Full Monty in Fabulous #Blackpool pic.twitter.com/3UJsFNB6xV

Blackpool Beach, Morecambe Bay, Snowy mountains, sunrise, lake district, Golden Mile
Distant snow covered hills try to imitate the pure beauty of winter Blackpool

Through rain, sleet, ice and snow we battled through to Blackpool in the dark. The journey was the best part of 300 miles, half of it on the pitch black truck fest strip of the M6 motorway. Ooh what fun it is to slalom along in the spray and blurred windshield mess of mystery tarmac. Most of the time I had no idea where I was. Forget the sat naff. I needed radar. 

In the swirl of icy night we arrived on the closed down Golden Mile. Loveless and mocked, Albericht once again had stolen the Rheingold from the maidens

promenade, illuminations, Blackpool, tramway, hotel, hotel view, Strand Hotel,
Silent plastic sirens cling to lamp posts

. The clamour of glamour had been gagged and bundled into a dark cupboard. The glitz hid pinch-faced with collar up in shuttered doorways. The fun of the fair sulked moaning that life was effing unfair. It wasn’t Bleak House – it was bleak homeless. Yet it was wonderful. Blackpool lay like a beautiful forgotten film star, her allure un-painted, her face bared  back to nature ready for her next come-back. Blackpool – you are the electric daydream of the insomniac poet. You are the Kiss Me Quick Carnival of the Northern Post Industrial Venice. 

Along the Promenade glowed the blue signed entrance of the Strand

Stand Hotel Blackpool, promenade Blackpool,
Top hotel – a real spread and breakfast.

hotel. The wind whipped the car door from my grasp and the air from my lungs.The gale shrieked through the tram wires and the giant plastic lamp post mermaids: Oh silent sirens of the raging deep. We fought the Atlantic blast to the front revolving door and spun into the foyer like circus clowns fired from a cannon. All was calm. A lovely smiley lass issued drinks. We were safe at last. 

We slept well in room 101. The sea roared outside. I dreamed of the

Blackpool hotel room, atlantic rollers, Executive double, Strand Hotel
The wild universe as seen from a warm comfy bed

roaring wheels of hurtling trucks and the flip flop smear of windshield wipers. We awoke warm to gaze upon the merciless Atlantic ocean. Pity all those mariners and creatures of the wild. My thoughts were of this Island England and all that it could offer. Yes – a full Monty fry up breakfast. Oooh you have to come up north to stuff yourself on black pudding to fortify your soul. As Britain remembers the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral, this was the land of tradition he fought to save. We had the lot – the egg, the fried bread, the mushrooms, the beans, the hash browns, the sausage, the bacon, the black pud and washed it down with hot dark tea. Strand Hotel – you scoop the spare tyre award with honours and distinction. As we munched the ocean threw its fury at our Island race. We fought back on the beaches with our insoluble cholesterol and never surrendered. 

Fried Breakfast, English Breakfast, Full Monty, eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, hash brown, mushrooms, tomato, beans, hot tea, toast and marmalade
A Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire breakfast

Blackpool surely offers the greatest choice of hotels in the Northern hemisphere. It is a competitive market and the value is extraordinary. You could stay for a week at the price of a London night. A big big thank you to all the staff at the excellent Strand hotel, Blackpool

Emma Thinx: Darkness is but the stage where light reveals our part.

Emma Spare Tyre Tummy Award Gets Real In London

As English as a red bus, as warm as a smile in the eyes. 

In my new role as glitzy guru-go-gal I travelled to London. What a place it is these days. I zoomed in on an express train. I took a fast launch up the Thames from Waterloo to Greenwich by the O2 Arena.  I soared across the Thames on the Emirates Air Line cable car and boarded the Docklands Light Railway to Stratford. And then things got even better…..

Quantum Cloud by Anthony Gormley. Spot the man in the cloud.

I arrived at the Railway Tavern, 131 Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15 1DB. In this hotel world of chrome and glass logo splattered corporate spam, I had arrived at an oasis. This is a real London pub with old fashioned service and hospitality. The proprietors Tom and Jan Dooner just could not do enough to make me comfortable. I had dinner of first class fish and chips. I slept well and started the day on a full English breakfast that was FULL and ENGLISH. Oooh, I’m thinking back to those thick slices of juicy bacon, sausage, tomatoes, fried egg, baked beans and all the toast you could dream of. Naturally, there were generous pots of hot strong English tea and all the options of cereals, fruit and Muesli. Next time I go to London, this is where I’m going and I’d advise anyone to do the same. Go on! Let go and award yourself a treat – you deserve it. I won’t tip off the cholesterol cops. You ain’t gonna get the chance ev’ry day are ya?

In short me old muckers – this place is gem. The staff are diamond geezers. It takes its place in the Cosmo-international hall of fame that is the Emma’s Spare Tyre Tummy Award. If you want genuine London, value for money, warm hospitality, a great bed  and a right old hard core cockney nosh up – this is where to go.

Michelin stars are trailing behind the spare tyre tummy awards. Book soon before the snobs catch up and get real.

Emma Thinx: You can put lipstick on a pig but you can’t fake a bacon breakfast.