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Anger over Moir reviews

27 April 2006

My first reaction to reading the Jan Moir hotel articles in the Daily Telegraph of 8 and 15 April was one of intense anger. In the past five years as general manager of the Island Hotel on Tresco and Hell Bay on Bryher, I've had the pleasure of hosting members of the press to the Isles of Scilly many times.

They include 116 travel editors and travel writers, representing all the main national newspapers (including the Daily Telegraph), plus lifestyle magazines ranging from Harper's Bazaar to Tatler, from Condé Nast Traveller to the Sunday Times travel section, regional newspapers from all over the UK, and overseas media from countries as diverse as Hong Kong, France, Australia and the USA.

I'm proud to say that, without exception, all the writers were highly complimentary about their stays and in particular about the staff, the accommodation and the food.

Then came Jan Moir, for whom I have nothing but pity. I'm sad that somebody of her standing is so full of bitterness, vindictiveness and venom. Instead of a respected food critic in the mould of Matthew Fort, AA Gill or Fay Maschler, I see a petulant, foot-stamping, attention-seeking writer.

Fort, Gill and Maschler are admired and respected by many thousands of readers, of which I am one, for their criticisms and their praise of food. They're fair, balanced and constructive. Moir, however, seems to go out of her way to be destructive and vicious.

No hotel can ever offer somebody of her ilk the perfect stay, and her record to date for wielding her axe goes before her. I unreservedly reject the petty-minded and grossly offensive comments she makes about everything to do with both hotels, be it about food, staff, guests or fashion.

To borrow an observation from the late Kenneth Tynan: "A critic is someone who knows the way but can't drive the car." Moir deserves at least six points on her licence for her latest outburst.

A Euan Rodger
General manager and sales and marketing manager, Tresco Estate

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