So Adrian won an award from the Czech Tourist Board, in thanks for his tireless and perfectly selfless tasting and promoting of Czech lager (well, that’s the way I see it). ‘It’s a three night stay for two people,’ he said. ‘I thought it would be good to show you Prague.’
‘Hmm,’ I said. I had a fair idea of what “showing me Prague” would entail - I could probably recite a list of all the apparently incredible bars along with their signature beers in my sleep.
‘No,’ he said, all hurt. ‘I wouldn’t just drag you round bars. I could show you…’ He paused. ‘Umm…the river! I could show you the river. And the castle. And there’s a great bridge.’ Hmm. But I’ve got a river and a bridge here…and a hillfort. But then again, everyone says Prague is lovely so...
Anyhow. A few weeks later he appeared at my office door with a piece of paper and a puzzled look on his face.
‘What’s that?’ Suspecting a bill or a court summons.
‘Er, it’s confirmation of our trip.’ He did look very odd indeed. Perfectly perplexed.
‘Is everything alright?’
‘Er, yes. It’s just…we’re not staying in Prague. They’ve booked us into this place in Podebrady. It’s…a spa hotel.’
Kerching! I suppressed the little victory dance that was playing out in my head and snatched the letter. And laughed my tits off. Not only were they sending us to a spa, they were sending us for a ‘Wine Relaxation Stay’. Given Adrian writes about beer and generally turns his exceedingly sensitive nose up at wine, there was a blissful irony to it.
I read on.
Not only do we get a “welcome drink of 2dcl of delicious wine with you first dinner” (sic), we also get “grapes in the room on arrival.” Followed by “1 x relaxation wine bath with wrap, 1 x classic partial Hand massage with grape oil, 1 x HydroJet (massage water bed)” (sic). By now I was wheezing with amusement.
‘A partial hand massage?' I said. 'What the hell’s that? Are they only going to massage part of our hands?’
‘No. Don’t go there.’
‘Fair enough. I’m not having a wine bath though. And I’m not too sure about the massage either.’
‘That's okay. I’ll have yours. You can go out and find bars.’
His face brightened.
And then it dawned on me. This will be the first time I have ever been to a spa with someone. Ever. I always go alone. And then I thought again. And breathed a deep sigh of relief that there’s no detoxing involved.
“We wish you a nice stay and a lot of unforgettable memories!” trilled the letter, before adding: “A dressing gown is available during the stay.”
So, there you have it. Adrian and I flying off to the Czech Republic tomorrow for a regime of wine and bathing. A partial hand massage. And a shared dressing gown. Bottoms up!