We experience the rock 'n' roll staycation that is the Locked Up Like I'm Famous package at Edinburgh hotel, House of Gods
and live on Freeview channel 276
Fame has eluded me.
I did have a small acting part, about 25 years ago, in the Inspector Rebus series, as a Bosnian prostitute, and I made the shortlist for 2003 film, Young Adam, to play the naked corpse that was dredged from the water. (Didn’t get the part, thank goodness).
That was the end of my brief glimmer on the sub Z-list.
However, if you’re the sort who wants a bigger taste of stardom, there’s House of Gods’ Locked Up Like I’m Famous package.
According to Mike Baxter, the owner of this Cowgate hotel, which will soon be opening its first restaurant, the Casablanca Cocktail Club, most of their residents are based in Edinburgh and aged 25-45. They just want a holiday in their own city, and to be made to feel like they’re Lady Gaga and Lord Muck, for one night only.
“We are a huge fan of your work, so please excuse us if at any time our team appears a little star struck”, says the print-out that you’re handed on arrival.
Indeed, the staff are super accommodating, and you’re instructed to WhatsApp them if you want or need anything.
Once you’ve walked through their plush cocktail bar, with its heron wallpaper, and been led to your (very dark, so take night vision goggles) boudoir, the shenanigans begin. As part of the package, our four-poster bed, in a Versailles-inspired Classic room, is covered in golden balloons and gilt rose petals.
It’s testament to my middle-age, that I don’t leap and frolic on top of them, but just think, where do we put them, and who will have to clean this up?
We’re more excited by the tray of a dozen chocolates. These come with our welcome drinks of Prosecco, served in fancy Champagne glasses.
On a little black panel, there’s an in-room button, which you can press for refills. We tried it out and a member of staff quickly delivered a fresh pair on a tray. As part of this deal, they are unlimited, from 3pm until 3am. If you were so inclined (ie. young), it could get very debauched.
However, we’re such lightweights that we only press that button, oh, about three times, before we start feeling a bit woozy.
To suit the locked-in theme, we’ve already decided not to leave this darkened room, which we feel a bit guilty about, since it’s the hottest day of the year so far, but we’ve got to take this fame thing seriously. I’m not autographing any more body parts.
Thus, we settle in to watch the telly, which is cleverly hidden behind the room’s mirror.
We think about switching on Gardeners' World, but boot up Netflix instead, and wait for our ridiculously huge 20” Civerinos Slice pizza, included.
You order it on arrival, and we’ve gone for half a Buffalo Stance (buffalo mozzarella, buttermilk fried chicken, cheddar, tomato, spring onion, black pepper and ‘supercharger mayo’) and half Return of the Mac (Alfredo sauce base, chicken, sliced garlic, macaroni, grated Parmesan, parsley, black pepper).
We eat it slob-style, under the jacquard blanket and reclining on a leopard print bolster.
If only the paparazzi could see me now, with pasta tubes stuck to my T-shirt.
The next element of our stay is the H.o.G Sound System - a “four course musical cocktail journey”. It kicks off with Welcome to the Jungle, served with theatrical props and music (Guns ‘n’ Roses), then runs through another three cocktails, including Kiss from a Rose (Seal, presumably).
“You may have seen it on Instagram”, said the young person who checked us in.
Unfortunately, we totally failed. This experience can be taken from 10pm until 1am. We are old people, who usually go to bed at 10.30pm. It’s a Wednesday night.
At 9.59pm, we deploy the milk and cookies button, which can be used between 9pm and 1am.
They bring us two huge chocolate chip cookies, cups full of Haribo, and milk with stripy straws.
The fizzy cola-bottle sugar high makes me swither about the cocktail experience - “maybe we could stay up for the first one?” - but, it’s too late, my plus one is already in his pyjamas and half-conscious. I try prising open one of his eyelids, but he’s gone, so I read my book instead.
At least we still have the breakfast hamper, which includes cinnamon bagels, yoghurt, granola and mimosas (yet more booze), to look forward to.
Our early night and lack of rock ‘n’ roll antics indicates that we’re not quite the demographic that House of Gods is pitched at.
As Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”.
Rooms from £120, the Locked up Like I’m Famous rider is an additional £139
233 Cowgate, Edinburgh (0131 230 0445, www.houseofgodshotel.com)