Tartan – chintzy?

We’re staying in a lovely little hotel on the Isle of Skye. Well, let me qualify ‘lovely’. It’s a really nice, homey and comfortable place with friendly and attentive staff but it’s twee. There is tartan everywhere: the carpet is tartan, the sofas are covered in tartan (I’ve been informed that it’s check but isn’t that what tartan is essentially? The definition of tartan is:  a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials eg, carpet) and even the curtains in some rooms are tartan (fortunately in our room the curtains were chintz).  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike tartan but I think there’s a place for it – like picnic rugs and kilts and at a stretch throw rugs. The dark green and navy tartan on the stairs just looked weird.

Then there are all these quaint little touches like plates on the walls. Even in the bathroom. Why? What’s the point of putting plates on the walls? Flying ducks I understand, but plates?  They weren’t even particularly decorative or interesting – just standard old fashioned crockery).

Our room is smaller than the size of the bathroom of the place we last stayed at – barely enough room for the bed, a wardrobe, dressing table (!) and two side tables but only one chair. Cramped is an understatement. As for the bathroom, suffice to say that two people can not be in it at the same time and the toilet seat has to be put down to use as an extra surface to put toiletries on.

Still, when you’re travelling you make do. And it is comfortable enough; the sheets are crisp and white and the duvet is big and down filled and there are local toiletries in the bathroom and nice china cups and saucers and a good selection of teas, coffee and hot chocolate with a bonus of shortbread biscuits and a small bottle of the local whisky on arrival. And the bar with an open fire is just a short stumble down the tartan stairs.