Friday, 6 November 2009

G20 Summit St Andrews

Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews

Today finance ministers from the world's 20 richest nations will arrive in Fife to tackle the biggest issue facing the planet according to today's Courier. Together they represent around 90% of the world's wealth, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world's population.

Decisions made will have a direct impact on the lives of billions of people across the globe the Chancellor said yesterday. He also said what is at stake is nothing less than the future prosperity of the world's nations and millions of jobs.

The two big issues on the agenda are making progress on tackling - wait for it - climate change and reaching an agreement on how to generate growth in the future.

But to ordinary people why does it matter these powerful men and women are locked away for two days in a beautiful town on the coast of Fife. (Well actually they're not in a beautiful town but staying at the Fairmont Hotel which is two miles outside town. More about the hotel later).

Alistair Darling's reply was: "It's jobs." He also says the evidence of that concerted emergency action is there for all to see with Germany, France, Japan and America all coming out of recession. The UK, he predicts, will follow shortly, towards the end of the year.

It is towards the end of the year is it not? Maybe Mr Darling's 'end of the year' is Hogmanay. After the report yesterday which stated the UK was still in recession he can't be in a very happy mood.

Back to the Fairmont. Don't be thinking these people are living a life of luxury. The Fairmont is an average, new build (well nearly new) hotel. It is to my mind 4 star luxury with an over-priced tag. The cost of meals is more than ridiculous and if you do book for just yourselves, be prepared to be told you have to eat in the most expensive restaurant in the hotel because 'others' have booked the other eating areas. Dinner will give little change from £100 per person which includes a half bottle of middle-of-the-road wine.

How dare she criticise the Fairmont some of you may ask. The answer is I booked to stay there for three nights last year but left after two. The room was fine, much as I'd expect from a 4 star hotel, but it was positioned overlooking the air-conditioning vents and the noise continued day and night. Because the air-conditioning in the room was stuck on high there was the necessity of needing to have the window open all night. Six complaints about the air-conditioning produced no results.

Dinner was way over-priced, nouvelle cuisine style, most acceptable but not special so we ate in St Andrews the following evening. I decided to leave a day early because I was exhausted through lack of sleep and it was only because I began to loudly rant at the receptionist that I wasn't charged for the third night I had booked. She muttered something about me breaking my contract. Luckily enough I had my booking confirmation email to hand and was able to say they had broken the contract first because my "self controlling air-conditioning" didn't exist.

I expect these global finance ministers will have better fortune and of course they won't complain about the price of the food either. After all, they won't be paying the bill.

To be fair, the clubhouse and golf course were top notch and breakfast choice was excellent.

My advice for a treat would be to spend a little less, have a relaxing time, good food and calming surroundings in the peace and quiet of Stobo Castle. It has the most fantastic pool and steam rooms plus the bonny town of Peebles a few minutes drive away.


INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

SR I wondered when someone was going to pick up on this. Too much news kept it in the margins.

I read that the Japanese Finance minister would not be turning up though.

Hope they choke on their expensive meals.

subrosa said...

Ah didn't know that Incoming. I wrote up the article earlier but other events kind of came before it really. Thanks for the info. Always good to have up to date news.

JRB said...

One has to smile.
When the G20 was in London we had riot and civil commotion.
When the G20 comes to Fife we have approximately 20 protesters.

I wonder how many of the delegates actually appreciate the pretensions of a 4 star hotel. I’m sure all they really want is a comfortable bed and a decent honest, well cooked evening meal – just like the rest of us.

However we can be sure of the final communiqué from Mr Darling –
“After some very worthwhile and positive discussions, we have all agreed – to disagree”

newsnet said...

I've posted some interesting numbers on the Glasgow North East postal ballot/electoral role over at Newsnet Scotland.

subrosa said...

Strangely enough John I can't find any star rating for them on visitscotland - I can't even find them there.

So they don't have any tourist board rating. They're winging it nowadays obviously.

I certainly wouldn't even return for a coffee. Much prefer Rufletts.

subrosa said...

Thanks newsnet, off to check it out right now.

Dramfineday said...

Mmmm and if they vist Stobbo sometime in the future they might want to have a quiet moment at the Peebles war memorial and remind their overstuffed selves that too much power and greed is paid for by the powerless

Apogee said...

Funny how the first I knew of this meeting was an item on Russia Today, complete with pretty pictures of the demonstrators; this about 4:30 pm.

Were we not supposed to know?


subrosa said...

They'd never find the Peebles war memorial Dram. These people only look as far as the end of their noses.

If they did visit Stobo then I would never return. It's not meant as a place for masses of politicians but knowing the owner, he'd take anyone who paid the right amount.

Saying that, last time I was there David Steel was occupying the dearest suite. I still wonder if he was paying.

subrosa said...

It was mentioned on Channel 4 news at 7pm tonight Apogee. Perhaps they were keeping it quiet as they didn't want hoards of protestors. Fairmont wouldn't be too easy to barrier because of the golf course access.

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