This isn’t just any gin & tonic and glass of red wine…

Here at the Hotel Pas bon marché we like to think of our guests as king. However, that rules out the fairer sex, so we really like to think of guests as royalty. Of course, most of us associate royalty with wealth, exorbitance, and so on and so forth. You get what you pay for, royalty know this almost as well as Michael Jackson does when he is looking to purchase a new vase.

So that’s why, here at the Hotel Pas bon marché, we have to afford our customers the luxuries that they expect from a £200 per night mid-week stay in our fine establishment. We don’t skimp, we don’t save and we pass our costs along the line, all the way to the final arbiter in the equation: the customer. If they end up paying through the nose for our services, who cares? They’re royalty and they can afford it, right? Well, that sounds fine and dandy, however we’re a business, so of course we skimp and save. But we still pass our costs on to our loyal guests.

That’s why we like to charge £20.78 for a gin & tonic and a glass of red wine. Royalty pay that kind of price. And in that price, you’ll find our service charge of £2.03 added automatically for your convenience. I mean, you wouldn’t want to have to go through the process of working out the tip we required: our service is such that it deserves a sizable tip. Of course, the service charge is optional, but we’re not going to tell you that up front because that might mean less money passes from you to us, and that’s the name of the game: we want your money.

But this isn’t just any old gin, we don’t appreciate references to current prime ministers and nor do the real royals when they find themselves in need of a place to rest their weary heads after a hard day watching or playing polo. No sir, royalty needs to remember the Empire: we serve only the finest Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Our red wine isn’t any old red wine and it’s not from M&S either. We choose to serve the smoothest Côtes du Rhône in 250ml glasses. At least that’s what we on print the receipt you receive as a souvenir of your stay with us. Who knows if we are serving cheap table wine or the fine vintage that you believe you’re sipping? Let’s face it, we’re in the money making market, so we’ll probably have sourced the cheapest Côtes du Rhône that we can find. It’s psychological, probably.

We do all this with a smile. We take your money, your £10 note, we go to our point of sale and return with the receipt, politely tell you “this is not a £100 note sir, it’s a £10 note, your drinks cost £20.78”. We’ve done this many times, we know the reaction we’re going to get, we know you’re a comedian; even Scottish comedians are amongst our most humorous guests. We should start a comedy club; it could a money spinner. But we’re not into spinning money, we’re interested in taking money from our guests, so that’s why we can get away with charging what amounts to £10 per drink. Every round is a winner, our bar manager loves it. Ka-ching squared.

It’s humour all the way, because we know from experience that you were simply winding us up when you gave us a £10 and expected change. You’re royalty after all, you’re loaded – it’s our job to exploit that fact and make you part with your cash because you yourself, you don’t care. It’s only money, you have plenty of it, you must do, you’re staying in our establishment and we charge £200 per night mid-week.

Craig stayed at a major hotel in Jermyn Street. It was nice. He’s not royalty, but was surprised about many aspects of the service. Breakfast was a fine motion of dining excellence: cooked fresh, the presentation was impeccable and tidy. The plate was heated to a decent temperature to ensure that the waitress burnt her fingers and the bacon was kept hot for as long as possible.

However the dirty napkin let the Executive Chef’s branded service down somewhat. The warmed bread that was offered as toast was not becoming. I’m sure the Executive Chef would cringe had he seen the serving mechanism for the butter and Flora – they were supplied in delightful little white tubs, carefully shaped with a fine lining of foil on top: these are little containers that are so popular outside of royal circles. Those containers aren’t the finest bone china, no, they’re made of plastic. And let’s not get started about the ironing board in the room – the one that would not stay up. With no hand-pumps in the bar, this hotel will not make it into any CAMRA guides.

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