Thursday, July 05, 2007

Victorian Secret

Calling all Victorian Lovers. No, not lovers from the Victorian era (although based on the mores of the time they’d be a freakishly fun lot to chat with) – I’m talking about those of you who are enamored with the architecture, decorating styles and furniture from c.1860-1900. Are we clear now?

There are a lot of you out there, too. I don’t know why so many mystery readers fit that category, perhaps it’s a Holmes-ian thing, but you can’t swing a rare dark blue Hobnail art-glass library lamp with a solid brass frame and burner assembly without hitting a Mystery aficionado/Victoriophile. Give it a try – you’ll see what I mean.

Now I must hasten to clarify that I am not a fan of the Victorian style. Oh I appreciate it, I think it’s interesting in a historical/architectural way, but I’m much more of a ultra-modern, cool-line, Depression Modern, Lounge Retro sort of guy. And that’s why I’m so surprised I had such a great time at the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York.

This past weekend Rose and I spent a wonderful night at this amazing historic hotel. From the façade to the lobby to the lift to the hallways to the rooms is crammed pack with Victorian furniture, bric-a-brac and artwork. The bathrooms are mercifully up to date but other than that, you are in the 1880s. It’s High Victorian living – even if it’s just for the weekend. Which is just about my limit for High Victorian living.

And if you’re a Mystery Lover, you can’t help but look around everywhere for a body of some Earl with a gold-plated letter holder (with a brass cameo on an elegant and ornate floral setting) in his back. I didn’t find any but I’ll be honest, I didn’t look too hard.

Saratoga itself is a fine town with much to see and do – and you can’t miss The Lyrical Balled bookstore. A fine selection of used hardcover and paperback mysteries as well as a choice selection of rare collectables. You’ve got to stop in just to see the vault.

Now the Adelphi is only open in the summer months and during the late August race season the prices are truly frightening, but if you are looking for a fun summer getaway back in time, you can’t top the Adelphi. And be sure to spend the extra $30 for a suite.

The only drawback of the hotel? Narrow, short twin beds. So if you are Victorian lovers – or mystery lovers you’re in for a tricky tryst.


Vicki Delany said...

I'm a genuine Victorian!!!!

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