OK, you’re probably not going there anytime soon. But it was such a surprisingly poor offering in such a fine hotel that I’m driven to mention it. Let me first give you an example of their splendid customer service. I’d been working in Hong Kong for several days and was melodramatically tired, slumped in a sofa next to a sleeping colleague. Thinking very slowly indeed, I decided to put my iPad to charge in one of the hotel lobby’s floor sockets – I realise it’s obvious to you, dear reader, that this was a silly idea – and then walked clean away, all goldfish-memory-like. As I returned hours later, a woman rushed at me enthusiastically from some distance, holding the iPad towards me in outstretched arms. I had already checked out of the hotel, so she must have been looking out for me to reappear, and must have gone to some effort to try to work out whose it was. Nice, don’t you think?
Two floors up and two days earlier, the Old Fashioned wasn’t on the bar list. Though given that it’s the kind of grand hotel that can serve up Don Draper on a plate if needed, I thought I’d nod in the direction of the lovely C still at home in London by ordering one (for he surely would have had he been with me). However, I have to say that the drink was essentially unspecified whisky with some soda and a strip of orange peel. Barely any sweetness, plenty of bitters. Not even obviously bourbon. I sipped a bit in the bar, to be sociable, then quietly bore it off to my room to see if the change of scene improved it any. It didn’t – its main function for the night was to make my hotel bathroom smell like a bar spillage.
So, I conclude two things.
1. It’s not always cool to order drinks off the list, even if it impresses your drinking buddies.
2. Might as well drink local. Ordering Old Fashioneds doesn’t beat homesickness. *Sigh*