Ship shape and Bristol fashion

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Just spent an enjoyable weekend in Bristol where I was more than pleasantly surprised by how cool the place is. I don’t know why but I’d always figured that Bristol would have been a thoroughly modern city architecturally speaking – like one large out of town city office park, full of many glass walled buildings.

I’ve no idea where this misconception came from but the reality could not have been farther removed. Divine architecture, varied styles, sumptuous masonry…ooh a feast for eyes – and you MUST look up when you visit!

We didn’t stay in the city centre but in Redland. So lovely to see a a high street full of independent shops and the less run of the mill chains – like Cath Kidston & Fat Face as opposed to M&S, KFC, Debenhams though I’m sure the city centre proper would have been suitably adorned with such names. Of course my heart absolutely soared on learning it not only had an ice rink but a lido too – all my Christmases at once!

And my creme de la creme, I finally saw a Banksy in the flesh and it was mental. It was so huge and an absolute work of art.

We trawled laterooms for somewhere to stay and opted for the 1954  Harmony II yacht on the quayside.

The corridor to our 'State Room'

The bar

The dining room

From the moment I stepped aboard I felt like Princess Grace to David’s Prince Rainier. There’s a truly timeless elegance about this delightful place. It has just 8 rooms and we were the only couple aboard the first night. Josef, Chief Engineer and our host for the weekend was nothing short of fantastic. He showed us a couple of rooms and said we could choose which we preferred. He asked us what time we wanted breakfast rather than tell us when it was. He was absolutely lovely and the perfect person to guarantee the best experience.A chatty Polish gentleman he explained how he had effectd much of the restoration work himself.

We laughingly called our room a State Room because we felt like we were on board the Royal Yacht and because it was so luxurious. We had any number of channels on our flat screen uber contemporary TV, the bed was vast and very comfortable with supersoft linen ensuring a blissful night. The strangest thing was sleeping on a slight hill but that’s to be expected when you’re resting at the bow!

The restoration of this wonderful vessel can be viewed in the open plan bar and lounge area, perhaps while someone plays the baby grand? We brought our party of 6 back to the boat for pre dinner drinks and Josef is so accommodating you felt like if you’d asked him to rustle up dinner for 8 he would have. What was doubly wonderful was that he served a round of drinks and then said if we wanted anything else to help ourselves and write down what we’d had. We didn’t have time for another round but it was refreshing and uplifting to be given that level of welcome and trust – not that we aren’t to be trusted but what a nice surpise in this day and age. I’ve only ever been made that welcome in Spain.

Breakfast was simple, continental but totally adequate and really overshadowed by the room where we ate. Unlike the light wood around the rest of the yacht, the breakfast room was decorated in a darker wood making for another surprising contrast.

The bathroom comprised shower, wc and sink and was immaculate. If you had a gripe at all it was the frustration that piping hot water came out of the taps but the shower wasn’t quite so warm….so no luxuriating under the power shower heaven of your average large hotel – but no loss, I’d stay there over a large hotel any time.

I’m a stickler for customer service. I strive to ensure that the customer service newroomsonline offers its clientele is excellent at all times and you seldom receive accolades for good service. When you do it’s like a huge, warm hug has been extended towards you, a measure of confirmation that you’re ‘doing it right’, so the older I get the more time I like to spend telling people when I’ve received excellent service….because credit where it’s due!

I strongly advise you to try the Harmony II, it’s a lovely experience all round and very reasonable.

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