I was struggling to get past his ladder. Breakfast lacked attention to detail and the bacon was covered in the unappetising stuff cheap bacon is covered in and neither CJ nor I ate it.  Much to my surprise there is wifi but because of the remote location it's satellite and not free (and nor would I expect it to have been) but the effort has been made and it is available in the public areas (but not the bedrooms).

The Cluanie Inn was 22% more expensive than the Lake Lodge.

Which probably goes to show you that if you are the only building with food and a bed for perhaps 25 miles (probably more) then market forces allow you to charge accordingly.

16 comments:

  1. Everything looks very clean and rather nice. Still don't know what Marmite tastes of, but I like the idea of it coming in heart-shaped containers.

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    1. As I was writing this post I was so sorry that I hadn't taken the Marmite to send to you. I'll just have to send you a small jar. You can't go through life ignorant of this blissful experience!

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  2. I'd say you're right about the market forces - a bit of competition probably contributes to keep prices down and the service up. Both places look very nice; but the first one really knew how to play your heart-strings, didn't it. Free wi-fi and heart-shaped Marmite... ♥

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    1. You are so right, Monica. Mind you a really good quality bed and bedding and luxury loo paper and towels and.... Well they help. But the breakfast was superb. OK. I've stayed in far grander places but this place really did please me.

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  3. Is that a stuffed toy on the bed in the first one? Just curious...

    Those little heart shaped pots of marmite are so dinky. I think maybe someone should send one to Meike so she can try it!

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  4. Yes it is Jenny. I found it a very friendly gesture. But then despite being a man of a more than certain age I am not ashamed to say that various soft toys given to me over the years by lady friends live on my bed at home.

    I really was kicking myself when I wrote this post that I didn't half-inch the pot of Marmite for Meike. I shall have to make amends. No-one should be allowed to go through life without that experience.

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  5. "half-inch" - Wow! I have not heard that expression for a very long time. My dad used to use it all the time - Thank you Graham for making me remember that - it gave me happy memories of my dad.

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    1. Well I couldn't bring myself to say 'steal'. [For those who don't know half-inch = rhyming slang for pinch = slang for steal]

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  6. The small touches are what makes the difference, and it's quite easy to see where one would feel at home and welcome....Free wifi, marmite, stuffed animals...ooh GB heaven.
    My mum always told me not to put my hat on a bed (some kind of old wives tale I imagine).
    Heard a lot of British sayings while growing up, but never "half-inch"...

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    1. Never heard the 'no hat on bed' before although I do tend not to put umbrellas up in the house (which has always seemed a very silly thing to do anyway unless one has a really bad leaky roof). I think half-inch was used in Liverpool in my youth but I can't be sure. With TV making language universal origins are getting blurred.

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  7. I endorse all you say and whilst I haven't stayed in the tiniest percentage of hotels you have stayed in I must emphasise how good the breakfast was. I know it helps when one is among the first down but I noticed the (excellent) scrambled eggs were renewed before we'd finished our meal and not left to congeal for those down later. And the sauasage was to die for! Well done Lakes Lodge - two (not that easy to satisfy) satisfied customers.

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    1. You are right. We are not easily satisfied.

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  8. I'm thinking your Kiwi family might appreciate some of that Marmite, too. It took me a while but I've finally remembered when I last stayed in a hotel with a single bed - and breakfast. I think your single bed has a bit more character than the more palatial double. Too bad the brekkie wasn't up to scratch.

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    1. The beds were both good but the bedding quality of the first was very good indeed. Both bedrooms were quiet though and afforded good nights of sleep. Yes the breakfast let the Cluanie Inn down badly.

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  9. Your hat looks like it has a face, Graham ;)

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    1. Brilliant Heather. I hadn't noticed that. You've just given CJ and I a good laugh.

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