Thursday, January 03, 2008

This was the advert for our break

A value-added 2 nights ‘New Year’ Package – allowing guests to party for longer in true Irish style!
The Clarence’s ‘New Year’ package is available from Sunday 30th December 2007 – Tuesday 1st January 2008 inclusive and is a 2 night minimum stay package.
The package rates include 2 nights accommodation, Full Irish breakfast each morning. Dinner on New Year’s Eve, this includes a welcome glass of champagne on arrival, a 5 course Tasting Menu dinner for two seating at 8.30pm, live music in the Tea Room from 10pm – 12.30am, with continued New Year’s Eve celebrations till 2.30am in the Octagon Bar.

And all this at a hotel owned by real life rock and rollers. And as we all know of course, true rock and rollers don’t just party a little bit – they party HARD man.

So we were, we believed, invited to party in true Irish style which to me and my mates kind of suggested drinking and dancing till the wee small hours. To be on the safe side however my friend who was taking a group of 13 of us away for New Year did have long and detailed conversations with the hotel before making the booking. She made it clear there would be 13 of us. She asked about the party on New Years Eve itself and was assured there would be music and dancing continuing till 2.30am. We would be, she was promised, assured of a really special party night at their hotel.

It all began so promisingly, with cocktails in the bar, and the promised welcome glass of champagne – or four. They can not be accused of being mean with the champagne. Then we went through to the restaurant(pictured here so you can see how big it was) where every table was booked. “Where” my friend asked of the waiters “is the dance floor?” “No worries there” they said. “Last year everyone just moved their tables back and danced.” As to the other guests, there were a few other tables of more than two, but it has to be said that MOST of the other ‘party goers’ were couples.

We had a big table all set out with party hats, crackers, party horn blowers (no rude comments please) and rattles like the old football terrace ones. Now by my reckoning, at least three of these items make a noise. There was no sign asking us not to use the noise creating items and therefore, naively assuming our friend was paying for us all to have a damn good time at the Clarence Hotel party, we commenced a bit of partying. On went the hats, bang went the crackers, and toot, toot, toot, rattle, rattle, rattle went the tooters and rattles. I think it must have been an entire thirty minutes before the first complaint was conveyed to us by the unfortunate staff along the lines of “We do realise you are all enjoying yourselves, but could you possibly do so more quietly?”

This was easier said than done. There were after all, as I believe I may have already mentioned, 13 of us. Some of us had had a not inconsiderable amount of alcohol. And we included 6 teenagers in our party, all of whom were magically drawn to blowing the tooters and rattling the rattles. So the complaints continued to flow in our direction, along with the dirty looks, and the increasingly lengthy discussions with the hotel management. It didn’t make for the most relaxing evening.

Never mind – there was always the live music to enjoy – not. What we had envisaged was a live band playing either traditional Irish stuff to which you can sing along, or the old classics which make you want to get up and dance. What we got was a low enough key to be horizontal, female jazz singer, who persisted in singing songs that no one had heard of, and even if you had heard of them, you couldn’t possibly dance to. Yes, we did make an effort – when the food was done, we moved our table back in the sure and certain expectation that our fellow party goers would do the same……only they didn’t. But anyway, even we, the determined party people, could not manage to shake a hip to the music on offer. So shortly after midnight we decided to go to the bar instead where if you can recall the hotel information – celebrations will be on going till 2.30am. Only the bar was shut. And in spite of (or possibly because of) our protestations, the bar stayed shut.

We went up to a suite four of us were sharing to party in private – and yes, you have correctly guessed, that we again attracted complaints from other guests who were apparently trying to sleep. I am talking 12.30 on New Year’s Eve here.

Now here is the thing. I wasn’t actually very drunk as I can’t do very drunk any more and I do acknowledge that our table was noisy – certainly in comparison with all the other ‘party goers’ we were. But we were not offensive, we were not swearing at top volume, we kept our clothes on, we did not throw a solitary bread roll, we did not set off a single firm alarm, nor throw a T.V. out of any window, and we certainly weren’t puking up all over the place. Our offence appears to be that we were having fun – or at least – we were having a damn good attempt to have fun…

But we attracted nothing but complaints.

At a so called party.

On the biggest party night of the year.

In the Party Capital of Europe.

Actually, we are on reflection pretty proud of ourselves!


Grilled Pizza said...

What a shame!
I hope you managed to enjoy at least some of it!

marc said...

Sorry to hear that, dear -- Dublin really IS a great place to party. Bono's hotel should've been the first 'red flag'. Might've had better luck just walking out to the street & picking the first pub you hit!
All the best for the new yr -- we'll be along sooner or later....

The Fatalist said...

At least you got lots of consolation out of the fact that while the night was shit, you were in good company, & if people were going to piss you off by being boring old farts & complaining then you were ruining their night too!
I think you should drop a line of complaint, with the straightest of possible faces if you can, to the Dublin tourist board, just to see what apology you get back. Go on do it...just for the 'craic'!

Still serves you right for booking a hotel that was also being used by the National Federation of Wheely-Bin Bores! Well who else could they have been? What goes round comes around...well apart from wheely bins without wheels, they just get scraped around...

J.J said...

GP- we enjoyed it in spite of the stuck up gots!

Marc - ironically as well our hotel was right on Temple Bar and we had dozens and dozens of alternatives all but a stones throw away...and I am rubbish at throwing!
Happy New Year dear - and we pure cannae wait to see ya :-)

Fatalist, love the idea about writing to the tourist board. Will have to publish the answer here should I receive one.
And a wheelie bin connection for those boring bastards would explain a lot!

Steg said...

Miserable bastards!