Traveller letters: How excellent hotels are ruining breakfasts

BAINS OF OUR EXISTENCE

Why is it that hotels continue to use bain-maries for breakfast when they seem incapable of keeping food more than lukewarm and, in many cases, congeal the food into the bargain? Or is it that a suitable bain-marie capable of doing the job properly has not yet been developed? It would be nice to think that hotel staff could check the condition of the food in their bain-maries from time to time but I rarely, if ever, see that happening. For many people, breakfast is an important meal, and a poor breakfast often detracts from what is an otherwise excellent hotel experience.

Jerry Bell, Malvern East, VIC

LETTER OF THE WEEK

BURIED TREASURE

We recently visited Copenhagen so I was interested to read your “One & Only” guide to Copenhagen (Traveller, October 19). We wanted to share one of our own highlights, the Norrebro neighbourhood, which we visited in an effort to dodge the crowds. We had the best day checking out the quirky shops and galleries, restaurants and coffee shops, along with the delight of suburban spring gardens and very few tourists. We headed home through the amazing Assistens cemetery, which is the burial site of a large number of Danish notables, including Hans Christian Andersen, and is also an important green space in Norrebro. The Swedish poet Karl August Nicander fondly recalled a visit to the cemetery in 1827. He wrote: “In order to enjoy another softer, quieter celebration, I walked out one evening through Norre Port (the North Gate) to the so-called Assistens Cemetery. It is certainly one of the most beautiful graveyards in Europe. Leafy trees, dark paths, bright open flowery expanses, temples shaded by poplars, marble tombs overhung by weeping willows, and urns or crosses wrapped in swathes of roses, fragrance and bird song, all transform this place of death into a little paradise.” If you’re visiting Copenhagen it really is a must do.

Janet Wright, Cabarlah, QLD

OPEN MINDED

Yes, David Parker (Traveller, October 19) it is ridiculous to close the aircraft window shades in daytime. I call it bullying the customer that keeps them in the air. For me, the only joy in flying is to see our beautiful planet from above. I have done battle with Japan Airlines in the past and no longer fly with them. We need to request the airline policy on daylight window shading before we book and if they want to shut us up for the daylight journey, go elsewhere. I have just returned from Perth, Christmas Island and the Cocos/Keeling Islands with Qantas and Virgin, and enjoyed stunning views from “open” windows. I challenge airline companies to let us know if you shade the windows on daylight flights. And why do you do it? Are you penny pinching on temperature control at our expense? Or is it control of comatose customers?

Jan Tinkler, Church Point, Sydney, NSW

ON THE DOTS

Two years ago I was lucky enough to spend two nights on Naoshima, the Japanese art island (Traveller, October 19). Themotif of Yahoi Kusama’s dotted pumpkins can also be seen on the local buses which are decorated with big yellow and red dots as well as pictures of the pumpkins. Not mentioned in the article are the equally impressive colourful sculptures by Niki de Sainte Phalle, installed in a park. She was a French-American sculptor whose most comprehensive work can be seen in The Tarot Garden in Tuscany. Walking among the artworks is a wonderful way to experience and appreciate art.

Vicki McDowell, Maroubra, NSW

WE’LL DRINK TO THAT

Thank you Ben Groundwater (Traveller, October 19) for evoking memories of our first real Aperol spritz last December. It was in a cafe on the Corso Vittoria Emanuele II in Milan, were we sat people-watching, soaking up the atmosphere and savouring the complimentary aperitivo. It would be impossible to drink it at home to try to recreate the magic of Italy.

Rhoda Silber, Manly, NSW

VIEW FROM THE TOP

I note three writers to Traveller in opposition to my comments (Traveller letters, October 19), which was heavily edited due to the length of my original letter. I’d like to stress that the Rock climb was the best part of my Central Australia visits and if you have not climbed it I genuinely feel sorry for you. The quiet, local and real Indigenous folk I met at the Rock had absolutely no concern about me climbing it. They were the oldest members and had more knowledge of their heritage, I would suggest. If the aforementioned Traveller correspondents had climbed the Rock or spoken respectfully face-to-face with the older, real Aboriginals behind the scenes like I did, then their comments would have credibility.

Warwick McKenzie, Croydon North, VIC

FULLERTON DELIVERS

Congratulations to The Fullerton Hotels & Resorts Group on the launch of its Fullerton Sydney property (Traveller, October 19) and for its commitment to restoring the Sydney General Post Office building to its former glory. As Traveller editor Anthony Dennis pointed out in his article, the heritage-minded Fullerton group has been very accommodating with the introduction of heritage tours for both house guests and the general public. I was once a frequent visitor to the GPO and my recollections of its history complement the experiences of those who worked in the grand building, designed by the then colonial architect James Barnet. When you climb the grand staircase that led to the former Postmaster-General’s office, you can’t help but marvel at the stories that helped shape the communications and social fabric of the city and nation for since 1874. Having experienced on day one the hospitality at The Fullerton Hotel Sydney, I think guests at No 1 Martin Place are sure to give it a stamp of approval.

Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

ICE IS NICE

I have a positive Qantas story to tell. I had a fall in Singapore on the morning before my flight home. The hand on which I fell was very swollen  and ice was almost impossible to secure. No first aid treatment from the travel bus company we were on. Once on board the Qantas flight that evening, economy class, I was provided with ice in a plastic bag, replacement ice throughout the flight and generally well looked after.

Alison Stewart, Waitara, NSW

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