Saturday, November 18, 2006

Leasowe Castle, Merseyside

My Golf Break Venue of the Day

This independent venue offers golf packages with a perfect combination of style, comfort and elegance in a tranquil setting with 6 acres of grounds overlooking Leasowe Golf Course and the sea.

The Castle part dates back to 1592 and was built for Ferdinand, 2nd Heir to the English throne, to allow him to watch horse racing on the Meols sands.

Most of the en-suite rooms have views over Leasowe Golf Course and the sea beyond. Sea views are available for a supplement.

Health & Fitness Club
unbed and 'The Quiet Room' treatment room.

Meeting rooms of various sizes; the largest suite can accommodate up to 400 delegates.

The hotel is adjacent to Leasowe GC and is located between the links courses at Royal Liverpool (host to the British Open in 2006) and Wallasey. Also within easy reach are Royal Birkdale, Formby and Hillside.

Golf Packages
The package are designed for the smaller golfing parties of up to 12 players to give players a good mix of the tough championship courses and more picturesque parkland courses that the Wirral has to offer.


Castle Hotel offering all-inclusive Golf Packages

Leasowe Castle
Leasowe Road, Moreton, Wirral, Merseyside CH46 3RF

Hotel with health & leisure club and conference centre.

Local courses include: Leasowe; Royal Liverpool; Wirral; Royal Birkdale; Formby

All-inclusive Golf Packages are available.

Tel: +44 151 606 9191
Fax: +44 151 678 5551
The Five Lays Rollover Daily Dabble

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One Night in Kiev

Some reflections on a very brief trip to the former soviet Republic of Ukraine

We were on the shortlist to design the very first golf course in Ukraine. We had decided to make our fees very competitive in view of the publicity that might be generated, but once we were there, we decided our fees were not nearly high enough to cover the hassle and discomfort.

The airport was like a mad time-share salesmen's convention but with constant accosting for taxi rides rather than holiday homes.

Soviet roadbuilders share a common heritage with the Romans - the road from the airport into Kiev was absolutely arrow straight (and 8 lanes wide). The drivers also seem to share this Roman heritage - the driving was something like the chariot race from Ben Hur.

According to some of the websites I went onto, Kiev is supposed to be one of Europe's most beautiful cities. It isn't. The centre is fairly average but what is memorable is the mile upon mile of grey soviet-era prefabricated apartment blocks stretching as far as the eye can see in every direction.

I selected the Hotel Khreschatik
from the TripAdvisor top 10 Kiev hotels. It is without doubt the worst hotel I have stayed in anywhere. Heaven only knows what the bottom 10 are like.

I compounded my error by assuming that a junior suite would be the hotel's showcase room. If it was a showcase for post-modern post-soviet interior design irony then it succeeded. The decor and furnishings were various shades of beige. My feet stuck to the carpet. The air-conditioning didn't work and 5 lightbulbs were missing. The hot taps ran cold. I tried the cold taps and they ran hot. The 'mini-bar' was a domestic refridgerator plonked by the entrance door: unplugged and empty.

The access corridors were dirty, dingy and threadbare. There was a chambermaid doing the ironing in the corridor outside my room. The access staircase was completely undecorated: by undecorated I mean no plaster on the walls and bare concrete stairs.

At check-in we were given a breakfast voucher each and told not to lose it: no voucher, no breakfast.

The hotel had no breakfast room (or any other facilities that we could find) and breakfast was taken at a cafe a few doors away. Breakfast consisted of: a strange coloured liquid with an indescribable taste; a mini-croissant; a rubber omelettey-type thing with a lettuce leaf; one cup of coffee (no refills offered, thankfully).

Early the previous evening I had received a telephone call from a nice lady asking me if I wanted 'a relaxing massage and some sex.' I politely declined, saying I was too tired (why, for heavens sake, did I feel the need to make an excuse?).
She said 'what about tomorrow night'.
I said 'OK, come on over.'

I don't know what happened to the occupant of my room the following night: I was on a Georgian Airways flight to Tbilisi at the time.

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