When we stay away from home, we like to know where we are, 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. We don’t want to stay in a room with a corporate ‘house style’ that has been gently tweaked to reflect the area, but to stay somewhere that is rich with what I call a ‘sense of place’. I suppose what we are after is a certain local distinctiveness and integrity.
When we choose somewhere to stay, it means everything to us that the building is made of local materials, that it has a history and has been restored or repaired with care.
In the mornings, we are not interested in an extravagant breakfast buffet. What appeals to us more is locally produced food that has been cooked simply and with respect.
Yes, in the past we have liked room service to answer our call in three rings, or that there’s a fax on hand 24/7, but what really matters to us now goes much deeper than that.
Now, we 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.
We value local colour and flavour and the time in which to experience it.
A sense that we are 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