When I stay away from home, I like to know where I am, not by looking at the masthead on the writing paper or the logo on the absurdly thick bath towels, but by feeling part of the place. I certainly don’t want to stay in a room with a corporate ‘house style’ that has been ‘tweaked’ to reflect the destination, but to stay somewhere that is rich with what I like to call a ‘sense of place’. I suppose what I am after is a certain local distinctiveness and integrity.
When I choose somewhere to stay, it means everything to me that the building is made of local materials, that it has a history and has been restored or repaired with care.
In the morning, I am not particularly interested in an extravagant breakfast buffet. What appeals to me more is locally produced food that has been cooked simply and with respect.
Yes, in the past I have liked room service to answer my call in three rings, or that there’s a fax on hand 24/7, but what really matters to me now seems to go much deeper than that.
Now, I need to know the effect that our choice of accommodation will have on the local environment, how it enriches the local community and the lives of those who work there, whether it cares about sustainability and the future of the area in which it stands.
I value local colour and flavour and the time in which to experience it.
A sense that I am staying somewhere that brings good rather than harm or, worse, indifference to the place in which it stands…
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s Foreword to Go Slow England