Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Luxurious London Ritz

Edward VII was painted there. King Alfonso of Spain stayed there. Even James Bond stayed in a sumptuous room overlooking Green Park in the movie, Diamonds are Forever.

Lady Furness famously asked her friend, Wallis Simpson, to take care of the Prince of Wales in the hotel. Wallis took a little too much care of him, to Lady Furness's chagrin!

The Ritz, which opened in 1906, has always been a favourite of royalty and the wealthy. The seven-storey building was designed by the architects, Charles Mewes and Arthur Davis, to resemble a Parisian chateau at the height of the Belle Epoque. It was also the first large building in London to have a steel frame.

Ritz managed the hotel for a long time and placed the famous French chef, Escoffier, in charge of the meals. It must have been wonderful to dine at the Ritz in those days or stay in one of the rooms furnished in Louis XVI style. The beautifully restored rooms have gold leaf mouldings, chandeliers, and marble fireplaces.

If you can't afford to stay at the Ritz, perhaps you can take Afternoon Tea in the gorgeous Palm Court.

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