Today the choir travelled from Shenzhen to Guangzhou. The choristers submitted to a rigorous post-breakfast ‘dorm inspection’, where they were marked on the tidiness of their rooms and how wrinkle-free their bed sheets were. Any singing during inspection gained extra points, obviously. We made a final dash to the mall and split up to get a filling lunch of burgers or noodles (the group was evenly divided down the middle on this one). At 1pm it was time to load the coach for the two-hour journey to Guangzhou. The time seemed to slip by quickly, no doubt because of mounting excitement about staying at The Garden Hotel, an iconic building built in the 1980s and designed by I. M. Pei.
On arrival, the hotel easily lived up to its superb reputation. We were whisked into a comfortable room where we were welcomed and given drinks; soon we were on our way to make ourselves at home in our new quarters. The choristers were particularly delighted to find Nespresso coffee machines in their rooms, along with every other comfort a weary traveller could ask for (from fluffy bathrobes to electric blinds to bright blue bath salts). There is no doubt that , after such divine treatment, the quality of the choir’s singing will hit new heights…
The boys went for a late afternoon ramble around the hotel to get their bearings, and enjoyed visiting the lush garden with its waterfall and colourful fish (even bigger than the ones in Tom Quad, we think). Supper was taken at an extraordinarily versatile restaurant where the boys feasted on pizza, burritos, pasta, salad, rice, curry and breadsticks. As you can see from the photos, the varied desserts were very popular. The restaurant also offered snails, which some of the boys though looked terrifically tempting, but after due consideration Matron advised against them. Another time perhaps.