Friday, May 21, 2010

london: the berkeley, a respectable place for ladies

I love London and I think part of why I love it so much is that we always stay at The Berkeley.  The hotel is extremely stylish, perfectly located, and not too big or too small.  The rooms are spacious and comfortable, the service is superb, the food (especially breakfast) is excellent, and the Blue Bar is always a fun time.
And, it may be the only hotel in London with a private rooftop pool.

The Berkeley's original wood paneling and ornate decorative carvings are still present in the Blue Bar which attracts a chi-chi crowd of famous faces, bespoke suits and sequined mini-dresses.   The bar is named for its color scheme which was conceived by interior designer David Collins (whose work is pretty impressive).  A thick, shiny coat of "Lutyens blue" lacquer covers the carefully preserved antique woodwork.

At the turn of the 19th century, The Berkeley was known as the spot for respectable debutantes.  The restaurant was one of the few places they were allowed to frequent unchaperoned, with dates.  (risque!)  Apparently, parents trusted the hotel to make sure nothing too scandalous happened.  These days, ladies tend to come to The Berkeley in segregated groups for tea and I'm sure the patrons of the Blue Bar today are happy that the hotel staff are not keeping such a close eye on them...

1 comment:

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