Grand Royale London Hyde Park, steeped in Edwardian heritage was built at the turn of the century. History has it that Edward VII commissioned this building, as a private residence for his mistress Lilly Langtry. The renowned French architect Charles Mews was entrusted with the task of designing this magnificent edifice. Mews had then recently completed the London Ritz.
In the early 1900s, this building came to be owned Louis Spitzel by who roped in contemporary architects Mewès and Davis to undertake a unique renovation. These designers had a many noteworthy architectural achievements like The London Ritz, The Royal Automobile Club and 1- Aldwych, under their belts. Mewès and Davis created the lavish and intricate Edwardian interiors and fascia still present today. What was unusual about the renovation was the addition of a private theatre to the existing premises – and this is where the dwelling's history becomes intriguing.
It is rumored that this house was built not just as a love-nest but also a career bolster for Lillie. This snippet however remains undocumented in the chronicles of history. Yet it remains well known that that 1-9 Inverness Terrace was indeed Lillie Langtry's residence. And one may say that, "sometimes hearsay is enough."As Max Arthur, author of Lost Voices of the Edwardians: 1901-1910 in their own words (2006, HarperCollins) comments: "There is often no stronger proof than rumour concerning historical anecdotes and speculation - and often no stronger proof is needed. Gossip and rumour function as strong social tools in most Western cultures; any lack of reliable source material must not be taken as conclusive evidence against any story. Rather, an unexplained gap in knowledge frequently suggests that there is something to hide - and rather than outright denial or contrived cover-up, the official line is to ignore it.
The house became a hotel in 1966 and was reopened after refurbishment in 1972. The house front is of stone in an elaborate Franco-Flemish style which must have made it stand out in an area whose older buildings are predominantly stucco Italianate. The interiors at upper ground and first floor levels are paneled and painted to elicit opulence equal to the most elaborate contemporary work in Mayfair.
The famed highlight of Grand Royale London Hyde Park is its mermerising ornate theatre bar. The jewel in the hotel's crown this celebrated theatre bar is housed in the upper ground floor rear room. It originally consisted of two rooms, the front circular and domed (the auditorium), the second (the stage) rectangular with a proscenium arch between them. Settle in to the Edwardian theatre seats for a quick tipple, and soak in the regal ambience under the lovely Venetian glass chandeliers, while you sit surrounded by the soft red velvets. Let this enthralling experience raise your spirits as you enjoy the finest assortment of spirits served at this bar.
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