Cesar Ritz, the greatest hotelier of his time and perhaps since, saw his dream for a hotel to spoil, to pamper, and to please and to delight his guests come to fruition, again, on May 25, 1906 in the guise of The Ritz London. Hotels on a palatial scale were Cesar Ritz’s forte, with locations in Paris, Madrid, Rome and Budapest, in Boston, Montreal and New York.
Many a grand entrance is made and has been made at The Ritz. The Prince of Wales and Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall, made their first public appearance on 28 January 1999 at The Ritz. Even during the Second World War years dining at The Ritz was an occasion. It was not until 1947 that the hotel received the go-ahead from the government to begin essential renovations of The Ritz London.
Mewès & Davis, at the turn of the century, designed what today is one of the most sumptuous and outstanding interiors in London for fine dining, the Restaurant. Davis designed the grand dining space to enlist one of a fête–celebration, yet calming not only to the eye but to the entire emotional system.
Mewès and Davis took great pains to base their design on authentic sources. Although the original circle of sixteen chandeliers, inspired by a print, Le Festin Royal by Moreau le Jeune, showing a grand party given by the City of Paris for the King and Queen on 21 January 1782 on the occasion of the birth of the Dauphin, were long ago removed, a panelled mirror on the north wall of the room today serves to reflect light from the current twelve elaborate bronze wall-lights and chandeliers connected throughout the room by heavy bronze garlands. Mewès & Davis drew inspiration for the original bronze chandeliers from another print after Augustin de Saint – Aubin, Le Bal Paré that show the sixteen lustres, some small and other elaborately larger, connected by garlands of flowers in gilt bronze.
Architects around the years of 1900 felt serious that a room’s total effect be one of decoration, a badge of honour. Mewès & Davis were men of their time. Davis used marble as rich and varied as in the famous Staircase of the Ambassadors at Versailles. Davis intended for the room sing to the senses with all its opulent glory–a pale veined white, delicate pink and strips of pale green. The pink marble is a Norwegian ‘brèche d’Alep’ and ‘a veined statuary marble’ from Carrara, Italy. Still today stand two magnificent urns of grey marble with gilt-bronze mounts at the south end of the Restaurant.
The great floor-to-ceiling windows face west to Green Park; but, their enormous size in the Restaurant capture and share the breakfast delicate morning natural light. On a fine winter’s day, the sun’s rays, at midday, find refuge against the hard surfaces of the marbles, illuminating their delicate pinks and pale white. The painted ceiling is a marvel of conception and artistry. As the Restaurant is used on a daily basis, the chandeliers and wall-lights remain lit during the day in winter. The evening sees the ambiance and colour scheme of the room change as if by magic as candles are lit and the lights softened. Although hundreds of electric bulbs are enlisted today in the Restaurant, the overall effect is of candlelights, and the look intensified when the chandeliers seen reflected through the many mirrors divided into panes-like windows. A whimsical fairy fantasy of twinkling illuminated dots as performing a ballet across an evening sky.
Celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday
with The Ritz London
The Ritz London will be celebrating its 110th anniversary this year and to mark this special occasion they have created a selection of ‘Best of British’ accommodation packages. The hotel has created a package befitting the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2016. The two-night stay at The Ritz London includes attendance at Her Majesty’s official birthday celebrations in Windsor Castle’s private grounds. Ritz guests may select their preferred date of attendance according to their arrival date. The evening will commence with a black tie, Champagne and canapé reception followed by a three-course gala dinner. This event will feature 900 horses, over 1,500 participants, a fusion of the latest video production, LED effects and theatrical lighting.
This two night stay starts from £4,660 inclusive of Value Added Tax, based on two people sharing, and is available for guests arriving on 11th, 12th or 13th May 2016. Reservations are non-refundable and must be pre-paid and confirmed by 15th April 2016.
The Ritz London Dinner with Opera Evenings and Champagne Dinners have proven to be a great success! The Ritz London will be hosting several private events in 2016.
Dates: Wednesday 24th August 2016
Exclusive Dinner with Opera evenings commence at 7.00pm with a drinks reception and a selection of canapés, followed by a spectacular four-course gourmet dinner created by Executive Chef, John Williams, MBE and served with matching wines selected by Head Sommelier, Giovanni Ferlito. Resident Soprano Miranda Heldt, alongside a Mezzo Soprano and Tenor, will entertain you with a 45 minute opera performance. This performance will be followed by a delicious dessert and tea or coffee served in The Marie Antoinette Suite. Location: The Music Room and The Marie Antoinette Suite at The Ritz London
Price: £295 per person
There is high demand for these events and tickets will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis, so please book now to avoid any disappointment.
To make a reservation please contact our Events Department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0) 20 7300 2331
Performers will be:
Miranda Heldt – Soprano
Julian Collings – Pianist
Kate Symonds – Mezzo
Daniel Joy – Tenor
Miranda Heldt – Soprano
Miranda is a resident artist at The Ritz, performing weekly in the Palm Court and Ritz Restaurant. Miranda gained a postgraduate degree from the Guildhall School of Music with distinction in December 2012. Champagne Dinners offer an opportunity to explore the depth and range of carefully selected Champagnes. A representative of the Champagne House hosts each event and guests can savour some of the finest Champagnes alongside an outstanding four course Escoffier-inspired menu created by Executive Chef, John Williams, MBE.
JULY 30 2016
When César Ritz threw open the doors of The Ritz London hotel in 1906, it immediately attracted a clientele of the rich, the glamorous and royalty – King Edward VII and his mistress Mrs Keppel would dine in the Marie Antoinette suite, and in the following years Charlie Chaplin, Noël Coward and Tallulah Bankhead were regular guests. This year sees the hotel’s 110th anniversary and, following on from sensory celebrations earlier in the year, to mark the occasion it is throwing The Ritz Big British Birthday, an extravagant black tie evening (£350 per guest) of food, champagne, music, singing and dancing on Friday September 23.
The party will take over the five interconnecting rooms in the 18th-century William Kent House to the side of the establishment and start with a Laurent-Perrier champagne and canapé reception, followed by a series of food bars presided over by chefs – including a seafood bar, one for whole suckling pig and others for salmon en croûte and sumptuous beef Wellington.
During this feast, The Wandering Hands will perform a repertoire of energetic songs from the past 60 years, topped off with a one-hour performance by the internationally acclaimed 17-part BBC Big Band orchestra (second picture) – accompanied by in-demand jazz singers Claire Martin and Iain Mackenzie.
Vintage swing band Elle & The Pocket Belles will then step on stage in The Music Room, singing vintage swing and modern-day classics as the best of The Ritz desserts are served – from towers of profiteroles to liquid-nitrogen ice cream.
A truly Ritzy evening.
Friday September 23 2016 at The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London W1 (www.theritzlondon.co.uk). For reservations, email email@example.com or call 020-7300 2331.