In praise of a solidly, wonderfully French hotel

Nothing in the beach hotel was made of plastic. It wasn’t advertised as being a plastic-free hotel, but we noticed it. Nor was there a television in the room nor air conditioning nor a ‘no smoking’ notice on the wall nor a list of hotel rules. Instead there was a wall of books in the reception area, ashtrays from the golden age of smoking, sea breezes and an air of greater liberty. When I presented myself at reception to check in, the woman didn’t want to see a credit or identity card – my Christian name was credential enough. She led us up the marble-slatted stairs, unlocked the door with