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Background[ edit ] The site was originally part of the Manor of Hyde, which was given to William the Conqueror by Geoffrey de Mandeville. Joseph Damer acquired it in the 18th century and a large building was constructed in In the early 19th century it became the Hertford House after it was purchased by Francis Seymour-Conway, the 3rd Marquess of Hertfordand alterations were made to it, inspired by the Villa Farnese of Rome.
The background to the development of the Dorchester Hotel is complicated. Sir Owen Williams was commissioned to design the new hotel, using reinforced concrete to allow the creation of large internal spaces without support pillars, but he abandoned the project in February and was replaced with William Curtis Green.
Percy Morley Horder, consulting architect to Gordon's Hotels, had not been consulted during the design process and, after seeing the plan, resigned from the project, remarking to The Observer that the design was ill-suited for the location, assuming the concrete was to be left unpainted and that the insulation would be minimal.
Some 40, tonnes of earth were excavated to make room for the hotel's extensive basement which is one-third of the size of the hotel above the surface. There were prestigious literary gatherings, including "Foyles Literary Luncheons", an event the hotel still hosts.
Eisenhower took a suite on the first floor now the Eisenhower Suite in after having previously stayed The ritz charlton hotel Claridge's and in made it his headquarters;  Kay Summersbyhis chauffeur and purported mistress, and Roosevelt's representative Averell Harriman also stayed there thanks to its reputation as a safe haven.
In the post-war period, the Dorchester became one of the most popular hotels in London for actors and entertainers, and the banqueting rooms and suites became known for their press conferences and parties.
Queen Elizabeth II attended the Dorchester when she was a princess on the day prior to the announcement of her engagement to the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 10 July The attack was the immediate cause for the Lebanon War.
Inthe hotel closed for two years for a major refurbishment.
In June the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, Prince Jefri Bolkiahwas sued by his former business partners in a case that was settled out of court. To mark the event, the charity ' Trees for Cities ' planted eighty 'future great trees' around the capital. The architectural style adopted by William Curtis Green, largely based on Owen William's design, was a departure from the Neoclassical with its reinforced concrete covered over with terrazzo slabs.
It is eight storeys high aside from the ground floor, with the central bay containing three windows on each floor. Christopher Matthew has stated that he thinks of the Dorchester as a "rather American hotel", not only because of the strong association with American actors such as Elizabeth Taylor, but because the sweeping s facade reminded him of many of those which appeared in American film musicals.
He incorporated aspects of stage design into the hotel interior, and designed the lavish apartments on the 7th and 8th floors. The current dark green staff uniform of The Dorchester was designed in and is also attributed to Ford. All rooms in the hotel either provide views of Hyde Park or of its landscaped terraces.
The Dorchester has five restaurants: Virlogeux, head chef during the Second World War, had to succumb to rationing and a national maximum-price restriction of five shillings for a three-course meal. When refurbished along with other parts of the hotel inthe redesign purposefully retained its s influence.
It is surrounded by a thin white curtain which allows diners at the table to view out into the restaurant but prevents other diners from viewing in. The Grill restaurant, which serves British cuisine, is decorated in a Moorish theme, attributed to King Alfonso 's influence during his time in London in exile in the s.
The ceilings are ornate, featuring gold leaves and brass chandeliers, and the room also features deep red riveted leather chairs and deep red curtains, with a Middle Eastern-looking exotic carpet.
It's nursery food at stupid prices. The tables are set with elegant silver cutlery and crockery, with Corinthian columns made of marble, glittering chandeliersFrench tapestries and potted plants in the background. Hollywood actor Charlton Hestona frequent guest at the hotel, once commented on the aspect of service at the hotel: The choice of tea offered to the guests is diverse, and includes the hotel's own Dorchester Blend.
The service includes a first course consisting of finger sandwiches with sliced cucumbercream cheeseand smoked salmonall served in silver trays, a second course consisting of scones with clotted cream and jam, followed by a pastry tray with a selection of freshly made patisseries.
The restaurant is luxuriously designed, with an art deco lounge bar reminiscent of s Shanghai. As ofthe Dorchester had different wines in stock. A plane treewith its monumental root system, stands at the edge of the hotel in the well-tended front garden. The branches of the tree are fitted with numerous bulbs which makes the night scene of the hotel evocative.
The hotel has continued to be associated with actors, rock stars and people in entertainment. Numerous film actors and people have auditioned, been interviewed or have stayed at the Dorchester over the years, and it is strongly associated with cinema, particularly American film.
From the s onwards the Dorchester was a common rendezvous for film producers, actors and casting agents.
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InGabriel Pascal and David Lean used Pascal's hotel suite as the casting location for the movie Major Barbara ; Deborah Kerrwho auditioned for the film, said of it: This room full of chaps smoking enormous cigars and drinking martinis and this young girl reciting the Lords' Prayer.
John was found drunk at the hotel; writer and co-producer Eric Ambler promptly sent him back to John Davis in a taxi with a board around his neck with the words "Return to John Davis with compliments".
John and Cynthia were unaware of the high profile of the event and attended with a hangover, with Lennon disappointing the crowd which had gathered at the Dorchester who were expecting a speech, simply muttering "Thank you very much, it's been a pleasure".
Cup Finals over the years, and in Leicester City players checked in before playing Tottenham Hotspur.The most comprehensive Asian venue guide / directory for Asian weddings across the UK offering amazing venue ideas.
Booklet distributed at wedding shows. From creative culinary experiences and memorable outings to thoughtful gifts and amenities, the genuine care that our Ladies and Gentlemen show to our guests is at the heart of The Ritz-Carlton experience.
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