'The room was huge. All around the walls stood tall black and silver candelabra, as graceful as the antlers of stags, bearing stands of flaming candles. Looking down the room, she saw a vast stove covered in gold and black tiles that rose to the ceiling. Long couches stood around it, their arms terminating in carved animals. Even from here, she could see some grinning faces, a monkey mouth opening wide to expose the teeth, a roaring lion with a gilded mane. To these creatures also, the unstable candlelight gave disturbing impressions of movement, too quick to catch, registering on the eye as barely-seen glimpses, the effect enhanced by flecks of ivory and mother-of pearl which inlaid their gleaming milky eyes. Along the backs of the couches were carved intertwined lizard-like creatures: she had seen these forms before, and was trying to recall them to her memory when she happened to look up and saw one painted in gilt and scarlet which seemed suspended almost above her.'
From 'The Demon Lover' by Jane Jakeman (earmarked for ST18, Winter 2010)
All rather sumptuous, isn't it? Better than Butlins, certainly. But we all know that when a lady - especially a nice British lady tourist - finds herself in a fancy foreign bedchamber, nothing good can come of it. You can find out more about Jane Jakeman and order her books here.