Sunday 20 June 2021

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - XXXV

Gilded horses to ride

Looking at another aspect of living in Manchester, on Sundays, I walk a route to church that takes me past the bespoke outfit called Gotham Hotel at 100 King Street and at the doors you see staff bedecked in vintage and sophisticated livery, all buttoned-up, wearing a pillbox hat at times and you can spot a bowler hat too, they look menacing enough to make you feel slightly intimidated by your standing.

Packed outside is a luxury Bentley Flying Spur that I thought belonged to the owner as a show of having arrived. It now transpired it is part of a fleet that includes a Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, all available to guests or for hire for events and so on.

The hotel somewhat served a barometer for the return to a kind of normalcy as it is also in my walking exercises route. I could see when it was closed when it was preparing for opening and indications that it was back to receiving and entertaining guests was when I saw the laundry services truck outside.

Have the nose to drive

They have a little problem, in the onslaught of Brexit and the pandemic, the hospitality industry is suffering a staffing crisis. There are jobs and no one to fill them. Where there are people available, the requisite experience might be lacking. The delicate issue is they are seeking a chauffeur to drive the Bentley, I guess that comes with a whole set of snooty soft skills to cater to a particular clientele, not just any driver will do. I’ll end it there.

Anyway, I saw the car driven twice around my locality a few days ago, I do not know if they had already filled the position or the car was just being given a warm-up. Let’s just say the issue was serious enough to make it beyond the classifieds into a full news story along with unnecessary but albeit interesting detail about luxury car clubs and whatnot. [MEN: Manchester's 5-star Hotel Gotham can't find anyone to drive its Bentley and supercars]

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