A bloody awesome time in The Boltons
Our reviewer camps out in the wilds of Sloane Ranger territory with only a vampire and werewolf for company.
It’s never exactly easy. I just wanted a study break in London. Edward and Jacob just had to come along. Edward to protect me. Jacob to protect me from Edward. Edward to make sure I wasn’t alone with Jacob. Shoot. You know – complicated.
Where to stay if you’re a mixed-up teenager from Arizona in a kooky love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf? I mean, these guys have needs. We settled on this super-swish boutique hotel near South Kensington. I figured I could hang out in the museums while Jacob and Edward could nip into Hyde Park and slaughter a few wild mammals if they got peckish.
Edward knew Bolton Gardens. It’s a wealthy, leafy borough. Ideal for a cultured, sensitive, undead person who prefers the shade.
Yet it was bright sunshine when we emerged from Earls Court underground. That bothered Edward, because his skin sparkles with diamonds in the sunlight, and it makes him kinda self-conscious. I told him not to worry – they do crazier things than that with make-up in England.
‘Put on your shirt, Jacob,’ I hissed, as we entered the hotel. The place was neat – stylish and modern, sort of chilled-out mansion chic. I liked it. But the moment we stepped in the lift I could see there were going to be personal space issues. The lift was plenty big enough for a waiflike high school girl. Not so good when you squeeze in a 200lb Native American werewolf and a 6ft 4in vampire with poisonous teeth.
The room had a couple of corduroy armchairs, a desk and a bed. The décor was calm, soothing. But there wasn’t much space for Jacob to do what he likes to do – prowl up and down with his shirt off. Edward, rested on the window gazing over the rooftops like a leopard with an attractively tousled hairstyle.
‘Hey, guys,’ I said, feeling real claustrophobic by now. ‘Let’s have an early dinner!’
I’d chosen a restaurant called Racine over by the Brompton Oratory. I thought Edward would like it. He doesn’t eat human food – and he’s even given up eating humans these days. But it’s frequented by the kind of worldly, well-bred, civilised people he likes to mix with. As for Jacob – well, Racine is well known for the quality of its meat. Jacob likes meat. A lot. So we sat, agreeably enough, in the plush interior, Edward gazing at my face as I toyed with my saffron mousse, Jacob gazing at his steak tartare followed by filet au poivre, then veal kidneys for dessert.
They were inclined to show off on the way back – you know the way teenage boys are. Running up and down trees at 70 mph, leaping over bus shelters, that kind of thing. But as we crossed the Brompton Road, Edward tensed. A gang of wild-eyed male and female creatures making unearthly screams were coming towards us.
‘Newborns!’ Edward said in a chilling whisper. ‘A vampire army come to wreak devastation on London.’ Jacob crouched and bared his teeth, ready to spring.
I leafed through my guidebook frantically. ‘I think they’re a group of “Sloane Rangers” on a night out!! They’re pretty harmless…’
Too late. Within minutes, all that was left of the gang was a small pile of discarded Ugg boots and shredded Jack Wills polo shirts.
Sleep wasn’t easy that night. We are pretty chaste. Edward is afraid he’ll eat me if things get too frisky. Kinda the same with Jacob. So they stick to the whole protective-hugging and gazing-deeply-at-me stuff. But what with Jacob howling at the moon and Edward pushing out more cold air than an industrial freezer, it was a while before I slumbered. Otherwise, the room was super-peaceful for west central London.
At breakfast Edward had gone. But later I saw a headline in The Evening Standard: ‘Capital blood bank supplies hit record lows’. Inside there was a story in the style supplement saying ‘Bye-bye Goth – hello sparkly skin’. I guessed he’d show up sooner or later.
As told to Mark Jones, Do Not Disturb (In-hotel Magazine)