There isn't much in the way of sun, warmth or fun to be had waiting for spring to raise her head. So it's time to bring a little bit of fun into the month of March with a visit to the Grosvenor Casino at Great Yarmouth.
In ways, Yarmouth can seem a tacky, neglected hole on the Norfolk coast. However, I love the place. It has so many memories: family holidays and going to the races with my late father, Colin. Dad never got a chance to frequent the casino down Marine Parade, but I know for a fact he would have been in his element.
To lighten up a boring winter period we are going to spend the night at Yarmouth on the 14th March and see if lady luck rubs shoulders with the Fen Boys. To be fair, I think she is a constant companion as I have won a decent sum of money playing roulette with my boring ''watch the paint dry'' system.
Anyway, I'll talk about that in a few minutes.
My cousin Danny suggested we go and by all accounts, it will be a bit of a family gathering with Me, Tony, Gareth, Paul, Sue, Martin, and Dan the Man. I'm not sure if there will be any newcomers but time will tell.
The Great thing about Yarmouth is that you can get some amazing hotel prices throughout the winter. I had intended to go to the Nelson Hotel, but couldn't get there so opted for the Embassy located on Camperdown, which is one of the best streets in the town. I'm not sure if it is Victorian or Edwardian (pretty sure it is the former) but it's an attractive street. I've stayed at Andover House Hotel, just up the road, but that is a bit pricey for a night of gambling, although I would recommend it too. Anyway, the Embassy Hotel has got our custom. We have a family room including breakfast, which costs just £50. That's about £16.70 each. I really think they should up their prices because it is worth double that. David, the manager, is a lovely man and always so polite. So we are looking forward to getting back to our regular haunt.
Dan The Man, has a single room for £20-somthing quid, with breakfast, which is bordering on criminal.
I'll be giving the staff a tip come win, lose or draw.
Just around the corner is a gem of a restaurant called Pamela's. It's exceptional value and an equal measure of bling and fine dining. The staff is as professional as they come and the food a pure delight.
And we haven't even got to the casino...
The Grosvenor Casino at Great Yarmouth is well worth a visit even if you don't intend to put a chip on the table and chance your luck. This listed building makes the modern casinos look like soulless dungeons. The restaurant is literally as cheap as chips but you could be rubbing shoulders with royalty such is the elegance of the building with high ceilings, chandeliers, and an atmosphere that oozes wall-to-wall class.
I never bet much money at the casino as it is more fun than an attempt to lose my shirt.
I will be betting on the roulette. I simply follow a chosen single number that's come up a few times and hope it comes out again. Surprisingly it does, often. There's no logic to it and pure luck. I'm winning several hundred pounds over the years and that's what I will be doing for a couple of hours until the boredom sets in or I get fed up with some Chinese bloke laying on my back to place bets like money is going out of fashion.
If I could place a bet that a Chinese man, woman (not child) will be playing some game at Yarmouth, I'd be a millionaire.
Dan, Paul, Sue, and perhaps Tony will be playing 3-card poker. I can't say I like the game too much. The rake is high on pair plus and I've had a really good night on that table and still been surprised how little money I won.
On a personal note, I wonder if Graham is there?
However, I know someone (I won't mention names) won a couple of grand in September from starting with small change. Anyway, we will be having a session come the 14th March, and go back to the casino for Sunday lunch, then back home on the train.
If you have never been to the Grosvenor Casino I would say take a look and see what you think.
You don't even need to bet!