Episode 32 Hotel Legends: London’s Claridge’s
Hollywood golden age actor Spencer Tracy famously said he’d rather go to Claridge’s than to heaven when he dies. So it should come as no surprise that we decided to showcase this iconic property in our hotel legends series. Claridge’s, often referred to as the “annex of Buckingham Palace” is one of London’s most distinguished and historic hotels. Since 1812, it has continued to welcome foreign dignitaries, film stars, and royalty through its elegant doors in London’s Mayfair neighborhood. A gathering place for royal weddings, a thriving hub for jazz and flapper culture in the early 20th Century, a refuge for international leaders – even Gandhi stayed at one point with his goat – the stories of stays at Claridge’s are endless.
On this week’s episode, Melissa speaks with Hotel Archivist Kate Hudson and Lead Butler Michael Lynch (who has been at the hotel for over 40 years) about the property’s fascinating history and plans for its future. Learn about what occurred at Claridge’s during World War I and II, the women’s suffrage movement, and the property’s role in royal weddings. Plus- hear about the hotel’s multi-billion pound renovation and extension, which was recently chronicled in the BBC documentary series, The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild.
And this week on travel hacks: Melissa speaks with the Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, Andrew Jackson, on the upcoming coronation and travel tips for visiting the royal palaces of the United Kingdom.
Lightning Round with Kate and Michael:
- Favorite bar in London? The Fumoir. It feels as though it exists outside time and reality.
- Favorite restaurant in London? Kricket Soho, I had the most delicious meal there recently.
- Favorite palace to visit? Tower of London, as the depth of history there is almost palpable.
- What’s your order at the Claridge’s ArtSpace? Caramelized peanut cookies every time!
- If you could have a cocktail in the Painter’s Room with a previous guest at Claridge’s, who would it be? Marlene Dietrich; the stories she could tell…
- How are you celebrating the coronation? We will be en famille all glued to the BBC coverage!
- Favorite bar in London? The Painter’s Room at Claridge’s.
- Favorite restaurant in London? The oldest in London, Rules Restaurant on Maiden Lane.
- Favorite palace to visit? We are spoilt for choice! I love visiting Kensington Palace.
- What’s your order at the Claridge’s ArtSpace? It’s got to be our Claridge’s Crest Cake.
- If you could have a cocktail in the Painter’s Room with a previous guest at Claridge’s, who would it be? Sir Winston Churchill
- How are you celebrating the coronation? I’m on holiday and will be celebrating in Barcelona.
Tune in live: April 27, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET
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