Funny how things turn out


Last weekend I wrote a piece for The Times weekend section on what I’m looking forward to now the lockdown restrictions have lifted (slightly, for some of us). In it I talked about how going out for flirty date nights has been scuppered and how I am overjoyed at the idea of pub meals, posh dinners and café brunches à deux.

In the piece, I mentioned Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, where I’d been hosted by Sara Norman at Four Communications back in early Autumn. At the time I told her that Covid meant I didn’t know where or when I could place my visit in print, but that I could cover it beautifully on my Instagram. She was happy to arrange the trip on this basis.

It was an amazing experience and I did indeed document it (I hope nicely) on my grid. Then the Times piece came along, giving me a chance for another mention, and I also ended up writing about it in the Telegraph in an online piece on home-cations (going to hotels a few miles down the road, but a whole world away). Neither of the print pieces was a traditional travel review, but both conveyed my excitement at going, the distinct nature of the offering, and reminded readers of how special the place is.

The lesson here is that if you can be relaxed about the type of coverage you want, then you will get more of it. If Sara had been keen to really lock down coverage I wouldn’t have gone, because the pressure would have outweighed the enjoyment.

In the end, it worked out for all of us.