The Savoy Hotel

In 1899 The Savoy Hotel opened in London. It was the first hotel in Britain to have electric lights and a lift! Cesar Ritz (of the Ritz Hotel who was later known as “hotelier to Kings and King of hoteliers”) was the first manager and his chef was Auguste Escoffier (which may be where we get the expression of ‘scoffing’ your food!).

Together they built up a clientele of the rich and famous and also created dishes they named after their guests. One of these was Peach Melba, which was made in tribute to the Australian diva of Covent Garden Dame Nellie Melba (she had adopted the name Melba after her hometown of Melbourne). Other famous guests have included Oscar Wilde, (who conducted his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas in The Savoy), Claude Monet (who painted his famous ‘Waterloo Bridge’ from a balcony at the hotel) and Fred Astaire (who danced on the roof of the hotel with his sister in 1923).

LON_SAVO-exter-3The forecourt of the hotel is also the only street in Britain where traffic drives on the right. This was because of the limited space in the courtyard, which did not allow for coachmen to keep to the left and still be able to pull up to the front doors smoothly.

After being closed for what seemed like decades and a £100 million restoration project, the Savoy reopened more splendid than before. According to its website “London will once again be itself as The Savoy dazzles”!

www.thelegendsoflondon.wordpress.com

Image source: www.hotel-fly-car.com

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. A legend, indeed. Interesting how hotels like these are great chapters in the history of any place. And they must have stories to tell! That word “Savoy” seems to have a link with the Cote d’Azur, it I’m not mistaken;;; ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s