Room service

I’ve been staying in the St. Davids hotel when in Cardiff. Nice architecture, nice room, great views, fresh sea air at night, walking distance to the office … but, there is a niggle, and it irritates me enough that I think I’m going to try somewhere else.

Since I’m on my own and there’s lots to read, I went for room service last night. There was a reasonable selection, though sadly nothing like a curry. But, the prices were simply stunning. I decided to be really boring and have a burger, which came at the ‘bargin’ price of £16.50. It comes with chips, though you have to pay another £2.50 for a small soft drink. Pretty steep. Oh, no, wait, it’s worse than that. There was a £4 ‘tray charge’ on top for having it brought to my room – I’ve looked again and I can’t see that mentioned anywhere. So, a McDonalds big mac meal equivalent would come in at close to £23. If it were made from Kobe beef, to a recipe conconted by Heston Blumenthal then I might think it was worth paying that or more. It clearly wasn’t rubbish, but by the same token it was a little hard to eat as it rather fell apart. And, the chips were, well just ordinary chips. I went out this evening to do a comparative check – a burger, fries and coke in an American Diner cost me under £10. And, the burger stayed together and tasted better (even if it did have more fat in it).

The pricing seems more designed to get extract bundles of cash from guests who may have checked the headline room rate, but not the price of each dot or comma. It was priced at a level where I couldn’t enjoy it, even if it was good. In short, I felt like I’d not so much had a meal as been had by a meal.

And now I look harder, breakfast is even worse. I need to find somewhere else to stay.

Postscript – I wrote this on Tuesday night, though I’ve only uploaded now. I find that whilst I was writing it there was another of the ‘in search of perfection’ shows by Heston Blumenthal, in which he was making the ultimate burger! – recipe is here, at least for the next 10 days after which you’ll need to buy the book. It has 42 ingredients, so I’m guessing it’s not a 5 minute meal!

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