This week’s entries come to you from the village of Colnbrook, just outside of Heathrow Airport. I find myself in this unlikely place due to a last minute trip to kick off a new job that I started on Monday as a developer advocate for the newly launched Travelport Developer Network. Feeling trapped by the manicured comfort of my hotel, I needed to get out. Knowing that a trip to Central London wasn’t feasible, I settled for exploring the nearby town, stopping in at The Ostrich, which just happens to be England’s 3rd oldest pub.
As I savoured my Guinness, I read a pamphlet which detailed the history of the inn, dating back to the year 1106. Before there were trains, there were stage-coaches, which gave rise to an industry of coaching inns. The Ostrich was a popular stop for travelers from London on their way to see the king at Windsor Castle, where they might swap horses and change out of their riding clothes and into more formal wear.
Of particular notoriety was a 17th century proprietor named Jarman. He and his wife built an elaborate trap door in the room above the kitchen and would drop unsuspecting lone riders with large purses into a boiling cauldron in the middle of the night.
Business travel is rarely glamorous. When one isn’t working, it can be all too easy to relax into the comfort of expense-paid 4 star hotel luxury. However, one just has to walk out the door and be open to finding a little adventure.