Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, September 24, 1887

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Excerpt SALUBRITIES ABROAD. Royat Improved.—I have said Royat ought to be rebuilt. The Grand Hotel is of a sort of Doll's House order of architecture, splendid front, no depth to speak of, and built on so steep an ascent that it is hoisted up at the back like a lady's skirt by a dress-improver. Beau site all the same, and magnificent view. Last year the Hotel Continental formed part of a group of hotels—which seemed to have been the result of some violent volcanic eruption, when the mountain threw up several hotels, and left them there anyhow—is at present separated from the Splendide and its other former companions by an impromptu wall, and from all its front windows it commands varied, beautiful, and, on the Clermont-Ferrand side, extensive views. It has a pleasant garden, a most enjoyable terrace, and it only wants to be in the hands of a firmly fixed and intelligent management to make it quite the best hotel in Royat. "Personally recommended," that is, as managed under the direction of M. Hall this year. The service at the Etablissement de Bains is about as good as it can be. There are, however, no bains de luxe. A few of these would attract those "whom" as the appeals to the charitable used to have it, "Providence has blessed with affluence." "La Compagnie Brocard," which manages Royat's bathing arrangements and undertakes a portion of the mild yet (to my mind as a serious bather) sufficient amusements, is not, unfortunately for the public, in accord with M. Samie, the spirited Proprietor of an opposition Casino, where there is a small theatre, in its way a perfect gem. Here all the "Stars" of any magnitude make their appearance on visiting Royat. As a "Baigneur de Royat" puts it, in a local journal, the Compagnie Brocard cannot consider their stuffy little room ("le petit étouffoir") where theatrical performances are given as a real theatre. It is a pity that M. Samie and La Compagnie Brocard cannot, like the "birds in their little nests," agree. But as to Theatres and spectacles, my rule at Royat, or at any other Water-cure place, would be this:— "Any baigneur found out of his hotel or lodgings after 10'15, p.m., shall be arrested, conducted back to his hotel, his number taken, and for the second offence he shall be fined. The fine to go to such objects as the Direction shall determine." In short there should be introduced here the English University system of Proctors and bull-dogs. Another Rule.—No theatrical entertainment should last more than two hours with entr'actes of seven minutes each. The ventilation of the salle de spectacle should be assured. If a company wanted to play a piece in four Acts, they must stop here two days; and, if they couldn't do that, then they must begin their performance in the afternoon, have one entr'acte of an hour and a half to allow for dinner, and recommence at eight o'clock. I would discourage all evening indoor entertainments. Music, coffee, petits chevaux, M. Guignol's show, ombres chinoises, everything in fact that can be done al fresco—(and why not good plays al fresco?...
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