June’s Venue of the Month – Rosewood London

Rosewood London

The stunning Edwardian Belle Époque building standing at 252 High Holborn, an incredibly historic thoroughfare dating back to Roman times, began life when building commenced on the central building in 1912 and completed in 1919 – a flamboyant styled building, designed by C. Newman.  Over the following 50 years, the building was expanded upon in three further stages.  The East block was designed by P. Moncton and built between 1929 and 1930, a South East extension built between 1954 and 1956 as well as the West block, built between 1959 and 1960 both designed by Bates and Sinning.

Historic Rosewood

The Pearl Assurance Company Limited, moved into the property during the building of the first stage (Central Block) in 1914, which became their Headquarters.  They remained the occupiers and custodians of 252 High Holborn until 1989, when they relocated their Headquarters to Peterborough.

 

In 1974, several years before Pearl Assurance moved to Peterborough, English Heritage designated the principal façades, interiors of the East and West Blocks as well as the impressive and iconic Italian Grand Pavonazzo marble staircase, which sits directly below the 166-foot-high cupola, as Grade II Listed.

Italian Marble Staircase

The year 2000 rang a change to the life of the former office building, as the Marriott International Managed Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel opened, however, only 11 years later on 11th June 2011, the relationship between Marriott International and Renaissance Hotels broke down and the Renaissance Chancery Court began trading independently, until being bought and closing its doors for the final time in 2013.

 

The buyers of this magnificent property, were none other than Rosewood Hotel Group.  An extensive and lengthy restoration and refurbishment programme commenced immediately, all under the guidance of English Heritage, due to the listings in place.

Rosewood London

Original designs were followed where possible during renovations and any missing details have been carefully replicated and replaced.  The restoration process has created an ambience of a historic London residence, with ample space and atmosphere for both intimate and large events.  With heritage meeting rooms, boasting listed Cuban mahogany doors, of which have not been available to purchase now for over 35 years, along with rare types of marble, Rosewood London really has been fashioned from the finest materials and created to the highest standards throughout.

Bronze Hall

Opening in October 2013, this magnificent new addition to the London five-star hotel scene, features 262 guestrooms and 44 suites, with eight signature House Suites including the only suite in the world, to have its very own postcode, all designed by Tony Chi and associates

Rosewood Suite

The hotels wrought iron gates, lead you through to the calming and peaceful inner court yard of the hotel, where you are greeted by fashionably clad concierge professionals and porters, as well as the hotels gorgeous dog Pearl – a name which connects the buildings history, to the present day. The extravagance of the rose bronze gallery and the luxurious lobby with its rich furnishings beyond, give you an immediate sense of the brilliance of the hotel and its interiors, which await you as you traverse through the unwinding story of this grand Edwardian building.  The jewel box design of the Mirror Room, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, the Martin Brudnizki designed Scarfes Bar and Holborn Dining Room, along with the relaxing and rejuvenating tranquillity of the Sense Spa on the lower ground floor, really do lend themselves to creating a perfectly appointed central London hotel, whatever the occasion.

Rosewood Entrance

Whether you are looking for a spectacular London venue, for a once in a lifetime wedding or event with your family or work colleagues, Steven Pellier Weddings and Events recommend looking no further than Rosewood London.

Rosewood Sign

Rosewood London offer a choice of no less than 12 exquisite rooms, which are ideally located for both society and corporate events, for intimate dinners all the way up to receptions for 555 guests.

 

The Grand Ballroom – Two dramatic sweeping staircases lead from the hotels lobby, to a balcony overlooking The Grand Ballrooms spectacular foyer.  The Grand Ballroom is a luxurious and flexible venue, which can accommodate 450 guests for a reception, 340 guests for a luncheon or dinner and 280 guests for a dinner dance.  The expansive space can also divide into three separate rooms, each with its own entrance.

Rosewood London

The Salons – Five elegantly appointed rooms, which provide flexible breakout spaces and are very close to The Grand Ballroom.

 

The Dining Room – For unique culinary experiences from The Dining Rooms show kitchen, –  a fabulous space to entertain up to 35 of your guests, just off of the hotels Mirror Room.

The Dining Room

The Living Room – Also located just off of the Mirror Room, you will discover The Living Room, where you can hold business meetings, working breakfasts, lunches and dinners for up to 27 guests on three round tables.  A great room that really benefits from natural daylight.

 

The Chairman’s Boardrooms – Rosewood London has three of these boardrooms, individually named Sir George, Sir James and Sir Geoffrey – a kind gesture and nod to the origins of 252 High Holborn, as the names belong to the three Chairman of the Pearl Assurance Company, during the time that the company occupied the now Rosewood London from 1914 – 1989.  The boardrooms are grand, stately styled rooms with original architectural features, preserved French walnut panelled fireplaces and listed Cuban mahogany doors, overlooking High Holborn.  These rooms can each host between 12 – 15 of your guests for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a board meeting.

Chairmans Boardroom

Manor Club – A rarefied retreat on the third storey, the Manor Club is ideal for private functions, enriched with British heritage and refined elegance.

 

To learn more about hosting your meeting or event at Rosewood London, why not contact the Rosewood London meetings and events team on +44 (0) 203 747 8120 or emailing London.events@rosewoodhotels.com

 

For more information or to discuss your wedding or event with Steven Pellier Weddings or Steven Pellier Events, or to see how we can help plan your wedding or event at Rosewood London, or experience wedding or event planning with Steven Pellier in London, throughout the UK or internationally please call the Steven Pellier team on +44 (0)207 760 7553 or send us on email hello@stevenpellier.co.uk

 

Photo Credits: Rosewood London

References: Rosewood London and Historic England

May’s Venue of the Month – Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire

 

Hedsor House Logo

Hedsor House – an award winning wedding and event venue, set in 100 acres of undulating historic parkland in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.  Just a short 45 minutes’ journey by car from London and less than 30 minutes from Heathrow airport.  With a history dating back to 1166 – a regular haunt of regal guests, to Hollywood royalty, and more recently exclusive weddings and events, its no wonder that with her illustrious history, Hedsor House is Vogues dream wedding venue and loved by many both near and far.

Hedsor Today

Originally owned by the de Hedsor family in 1166, the Hedsor estate has had many custodians over the last 800 or so years.  Hedsor House was originally designed by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House with design assistance from King George III and Queen Charlotte, who were captivated by Hedsor’s picturesque position high above the River Thames and in such close proximity to London.  Hedsor House famously became home to Princess Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, King George III mother and founder of Kew Gardens until 1764, when the estate was bought by Lord Boston, who regularly entertained Kings and Queens when they were in residence at nearby Windsor Castle.

 

In 1795 a fire swept through Hedsor House, badly damaging the building.  The building was later demolished and the current house was built, which was completed in 1868.  The house was unusually modelled in an Italian Villa style, with a domed hall rather than a central courtyard.  The domed ceiling is the focal point of Hedsor House to this very day, providing the backdrop to many weddings and events – a perfect location to celebrate and entertain, the very room where Queen Victoria would take tea, when visiting from Windsor Castle.

Historic Hedsor

Today, the Shephard brothers Nick, Mark and Hamish, run the house and estate as a wedding and events exclusive hire venue.  Hedsor House has remained in the Shephard family for four generations and was a wedding gift to their grandparents, Florence and Philip Shephard in 1934 from the brother’s great grandfather Philip Edward Shephard.  They launched Hedsor House as a venue in 2008 and in a few short years, the estate has gone on to achieve outstanding success and many awards.

Front of Hedsor Today

Hedsor House is a wonderful wedding and event venue, which is licensed for indoor wedding ceremonies in no less than 5 glorious rooms, hosting up to 150 guests (sit down) or up to 250 evening guests.  Marquee options are also available through the Hedsor House preferred marquee suppliers, where you can entertain up to 1000 of your guests in beautiful surroundings.

The Ballroom Today

With live music and fireworks permitted, a church only 300m from the House, a 100 acres of parkland as well as being in close proximity to London, Hedsor House is a fabulous venue to celebrate and entertain in, with her 10 generously proportioned bedrooms, which provide a perfect blend of period style and modern facilities, Hedsor can also become your home away from home for you and several of you guests.

Bridal Bedroom Today

To discuss your requirements with the Hedsor House team call +44 (0)1628 819050 or email info@hedsor.com

For more information or to discuss your wedding or event with Steven Pellier Weddings or Steven Pellier Events, or to see how we can help plan your wedding or event at Hedsor House, or experience wedding or event planning with Steven Pellier in London, throughout the UK or internationally please call the Steven Pellier team on +44 (0)207 760 7553 or send us on email hello@stevenpellier.co.uk

 

Photo Credits: Hedsor House, Steven Pellier & Unknown

March Venue of the month – Claridge’s Hotel, London

Claridge's Logo

Claridge’s hotel, the jewel in the crown of London hotels for the worlds rich, famous and royal.  From very humble beginnings to becoming one of the most synonymous hotel icons of the world, let Steven Pellier your London wedding & event planner, take you on a journey of Claridge’s humble beginnings, through her history and what you can expect from the icon today.

 

It all began 205 years ago in 1812, when Lord William Beauclerk applied to Lord Grosvenor to turn number 51 Brook Street W1 (a small townhouse) into a hotel, to be run by a Mr James Mivart.  Lord Grosvenor denied the application, stating that there were already 2 hotels operating on Brook Street and no more were to be allowed.  Lord Beauclerk appealed to Lord Grosvenor, stating that he knew Mr Mivart well and that 51 was to his knowledge, already being used as a hotel.  Lord Beauclerk also informed Lord Grosvenor, that he planned to acquire 43 Brook Street the then Kirkham’s hotel and fashion it into his own private residence, thus meaning that there would once again, only be 2 hotels on Brook Street.  Lord Grosvenor had a change of heart with this new information and the application was approved, although strong objection came from the owners of the Kirkham hotel and number 49 Brook Street the then Coulson’s Hotel, the following year in 1813 – Mr Mivart defeated the opposition and won his case, by stating that he had neither a coffee room, club room or accommodation for business of a public description and that he did not let his rooms by the night as a hotel would, but by the month only, he was therefore, not a hotel but a private and distinct lodging house.  Mivart’s Hotel survived and with James’ ambitious business plans, he proceeded over the following years to buy the 5 adjoining townhouses, with number 53 being by far the largest and subsequently now owned all of the properties down to the corner of Brook Street with Davies Street, as well as 48 Davies Street which came with the bonus of extensive stabling.  Mivart’s soon gained a great reputation in royal courts and was named 1 of only 3 hotels in London, as ‘the place to stay’.

 

Many years later in 1853 to be precise, a retired Butler and housekeeper by the name of William and Marianne Claridge who had been running a small private hotel on Grosvenor Street, acquired no 49 Brook Street the then Coulson’s Hotel, and almost immediately acquired Mivart’s in 1854 also on James Mivart’s retirement, James unfortunately died later that year.  Mr and Mrs Claridge set about incorporating number 49 into the other five buildings and in 1856 after a refurbishment, the hotel reopened with the new name Claridge’s, Late Mivart’s Hotel.

 

In 1860 with Claridge’s reputation growing further and further afield, the hotel was graced with a visit from Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, to take tea with Empress Eugenie of France who was visiting London.  This royal approval soon catapulted the hotels fame further and Claridge’s became a home from home for the worlds heads of state and royalty.  21 years later, following William Claridge’s failing health the Claridge family had to sell the hotel and it was bought by a consortium who tried to manage it the best that they could, but without William and Marianne’s sparkle and flair at the helm of the operation, they failed miserably and in 1893 when the hotel was no longer turning a profit, it was bought by the owner of the recently opened Savoy Hotel, Richard D’Oyly Carte.  Mr D’Oyly Carte promptly closed Claridge’s, realising that it needed huge improvements structurally, in order to compete with the new fashionable hotels springing up all over London and hired the architect later famed for the architectural re-design of Harrods, – CW Stephens who knocked the majority of the six buildings down and rebuilt the hotel from the foundations up, leaving her looking pretty much as we see her from the outside today.  After four years of building, the hotel reopened in 1898, with electricity and working lifts to all floors, under the new name Claridge’s.  It is reported today, that Claridge’s has the oldest working lift in London and possibly the UK, installed by Otis in 1896 and still attendant operated which is wonderful in 2017.

Historical Claridge's

 

Claridge’s reputation was finally restored and the proceeding years saw an abundance of regular guests as well as welcoming many new guests, with the changing of the times – the ‘20s saw flappers and bobs and the Ballroom rung out with music of Gershwin, jazz bands and the Charleston.  1929 welcomed 80 new bedrooms, a new ballroom and Oliver Milne the pioneer of the art deco movement, remodelled The Lobby where much of the decoration and work of Basil Ionides as well as a Lalique door panel, can still be seen today.  WWII witnessed Claridge’s become a refuge for many exiled heads of states and royal families.  The Kings of Greece, Norway and Yugoslavia remained throughout and in 1945, a special request from Prime Minister Winston Churchill was carried out, when suite 212 was declared Yugoslavian Soil, in order for crown Prince Alexander II to be born on his own countries soil.  Later Winston and Clementine Churchill stayed at the hotel, following Mr Churchill’s election defeat.

The Foyer

As happens over the generations, 1950 saw a new wave of Claridge’s devotees, when the stars of Hollywood come calling – Spencer Tracy famously proclaimed that he wanted to come to Claridge’s, rather than go to heaven when he dies.  In 1970 Claridge’s starts a long running relationship with the fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg, who landed her first interior design project with the hotel, other guests during this time included Aristotle and Jackie Onassis as well as frequent visits from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who had a favourite table in the restaurant, dressed daily with her favourite flowers – Sweet Peas.  The momentum of Claridge’s fandom, shows no signs of slowing.

 

With the hotels owners constantly striving for refinement of the hotel, 1996 welcomes a restoration, led by designer Thierry Despont – Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s is unveiled, along with a new Foyer, The Reading Room and The Fumoir.  In 1998 after 105 years of ownership, Claridge’s bid farewell to the D’Oyly Carte family, who sell the hotel to American equity fund Blackstone and Colony Capital.  In 1999, David Collins is tasked with bringing the Causerie into the new Millennium, whilst still keeping a firm hand on the last one and Claridge’s Bar is born.

 

2004 sees the sale of Claridge’s to Derek Quinlin and his company’s majority owned investment group, Coroin Limited.  They also buy The Savoy and Claridge’s now sister hotels The Connaught and The Berkley, although The Savoy is later sold off.  The early 2000’s see the hotel awash with a new breed of trend setting followers, including the model Kate Moss who celebrated her 30th birthday at the hotel.  Diane Von Furstenberg also launches 20 newly designed rooms and suites, which she had initially remodelled and designed in the ‘70s and the hotel groups ownership company changes name to the Maybourne Hotel Group in 2005.

Current Claridge's

David Linley, a long time friend of Claridge’s completes his work on the 25 Linley Suites and David Downton continues as Claridge’s first fashion artist in residence.  Fast forward to the year 2014 and Claridge’s welcomes another refinement in the guise of Fera at Claridge’s, under the tutelage of Simon Rogan with a new restaurant designed by Guy Oliver, to reflect Rogan’s natural style and to celebrate Claridge’s Art Deco design history.  In May 2015, Qatar’s Constellation Hotel Group gained majority ownership of Maybourne Hotel Group and Claridge’s continues to go from strength to strength, with new expansion and development plans recently being submitted to the council for approval, which all look incredibly exciting for the next instalment of the hotels wonderful history for the owners, staff and Claridge’s loyal, returning and future guests to enjoy.

 

As a wedding and event planner in London, throughout the UK and internationally, I very rarely give an opinion on my personal favourite venues, however, if I may remove my London wedding planner hat just for a moment – I can quite honestly say that Claridge’s means a great deal to me, reminding me of my exciting monthly trips to the hotel with my Grandparents whilst growing up and now I get the opportunity to continue to enjoy the surroundings of the hotel, whether meeting clients, designing weddings or events or simply having a few drinks with friends and loved ones.  Each and every occasion that I cross the threshold into the hotel, I quite honestly feel like I have returned home – with my London wedding and event planner hat back on however, what does Claridge’s offer in terms of weddings and events in the present day.

 

Claridge’s have no less than six function rooms, all impeccably designed for modern day entertaining and business pursuits.

 

The Ballroom – With its exclusive and private entrance on Brook Street, step inside the imposing reception with Ballroom beyond.  Steeped in history and adorned with marble, hand engraved and platinum leaf mirrors, expertly designed by Guy Oliver and reminiscent of its former art deco glamour, echoing the original décor of the late 1920’s.  Enjoy hosting a reception for 450 guests or a dinner for 250 guests.

Claridge's Ballroom

The French Salon – With original Art Deco features such as ironwork tassels by Basil Ionides and winged renaissance style cherubs above the doors, resplendent in classical style with an original marble mantelpiece, the French Salon renovated with fine fabrics of luxuriant blues can accommodate 120 guests for a reception, or 100 guests for dinner and can also be used with the Drawing Room
French Salon

The Drawing Room – A graceful, wonderfully light and well proportioned room, with 18th century elegance, an open fireplace and watched over by a portrait of a lady in blue, the Drawing room can accommodate 120 guests for a reception or 100 guests for dinner and can also be used as above, in conjunction with the French Salon.

The Drawing Room

On the sixth floor Claridge’s offers four further function rooms, The Boardroom, The Kensington Room, The Clarence and The St James Room, varying in size to accommodate between 12 – 44 for dinner or 25 – 70 for a reception.  All of the stunning rooms on the sixth floor offer beautiful views across the London skyline, a personal reception and cloakroom area and natural daylight, as well as all being recently refurbished by David Linley, in Claridge’s signature timeless glamour.

Sixth Floor

To learn more about hosting your meeting or event at Claridge’s, why not contact the Claridge’s meetings and events team on +44 (0) 207 409 6500 or emailing banqueting@claridges.co.uk

For more information or to discuss your wedding or event with Steven Pellier Weddings or Steven Pellier Events, or to see how we can help plan your wedding or event at Claridge’s, or experience wedding or event planning with Steven Pellier in London, throughout the UK or internationally please call the Steven Pellier team on +44 (0)207 760 7553 or send us on email hello@stevenpellier.co.uk

Photo Credits: Claridges Hotel & Steven Pellier

Venues in London

Exciting Venue Visit…

In July, I was invited to join the team at One Whitehall Place & The Royal Horseguards Hotel, by the fabulous Melissa Goldberg in association with Louise Perry Weddings.

 

Having not visited the hotel or adjoining event space at One Whitehall Place before, I was excited & intrigued, so quickly accepted the invitation & couldn’t wait to have a good nose around.

 

As I arrived at the hotel, I was taken through to a gorgeous terrace, an oasis of calm by the river Thames in London however, you really could have been in the middle of the countryside as it was so very peaceful.  Comfortable outside furniture and champagne greeted us, as the three piece band played gently in the background – absolutely idyllic!

 

The events team then took us on a little tour of all of the event spaces, explaining the relationship between the two venues and wowing us with the buildings astonishing history, including the remarkable survival of the building, after slight bomb damage to the staircase only, during the Second World War.

 

The event spaces are located across a couple of floors & are reached by a magnificent oval shaped sweeping marble staircase. Each of the event spaces vary in size, up to a capacity of 300 people in The Gladstone Library, named after the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.  One Whitehall Place was original built & is still used to this day, by the Liberals from all over the UK when they are in London and is decorated in a very traditional way, which gives you the sense that you are in one of the countries great country houses or stately homes.  The different rooms flow beautifully together, so really do lend themselves to all being used for your wedding or event, in a way that could tell your story throughout the day in a logical way, equally however, each of the rooms work just as brilliantly on their own, if that’s how you wish to use the space.

 

We were taken back through to The Royal Horseguards Hotel, via the adjoining foyer.  As we walked across the reception space, you can immediately see that the hotel has been sympathetically and carefully refurbished back to its former Victorian splendour, all the way down to the original floor tiles.  Whilst walking through the hotel, you can really immerse yourself in the history of the building, which used to be the HQ of the Secret Service during the First World War.  The hotel boasts gorgeously appointed bedrooms and suites, a selection of fine dining restaurants, a comfortable lounge & a new cocktail bar, as well as the previously mentioned idyllic terrace, which backs onto Whitehall Park and the River Thames beyond.

 

Our tour concluded on the terrace, where we enjoyed a delectable selection of food & relaxed to the sounds of the band before departing for the evening, excited for the next opportunity we would have to visit again.

 

If you would like to arrange a visit to One Whitehall Place & The Royal Horseguards Hotel, or to discuss wedding planning with Steven Pellier, your wedding planner in London, throughout the UK or in the Algarve, please do not hesitate to contact us today.