Can I first of all say that my hosts, The Eastern Deanery, could not have been more welcoming and hospitable – every need was catered for and I was frequently “checked on” to make sure that my trip was a pleasant as possible.
Can I secondly say that my audience of 60 were polite, welcoming, attentive and participative – even after their Thursday night booze up which, for some, didn’t end until 4.00am Friday morning.
But the venue was truly horrendous:
budget rooms constructed of cheap materials
my first sleep in a hard bed under an army blanket since I was in the Church Lads Brigade as a teenager
lousy internet access – a weak GPRS signal in my room and wifi that didn’t work in the conference centre
inedible food – my steak on Wednesday evening tasted “off” and the monkfish served at Thursday’s dinner was tasteless, overcooked and awful – in fact I would recommend this place for a weight-loss programme
teenage catering staff who didn’t give a damn and had no customer service training
The visit was saved by the welcome from my hosts, by the fun I had with the delegates and by the excellent customer service of some of the more mature staff.
I had planned to stay over Friday night to avoid traffic – but I was so keen to escape that I pulled out of the gates cheering at 4.30pm – and tolerated a 7.5 hour drive “just to get away”.