Wednesday 30 November 2016

More Classy Holidays

It’s getting so hard to find anywhere “unspoilt” – completely lacking in tourists, especially the wrong kind of Brits. Next year why not try Transdniestria (empty cities with uniformed girl traffic cops at every intersection), or a trip to Kazakhstan to see Norman Foster's follies?

Middle-class Upwards go on foreign holidays or "wild camping" – This year they're staying in a reconditioned shepherd’s hut. Lower-middle-class Teales spend the time and money decorating their house. Jen Teale and Sharon Definitely take a trip to the locations of TV series (Antrim for the Game of Thrones etc). Samantha Upward would never stay anywhere that called itself a “resort”.

Now David Cameron has resigned the Camerons won't have to go to fish markets on holiday any more and be snapped pointing at fish. (Carol Midgley, paraphrase)

I want to go to Cuba before it's not high status. (@BDSixsmith)

Caro Stow-Crat complains that “Milan was impossible!”. She means “crowded with the wrong sort of people”. Sometimes “simply impossible”.

Nothing kills the romance of an ancient castle more than several coachloads of people in pastel leisurewear. (blog)

Despite her love of pesto, peppers, fettucine, polenta and the rest, Sam is still quite shocked that people go on holiday for the food. I was slightly surprised – 20 years ago – to hear about people’s holidays snorkelling in Sharm El Sheikh. They swam, sunbathed, ate, drank, went out at night. Where were the visits to art galleries and cathedrals? The quaint little (cheap) pensioni? The real life of the people? The avoidance of coasts (and costs)?

Even more posh: “She liked travel but dreaded sight-seeing.” This was the Upward view of travel in the 50s. You were supposed to sit at a pavement café and people-watch rather than visiting the Parthenon. And feel slightly guilty about having a guidebook and going to see the cathedral and art gallery. The only physical activity undertaken is joining in the nightly passegiata, when people come out after dinner in the cool of the evening and stroll around the streets, shop and chat to their friends.)
Upwards never go to discos or nightclubs abroad. They never go to them at home, either.

Across the road is the town’s old quarter and here, at least, the mood is upbeat. This is a tiny, charming area — little more than a couple of squares with some pretty streets radiating from it. Bright, attractive small businesses have begun opening here — vintage clothes shops, pretty cafés, great galleries and chi-chi home décor shops...  Even more surprising, perhaps, is the football-free pub, The Lifeboat, where you can perch beside a barrel, sample ales and cheeses, and eavesdrop on the locals — a cheerful bunch who are only too happy to make you feel at home.
(The Times on Margate)

I hate to generalise... but something about low-cost air travel seems to bring out the very worst in certain members of the middle-aged English middle class. I reckon it must be the egalitarian nature of the deal, an absence of the usual myriad indicators of status and rank that some people seem to struggle to live without. “We might all be doing this on the cheap,” appears to be the attitude of some passengers who are unable (perfectly understandably) to resist the lure of a bargain, “but don’t think for a minute I am not otherwise infinitely superior to you. I could and should actually be making this journey first-class on a scheduled service, would that one existed. Or on the Orient Express. Or via a sedan chair borne aloft by contemptible proles such as you…” etc. (Robert Crampton, Times July 2015)

Rick Stein using “mass tourism” to mean chav tourism with draught beer and English football. (Saturday Kitchen March 2015)

But here I feel disappointed, rather as I did when I first went to Center Parcs: it wasn’t the future all under a plastic dome – it was chalets, terrible weather and activities. (Suzanne Moore)

By revamping the hotel, Kevin Smith, the general manager of the Craigellachi Hotel, said they wanted to create an unpretentious but high-end venue for “posh house parties”. He said they had already had dukes and duchesses to stay and “have a lot of famous faces booked for next year”.
As for celebrity guests, Mr Adam suggested the A-list had been retreating inconspicuously to Scotland for a while, the world just hadn’t noticed. “Some really prominent people go fishing on the Spey, it’s a mecca for old-money families. Then you’ve got the people who come up for the Johnstons of Elgin cashmere, which is the cashmere Chanel and Hermès use and is made just down the road. The Highlands is attracting some amazing people but the paparazzi aren’t on the banks of the Spey taking photos.” (Times Dec 26 2014)

More here, and links to the rest.

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