Paying out for a miserable holiday
The Christmas season wouldn't be the same without some publicity gimmick, and this year's top prize goes to the Hotel Nelson in Norwich, currently offering post-Christmas "Bah Humbug" breaks.
Especially designed for the Scrooges among us, the breaks include guided tours of the local tax office and water treatment works, plus a photo of the tax office to take home.
There is no compulsion for guests to join in parties, drink in the bar or socialise. "If they want to stay in their room for two days they're perfectly welcome," says general manager Peter Mackness.
The breaks, which run until the end of next week, are proving popular among retail workers who have suffered Christmas overload.
Treat the ladies - go to an irish pub...
Bass-Owned chain O'Neill's, meanwhile, claims to have the perfect antidote for Christmas-weary women. The Irish-themed bars are giving women their very own day on known in Ireland as Nollaig na mBhan (women's Christmas).
Irish tradition has it that on this day men must say a big thank-you to their women for pampering them over the Christmas season by spoiling them all day and treating them to a special afternoon tea.
For the 1990s couple, O'Neill's suggests men should treat their partners to a meal and "a good ol' shindig" at the local hostelry. At last, ladies, the company promises, you will be liberated from the stove. Bet you can hardly wait.
Jazz topping for pizza empire
PizzaExpress founder and legend Peter Boizot has a great admiration for another legendary figure, jazz musician Duke Ellington. So much so that Mr Boizot is aiming to raise £100,000 to have a life-sized bronze statue of the doyen of smooth jazz erected.
But, I wonder, will the Duke's hands be on a piano or a pizza?
She ain't heavy - she ain't staying here
Any overweight staff at Stratton House Hotel near Cirencester thinking of shedding a few pounds in the New Year may have trouble finding a support group, following the Gloucestershire hotel's recent row with a slimming club.
The Slimming World group accused the hotel of "fattism" after its members were allegedly told they could no longer meet at the hotel because their image was wrong for the three-star property.
The hotel's owners gave a more prosaic reason. "We could make more money hiring the room to someone else," said a spokesman. No doubt the scope for food sales was greater.
Smoke gets in your pies
SIR Terence Conran was among the so-called "elite of British Havana smokers" who turned out to celebrate the launch of new brand Cuaba last month.
During the launch dinner, held at Claridge's in London, guests tried all four sizes of the new cigar. I wonder when they found time to eat.
Curling towards high prizes
For all you curling fans out there, I have a date for your diaries. From today until Sunday, the Stakis Masters Curling Championship is taking place at Dewars Rinks in Perth.
Stakis, no doubt buoyed by its recent Metropole acquisition, has increased the competition's prize money to £7,650 this year. But this still leaves Stakis some way to go before it outdoes Thistle Hotels' three-year sponsorship of Leeds United Football Club, involving hundreds of thousands of pounds, which ended last season.