A perfect hotel

The “Arundell Arms”:http://www.arundellarms.com/ in Lifton is the best country hotel in Britain. It has one imperfection: the shower in our room was psychotic, cycling unnervingly between freezing and scalding. But I like even that: if the showers had been perfect it would have been unnatural. I have never otherwise stayed in any luxury hotel where all the effort was put into supplying good things, rather than ostentatiously rare or luxurious ones. The food and wine are superb; the service is straightforward, friendly and efficient. the fishing — for me at least the point of the place — is extraordinary, not because the fish are huge or particularly easy to catch, but because they are wild trout in largely unspoilt countryside. It’s not wild. You’re fishing in farmland. But it is a mixture of pasture and woodland that seems very little changed over the last three centuries. More than anywhere else I know, it represents a kind of dream of the English countryside before it became “heritage” and though I don’t normally like this country much, that is something very precious.

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1 Response to A perfect hotel

  1. Rupert says:

    I grew up on the edge of Plymouth , near the confluence of the Tavy and Tamar, where patches of such countryside were easy to stumble across during the Brownian motion of boyhood. It’s a terrible curse to come of age thinking it’s perfectly normal to burrow through ancient thickets to get to a frog-stuffed swamp, or chase slow-worms through the foundations of a long-abandoned cottage. Subsequent nostalgia kicks in far too early.

    (The stream in the etching on the page referenced above ran through the Vicarage garden, and had trout. I caught one once using a large jam jar: it lived happily in our garden pond for years until one day we decided to clean out the murky depths whereupon the trout expired. A lesson in the dangers of cleanliness I have never subsequently failed to observe.)


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