In a wine induced haze during lunch I reconfirmed a hamper of provisions for my room tonight. So the hotel and kitchen staff can enjoy some semblance of Christmas day celebrations, they batten down the hatches when we've safely retired to our rooms after we've all been fabulously fed at lunch. And to make sure we don’t go hungry (as if!) Robert Thompson whips up a hamper of goodies to help while away the food-free hours!
When the overflowing basket is delivered along with my remaining Malbec and a stack of little white plates I know I'm really not remotely peckish but I check out what's on offer.
Selection of Cured Spanish Meats
Potted Gressingham Duck with Orange
Scottish Smoked Salmon with Crème Fraîche and Lemon
Smoked Mackerel and Peppercorn Pâté with Sourdough
Selection of Olives
Spanish Fried Mix
Local Potato Crisps
Selection of Local and Continental Cheeses
Freshly Baked Bread
Homemade Scones with Jam and Cream
Vanilla and Caramella Chocolate Fudge
I definitely don't fancy any wine but I'd really like some cold water. I heard raised voices and doors banging earlier so I guess there are still staff around to help quench my thirst. I go downstairs but everything is very much shut up so I’ll have to make do with what I can find in my room. Throughout the evening I still keep hearing the banging and the only conclusion I can draw is that the hotel is haunted!
Despite the angry ghosts I fall asleep on the bed watching a bit of Agatha Christie and on waking at 2.30am-ish wondering why I'm a little cold realise I could investigate some of the delights laid out on on my little carpet picnic. My rather-past-midnight feast consists of the delicious rosy slices of succulent smoked salmon with the slightly tart creamy sauce, the moist potted duck and orange spread on the croutes, some of the Spanish meats, the only cheese that wasn't goat or blue, a small taste of the crisps and Spanish fried mix, a shard of shortbread and a soupçon of scone with a smudge of jam. I really enjoyed what I did tuck into and wish I could have done it more justice but eyes bigger than stomach again, maybe the ghosts will spirit the rest away whilst I sleep!