Mr Monk and I booked a Friday night at The Hotel Atlantique, Wimeriex, Northern France. We were excited since we actually were able to get a room, Usual reply is a "Non, complete" . Don't know if it's the economy or what, but we got a room. Excited, yes, over the moon, perhaps too much so. Arrived and found a place to park behind the hotel, to the side. Some slob had hogged two car spaces instead of one.
Did our usual things; trip to Boulogne-sur-mer Art gallery; walk along the beach at Berck-sur-mer, and then back to hotel hotly anticipating our meal. Dining room opens at 7:30 p.m. so a bit anxious since as I have a medical problem that quick feeding necessitates. Never mind, we were served some lovely melon runny concoction, some excellent bread rolls and then the starter arrived. Mine: oysters. Mr Monks: crab, avocado. Marvellous to both until around 3 a.m. in the morning.
Stomach was rolling at midnight, then a quick run and dash to the toilet and it seemed I was there for an eternity. Just as I thought I couldn't empty anything more, back again for an encore. Then, a start back to bed, and then. Another rush to the toilet. I think the toilet trips came to about 45 minutes from 3 a.m. until 3:45 when I then realised it was those oysters. Heard the flush upstairs from another visitor around the same time as mine; realised we both had the oysters. Quelle Crap!
I won't go into the filet of boeuf dish; think it was undercooked and misunderstood as most French beef dishes. I don't blame the cow. The miniature bits of veg were sad, neglected and basically baby food for geriatrics. Why do the French have to pipe vegetables on the plate and sign their initials, rather than give us chunky old fashioned vegetables? I am not a baby, don't need mashed, piped carrots or turnips. Chewing my veg is not a problem.
When the bill signing came about at reception; I told the hostess I was unhappy and so was my stomach with the oysters. She called one of the main men to talk to me but as most Frenchmen do; he denied culpability and blamed me instead of the oysters. He told me to avoid oysters during months without an "r" What hogwash!!! So I figure this is the scenario: we get sick on the oysters, the sludge is flushed out to sea, the oysters eat the sludge, we eat the oysters and so the cycle goes on and diarrhoea dominates the domain.
I was not impressed either with my room in the back. OK. so it was only 75 Euros, but that is around £52 and about $75, so I should be able to sleep without hearing the elevator go up and down, the drains drain and the exhaust systems outside moan and groan;. The TV was small and didn't have good reception; channel 4 was a nightmare and couldn't get BBC24 or CNN.. so what you say. So why not, I say, after all it is the Pas de Calais, a silly 30 miles from Angleterre.
Glad to leave. Sad though because my myth of the Hotel Atlantique has been demythdified.
Off to another hotel and adventure.