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Lots of facts and symbols in small print on air-mail thin paper
on 28 October 2013
The Michelin Guide says that their "inspectors make regular" visits to hotels and restaurants. However the narratives for some establishments has not changed from year to year and yet essential aspects of the businesses have, which implies that the Michelin inspectors have failed to get around everywhere that their 2014 guide lists.
Crammed with symbols this is a guide for people who like text books and not coffee table books. When the Guide does give way to narrative and description it is sometimes clunky and obvious to say the least: "watch the sun rise and set from the delightful garden" is as superfluous as "bedrooms boast rich fabrics" unless of course we should assume that everywhere that does not receive this mention has been decorated with "poor fabrics"?
If the adjectives "characterful", "stylish", "comfortable" and the incessantly repeated "boasting" were removed from the text then the entire guide could be half the size.
Very curious also is that establishments which are printed in red rather than black for their respective house or knife and fork symbols are rated "Pleasant" and since perhaps only 10% of all listed properties fall into this bracket, is one to assume that everywhere else in the guide is "not pleasant" according to the Michelin inspectors?
These comments aside the Guide does a jolly good job of providing a useful reference work for the motorist or traveller but I was irritated by the patronising tone that prefaced the guide: "In the past Britain may have lagged behind its European neighbours, due, in part, to its having a largely industrial economy." Now there's a thought; if it wasn't for Isembard Kingdom Brunel we could by now have had more Michelin starred restaurants on our little island!