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Thread: The Guinness and Gold Cup Blog

  1. #21
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Tuesday - at the airport

    The BMI Business Lounge is pretty good and has had a bit of a refurb since I was here last year. Once you've found it, it really is a haven of calm amongst the maelstrom that is today's modern airport. All very civilised there's free newspapers snacks, fruit etc. and I am currently breakfasting on a very pleasant cheeseboard with grapes and an apple, will probably be the most healthy thing I eat this week. All accompanied by a bottle of London Pride, oh didn't I mention there was a free bar, not such a silly idea now eh guys

    There's another website whose forums I use occasionally called FlyerTalk, it's full of American businessmen flying around the world and staying in the best hotels on expenses and racking up the loyalty points. Some of them go to extraordinary lengths to maximise points. Did you know that Mileage Runs and Mattress Runs are popular with these guys, they take trips just for the hell of it to earn enough points to keep their Gold or Diamond status. Some of them do very detailed trip reports and go into all the technical stuff about the plane and the seating configerations. When I realised that they would often list the entire contents of the menu and post photos of the in-flight meal from half a dozen different angles it scared me rather. Not that we'd get that obsessed about anything on here, surely not

  2. #22
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Flight has just been called but that should not worry us Business Class lot, we'll stroll on at the last minute in the sure knowledge that our bags will be first out at the other end. To be honest you don't get much from BMI once on the plane, the seating is the same but they do keep the middle seat free. You also get a free boxed meal. On the short LHR - EDI trip you tend to spend more time taxiing around the airport than you do in the air. There's just enough time for a demonstartion of the lifejackets (in case we land in the Trent presumably) to hand out the food boxes and collect them in before Captain Biggles is giving the old 'flight attendants prepare for landing call' .

  3. #23
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Tuesday afternoon - in foreign lands

    The flight arrived a bit early and was largely uneventful. Got a bulkhead seat 1A, no doubt a benefit of an early check in. Aircraft was an Airbus 319-100 for anyone interested, or in case anyone from FlyerTalk is looking in. Called up the Hilton and within minutes a courtesy bus was there to pick me up. What? Well I'm not going to stay at a bleeding Travelodge like Grailhunter am I, plus I got a nice half price deal through BMI.

    Just going to freshen up, check out the bar for later and find which pub Grailhunter is in, as he surely must.

    Posts will now start to get a little fewer and further between as the bias moves quite rightly from blogging to drinking

  4. #24
    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millay View Post
    they take trips just for the hell of it to earn enough points to keep their Gold or Diamond status. Some of them do very detailed trip reports and go into all the technical stuff about the plane and the seating configerations. When I realised that they would often list the entire contents of the menu and post photos of the in-flight meal from half a dozen different angles it scared me rather. Not that we'd get that obsessed about anything on here, surely not
    Defrauding their companies, as far as I'm concerned and, having run a dept which paid such clowns' expenses, it very much stuck in the throat when you got the annual 'no money left in the pot' (for pay comp) bollox.
    Our obsession is done under our own steam - their reportage of flight menus is, presumably, on company time?

    Cheltenham is on-thread and, despite Paddy Power's much vaunted 'money-back-on-your-losing-bet-if-Dunguib-wins-Supreme-Novices' promotion, the slightly better offer was from Betfred (wrong affiliation, I know) who offered money back as free bet simply if your horse lost. Easy, I thought, a quick pony on Dunguib and, if things go wrong, another bet of same value to come. They won't go wrong though will they? Of course they will! Bookies laughing, Paddies (&me) crying, just 26 torments to go...

    Quote Originally Posted by Millay View Post
    Posts will now start to get a little fewer and further between as the bias moves quite rightly from blogging to drinking
    Quite right. Prioritisation...
    Last edited by trainman; 16-03-2010 at 14:16.

  5. #25
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Tuesday night - the aftermath

    Well, the journey to the City Centre was a long one. There's a bus stop outside the hotel and as I was told "hold oot your hand dearie or they'll gie whizzing by". Just as I arrived a no 35 arrived so I hopped on. 30 minutes later and we've been through more Business Parks, Shopping Centres and Park & Rides than I knew existed. We even went through RBS headquarters Gogarburn which was a bit disconcerting, I can't say too much as they deign to pay my salary. We had a conference once near Wembley just as they were pulling down the famous towers, an historic tradition raised to the ground by philistinistic greed and self interest, and then there's Wembley

    Eventually met up with Grailhunter at the Blue Blazer, which is as good as ever. Dark Island and a Craigmill Brewery Avondale at a London price-like 3.20.

    Next a walk down then up to the Bow Bar, a little known fact is that Caledonian Deuchars IPA was first brewed as a house beer for this pub. As we were in one of Scotland's historic pubs I had an Oakham Pompey Royal and GH had a Skinners Keel Over. Then GH spotted a bottle of Orkney Porter from the Swannay Brewery and his eyes lit up, when I informed him that it was 9% and 4.25 for a 275ml bottle he was even more determined so we had to have one each.

    Next after a bit of a detour was the Halfway House, down the steps on fleshmarket close. I can confirm that despite the rumours this has not been taken over by JDW, it's about 20 times too small for them anyway. They have also stopped the CAMRA discount, some rubbish about local regulations. We both had the Caley Three Monkeys.

    A walk down to Princes St and a 48 bus towards our respective hotels and an interim stop at the Oak Inn. All keg a Belhaven Best for me and a Tennents for Grailhunter.

    Off next for a curry, I had made it very clear that with a three and a half hour train journey on Thursday I wasn't going to have a curry Wednesday night so we had one tonight. A little cafe type place called St John's Curry Club, just a shame the prices were so high, this is an expensive City. The food was good though.

    Back to our respective hotels, me having an anxious 10 minute wait at a deserted Park & Ride hoping that my connecting bus would turn up. Grabbed a quick bottle of Budvar from the bar to help with updating the blog.

    Also discovered that my only Cheltenham bet so far, Punjani, came nowhere

    So that's it, Tuesday has gone long live Wednesday.

  6. #26
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Exclamation Wednesday morning alarm call

    Well that was an unwelcome diversion from my slumbers. No sooner had I pressed the snooze button on my ill-advised 7am alarm than a hideous caterwailing, the like of which had not been heard since last half-term, filled the air - it's a bleeding fire alarm, frankly I don't expect this in a hotel chain of Hilton's standing. Not that I am a stranger to fire alarms in Edinburgh hotels, I recall a number of years ago when staying on Grassmarket with the man latterly known as the Happy Frenchman (you may meet him later in the tour) and the fire alarm went off about 2.30am. On looking out the door I saw my mate weaving along the corridor bouncing off the walls after an exploration of Edinburgh's night life. To this day I'm still convinced he set off the alarm.

    Anyway back to today and it was damn cold outside at 7am and starting to rain. But I have to say the good people at the Hilton looked after us, even bringing around those foil blankets to the less hardy guests (i.e. the girlies). At one stage it resembled the finishing line of a marathon - not that I'd know what that's like of course. Once we were allowed back in I employed all those time management skills I have learnt at work (I can hear Rob laughing now) and went straight to breakfast. Hilton breakfasts really are top notch.

    Back in the room now to update the blog and I've also been exchanging text messages with a certain Mr Leonard Lonsdale who has threatened to make a cameo appearance on Friday evening, whether any of us will be sober enough to recognise him by that stage I'm not sure.

    After my harrowing journey to the City Centre on the No. 35 bus yesterday Grailhunter has worked out that the number 48 route is more direct (I am actually quite impressed with his knowledge of the local buses, as I texted him yesterday to say I was on the bus journey from hell he came straight back with "you must be on the 35 then"). The 48 has the added advantage of going right past his hotel - but unfortunately not mine. I must have a word with the good people at Hilton about that, frankly I expect more from a hotel chain of their standing. So I have to make my way to the nearby Park & Ride to pick up the No. 48, exactly how nearby it is I'll find out when I try walking there - I wonder if the Hilton's courtesy bus would do the honours.

    Have arranged to meet Grailhunter on the 10:58 bus so have a little time on my hands this morning. I do need to formulate a plan for today, we want to get to Leslies bar at some stage and also take a trip out to Leith, the Oxford Bar in the centre is also on the wish list. Plus I also need to work out an abridged version of Trainman's Stockport crawl, I really don't think that by Sunday we'll be in any fit state to get round all those pubs.

  7. #27
    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millay View Post
    I also need to work out an abridged version of Trainman's Stockport crawl, I really don't think that by Sunday we'll be in any fit state to get round all those pubs.
    Then drop the Magnet & the nearby Railway, also, if need be, Swan with Two Necks as the Arden is the more impressive Robinsons house on the list (though the quality is excellent at both). Do NOT drop the Crown, Porters Railway, or Olde Vic (tho this latter would mean you sticking around until after the 19:00 opening time, but is nr back entrance to station if heading back to town).

    Enjoyable blog reading, as usual, thanks.
    Last edited by trainman; 17-03-2010 at 08:29.

  8. #28
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainman View Post
    Then drop the Magnet & the nearby Railway, also, if need be, Swan with Two Necks as the Arden is the more impressive Robinsons house on the list (though the quality is excellent at both). Do NOT drop the Crown, Porters Railway, or Olde Vic (tho this latter would mean you sticking around until after the 19:00 opening time, but is nr back entrance to station if heading back to town).

    Enjoyable blog reading, as usual, thanks.
    Having looked at the pubs that's exactly what I was planning, great minds etc. The Swan is one that we'll probably make a late decision on. Thinking about a cab from the station to the Porters Railway then make our way back.

  9. #29
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Smile

    Tried out a new shaving gel this morning, Gillette Satin Care with an Avocado Twist...nice! Brand new toothbrush as well, I'm really treating myself. Look it's my Blog, I can't post whatever rubbish I want

    Off out now to meet Grailhunter and will hopefully have something more interesting to report on my return, if I can find that Park & Ride place anyway.

  10. #30
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Millay - there's a limit to what we'll accept and Avocado Twist has, needless to say, been a step too far!

    I've just suggested to A that I meet up with you on Saturday - this was as you can imagine a painful conversation - however the good news is that she's agreed to Friday. So all things going to plan I'll be seeing you in Salford around 6'ish.

    Keep up the excellent blog - I keep on telling you that you should do this as a job!

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