Help Us With The Boring Bits, Please


I have more than 100 notebooks in my office, full of scrawled notes. Some contain interviews, others endless details about countries/camps/chefs/journeys I’ve written about over the past ten years. (It’s the one part of my house I can’t Marie Kondo; we have to keep our notes for seven years just in case someone, somewhere, decides they’ve been misquoted and we need to prove they haven’t.)

Other than interviews, the notebooks are jam-packed with details about interior design.

That’s because, every time I go to a new hotel, I have to take notes about what it looks like – whether it channels a Seventies vibe, or is filled with great art, or stuffed with hideous sofas.

The problem is: taking notes about interiors is probably the dullest part of my job. While I really appreciate extraordinary design and the craft involved in creating a perfect room, finding out who has made every single thing is tedious beyond description. I’d rather be out in the hotel, discovering what it feels like being a guest.

Which is why entering a chateau room recently and discovering not only a concise printed press pack on my bed but a sheet listing the key design details in every room made my day. Not only did it mean that I could concentrate on experiencing the hotel, but that no poor member of staff had to stand there for hours while I methodically wrote down every dull design detail.

Perhaps, PRs, you might follow Pilot Hotels’ lead and include a little design list in your press packs? Then you wouldn’t be asked so many tedious questions about sofas. And I wouldn’t need quite so many notebooks. Win win.