Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dial C For Claridge's

The merits of insomnia, I took this outside at 5.00am with not a soul in sight.

A pre Christmas shindig is  customary in the B & P household, this year we shrugged over Paris, couldn't bear the hassle of getting to  Stockholm, shrugged again and settled down on the sofa like a couple of flabby middle aged weasels to watch a three part documentary, 'Inside Claridge's'  all about one of my  favourite hotels.
Glances were  soon exchanged,  heads nodded in unison, a hasty phonecall was made and grinning Cheshire cat smiles remained plastered on our faces for the rest of the evening.
We were going to Claridge's
We aren't the only ones, bookings went up by 700 percent after the first episode.
Spencer Tracey famously said, "When I die I don't want to go to heaven, I want to go to Claridge's."
Well I'm not so  sure about Pascal's wager  or  life after death so I'm sticking with the here and now.

"Whilst I live I want to go to Claridge's"






When one passes through the etched silver revolving doors whose past passengers include Winston Churchill, Jackie Onassis and the Kings and Queens of Europe, it is like stepping into  a glistening Art Deco snow globe.  It's not 'Never Never Land' but one that anyone can experience for the price of a cup of coffee and whether you  are a prince of the realm, or a humble street-sweeper, you will be treated royally. 





The Fumoir - it's  Tom Ford's favourite bar in the world and mine too.



Hubs paw - amazed that I turned down champagne but when I spotted a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon there was no stopping me, I've been wanting to taste it for years.




One of the  newly refurbished Linley suites, the refurb was long over due and for once in a grand hotel with so much history it has been sympathetically done.


The Viscount Linley designed  shagreen dressing table was the first dressing table which I have ever sat in front of in a  hotel that that actually fulfilled its function in terms of plug point/mirror symbiosis.




The MaxMara camel hair coat, a thermal vest & two pairs of socks kept me toasty. 
My comfiest boots ever, a 12 year old pair of Ferragamos, enabled the kind of non stop  hoofing
last seen at the Moulin Rouge.







Until next year when I dial C for Claridge's.

85 comments:

  1. That's SO COOL! I'm green with envy. I hope you had fun! The telephone though is probably my favorite picture, outside of seeing your beautiful face and bodacious bod.

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    1. Farrah, I really like that pic too it would look good beside your new typewriter.

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  2. I'm really enjoying the Inside Claridges documentary - and did you actually stay there?! Blimey, I can't quite believe how expensive it all is.

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    1. We stay once a year, my mum and dad got engaged there!
      I love the documentary, isn't the manger a hoot?

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  3. It looks beautiful, Tabs - I don't blame you for giving Paris and Stockholm the cold shoulder and hot-footing it down there! I am also very taken with Hubs solitary paw! A paw of Distinction!

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    1. Sulky I am getting lazier and lazier, I just loathe travelling these days.

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  4. Loved your post and all the photos! What an elegant suite. Have you ever stayed at The Connaught? It is beautiful from the outside and I've always wonderered how it compares to Claridges.

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    1. Shari, it's beautiful, but Claridge's is my personal favourite. I never leave London without a farewell drink in The Fumoir.

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    2. I've never been to Claridge's but loved staying at the Connaught ; for a foreigner, it feels like the acme of British gentle life. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures !

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  5. How utterly fabulous. Thank you for sharing. You know we love to live vicariously.

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    1. Claire - it's only a once a year treat for me too but that's what keeps it special, even if I could afford it I wouldn't live like that everyday.

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  6. Thank you for these frothy photos, I decided this morning I needed to look at something pretty after the heartache that began Friday morning over here. I went to Claridge's in December a few years ago, it was a memorable experience. It was only for tea, but by the time we left I seem to recall I was twice the size of arrival.

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    1. B: that was just heartbreaking.

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  7. HOTEL HAPPINESS Tabs you've made my Sunday! Is that the Antonia I spy on a Linley sofa? Didn't realise you'd actually copped for that shagreen clasp. Just looked up the ingredients for the Claridge's Julep (champagne, calvados and Chambord-ishraspberry cordial - the hotel makes their own "preserve" - with fresh mint). Think that will have to be this Friday's tipple. (And it won't cost me all my "tights" money.)

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    1. Get Fresh - I will now have to order that! Ha! I went out bare legged last night, the things I'll spend my money on!

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    2. Get Fresh - they were amazing, I headed to the train station and realised I had left mum's present in the room, I called the concierge in hysterics - by the time the taxi doubled back a member of staff was standing outside, hand outstretched with gift - I snatched it and still made my train.

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  8. god how I love Winston Churchill, he was such a cutie and so prescient and brave. I love the dude. Your "art deco snowglobe" description is perfecto- that's exactly what it looks like. If only there was a way to step back in time and spy on the past goings-on there, wouldn't that be something.

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    1. Anon: You have made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

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    2. no probs, I'm always good for a giggle. :) [although I was absolooooootely serious about my bonkers love for the little ginger minx(er)]. :)

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  9. this looks amazing!! what a sumptuous place! i'm so happy you had such a great time!

    xox

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  10. sigh......i won't be dialing 'C' anytime soon but glad you did, great escape! and, you look perfectly stunning, exiting in style
    debra

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  11. First off, forgive me for not visiting earlier. Just so busy this time of year, but many things remind me of you! "a couple of flabby middle aged weasels?" I doubt that highly!!!! But Claridge's. I have always wanted to stay there when I come to England, its like lengend. What a great pre-holiday get-out! And you really captured the feeling of the holiday here! When I visit, will you stay with me at Claridges for a" girls night" and pillows fights?

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    1. mistress maddie - oh yes, you'd be right at home there, we'd find a sugar daddy to keep us there all year.

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  12. Hi Tabs,
    I don't think I'd ever get out of the lobby. The tree with the baubles just takes my breath away. I agree that you must frame a photograph of the phone as just looking at it says it all. You look gorgeous at the entrance.
    I tried to get a link to watch the doc online but wasn't able too ... our sons arrive on Thursday and I'll put them on it as Mom is a dinosaur when it comes to that.

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    1. Marsha - get them on it, they are brain boxes, they will figure it out.

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  13. Now I'll be all dreamy-eyed for the rest of the day, thanks Tabitha! How was the Pappy Van Winkle?

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    1. Sue - the Pappy was incredible. I wish I could find a bottle.

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  14. The old grand hotels are a passion of mine and if finances permit, I intend on living in one in the not too distant future. I've never been too keen on Art Deco with all those angles, vivid colors, and shiny metallic stuff which feels too sterile for me to ever get comfortable with but appreciate it's artistic value especially when enhanced by a very attractive and well turned out brunette as exampled above.

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  15. It's so beautiful there, and my parents always stayed there, but for some reason, we always stay at the Connaught. Oh, David just informed that it's quite a bit more pricey. Well, we'll go over for a drink when we come in February. Sounds like you had a great weekend. I'm still reeling from Friday's shooting.

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    1. Kathy - mine got engaged there about 70 years ago.
      The Connaught is lovely, I just adore David Collins' work. I want to come in to money and hire him - pipe dream! So a drink in the bar will do for me.

      Friday - the anguish you are experiencing now, we felt in 1996 after Dunblane. So terribly tragic, all those wasted young lives.

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    2. Yes, but that horrendous event in Dunblane led to a ban on handguns, which seems to have been very effective. Besides my grief at what just happened, is the incredible sense of frustration and anger that I don't believe this collective run of violence in the US will lead to any meaningful change of gun control laws.
      Just so sad.

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  16. "I intend on living in one in the not too distant future" ... Well hello GSL!
    I prefer French Deco and Claridge's deco to the harsh angles too, I don't like too much shiny.

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  17. Hmmm, thanks for this, Tabitha. I have been so sad tonight, somehow Friday's events are hitting me now. It just didn't seem real before. But this was such a good boost. To dream a bit and go elsewhere. And I don't think that I have ever seen your lovely face before. Is that possible? Just a gorgeous as the rest.

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    1. LIP - My face is so chubby now, but I suppose it beats looking gaunt at my age! I don't like appearing in the blog as I'm quite shy and reserved in real life but I liked the pic so i'll leave it for a few days at least.

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    2. Gosh, I can't imagine what you looked like before--you must have been all cheekbones! And it is a lovely pic, you look so happy. Chubby is definitely not a word I would ever have chosen but I know I compare for myself too. Well, I like to think that my thirteen kilos de plus (!) at least smoothes out the wrinkles. ;)

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  18. Off topic - but I used to wear Ferragamo shoes because they were so great looking and very comfortable. I sort of forgot about them, and am wondering why?

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    1. Kathy - my Hermes boots rip my feet to shreds, if I intend on walking about like a normal, non whiny person it has it has to be my ancient Ferragmos.

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  19. Tabs, this has made my day, too! Ironic, since even as I am typing I can hear my husband listening to "London calling". I am taking this as a sign! Added to my list! You look so amazing - great hair and belt wrapping - so chic!

    I am hearing the champagne calling me! And the decorations are divine! Spencer Tracy was one smart chap!

    I am so glad to get a taste of this! Thanks!

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  20. Oh, that does look a wonderful bar!

    I am in love with your MaxMara coat. They used to have an outlet in Palm Springs (they may still), and one August, I came very close to getting one at a fantastic deal, but in an uncharacteristic fit of fiscal responsibility that I blame on the 100+ degree heat, I left the coat on the rack. I blame the heat for my stupidity.

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    1. Merry Wife - I was just about to say - who would ever need a camel coat in the wonderful heat of Palm Springs. I stayed at a great place there a few years back, Einstein used to stay there in winter, it's a private house that has been made into a really intimate hotel.

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  21. Nigella Lawson's twin sister.

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    1. I was just going to say that.

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  22. Absolutely gorgeous post. Makes me want to go there and that almost never happens to me. You look fantastic in the MaxMara coat, like a movie star.

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  23. It looks like a fairyland ! one day ...

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  24. What a tour thanks so much. I have to get to that hotel someday.
    That dressing table is Serious. I'm looking for one for my new bathroom and I can't find anything good.

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  25. After the horror and insanity, this is exactly what I needed. With loving elegance, you have shown us that the world still is civilized, beautiful and, indeed, proper,,,,yes, a sense of decorum helps regain some balance. What a gift you've given to a weary soul. Such a treasure, such a rara avis, I thank you!

    Blessings to all,
    P

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    1. The world will always be civilised in pockets but alas, chaos, violence and vulgarity shall always exist too, so let us find a place.

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  26. Hello Tabitha

    I am delighted for you to have had this perfect break. What luxury and you rightfully deserve it. You look beautiful, as usual.

    Helen xx

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  27. Oh wow! How gorgeous and romantic.

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  28. I'm thrilled the Maxmara coat made another appearance! I would love to visit Claridges one day. Glad you enjoyed your stay!

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  29. Who did the Chrimbo tree this year Tabs?

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    1. That was my first question when I went into the lift, it was their inhouse florist, I loathed the Lanvin one last year, my favourite was Galliano's ethereal silvery blue tree a few years back.

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  30. Gorgeous and you look quite chic on your exit out......what a great break amidst the Christmas chaos! Fun fun fun..happy hoildays!

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  31. i just want to go to claridge's, period! beautiful place and you look terribly glamourous :)

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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  32. That's so nice that your mum & dad got engaged there! I love the fact that a lot of the staff have been there for a long time. Gives the place a lovely feel.

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  33. I am DYING over these pictures - your suite was divine. The combo of Linley furniture and Claridges is a definite match made in heaven. I will have to stop or I'll gush over everything - the Christmas decs, the bar, it's all just perfection. Shall have to check out the documentary. I always wanted to stay at Claridges, however back in the day when I lived in London I was a poor student and could only press my nose to the glass outside and wish. xx

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    1. Heidi - it's a big improvement, I never used to like staying as the rooms were too dark and clunky art deco for me, I always used to stay elsewhere and just head to the Fumoir for drinks but I really like the rooms now, there was some great cabinetry/marquetry work.

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  34. Ooh delicious! Love a fancy hotel to death. And this one seems so, so, um, Tabithesque!

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  35. I love all that history and the heritage interiors are above and beyond!
    Love sipping a beverage in a swanky hotel bar...
    you certainly know how to live Tabitha.
    Happy Holidays
    Hostess

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  36. Very pretty pictures! Checkout my gift guide tomorrow, it's my favorite of them all!
    -Jenn

    A Pop of Style

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  37. Tabitha, the smile on your face says it all - what a wonderful Christmas treat! The hotel looks absolutely breathtaking. Thank you for sharing these photos, they made my day!

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  38. Hope you are having a great time!

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  39. You look beautiful as always and I love your holiday Claridges posts :) The suite looks gorgeous.

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  40. Tabitha you look so elegant and stylish, which matches Claridges to perfection! Have a wonderful Christmas xx

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  41. How gorgeous. One can dream. Last went to Claridges a few years ago for afternoon tea. Wonderful.

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  42. I'm dialling "J" for jealous.

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  43. It looks rather wonderful...you look gorgeous!! xx

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  44. I remembered walking past Claridge's and then just stood outside and gawked at all the glamorous people getting out of their Bentleys and expensive cars. Beyond envious of you at the moment!

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    1. ccc: it was wall to wall famous people last week, we acted non plussed of course.;)

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  45. Thanks for the mini vacation; it did you a world of good by the lovely smile on your face.

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  46. Ahh..the perfect holiday getaway...so festive and so FINE! Great choice in my book! Happy Holidays!

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  47. Very nice property now in the hands of the Barclay brothers who will be good owners. Quinlan Private hadn't the capital to keep it in top condition which, judging from your pictures, it is now in. Against all reason I prefer the clubs. It isn't even snobbery any more but the wrong people are slightly less likely to be present. The greatest rule of any private club is the no talking at breakfast rule that pertains at the Pacific Union.

    Merry Christmas.

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    1. Is it really Michael? Interesting, they own chunks of Sark and the Savoy too I think, yes downstairs has always been wonderful, but I never liked the rooms, not for the price they were, much much better now.

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  48. OMG, so utterly stunning! I am mad for Art Deco and this place is gorgeous! Lucky you!

    On another note: I have a question about boots. I recently purchase a very pricey "investment" pair of boots and I'm wondering how to preserve them and make them last. So, when you mentioned in this post that your boots are 12 years old, I have to ask, how do you take care of them so they last that long?!

    Thanks in advance, I love your post! Hope in Canada

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    1. Anon - nothing, they just lie in the cloakroom all year round.

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  49. Fabulous hotel and fabulous you- how wonderful to see your beautiful face in full. Now we've seen your hubs' legs and his hand we need to see the rest of him! (Gosh that didn't quite come out right...)

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  50. I think The Fumoir could give my favorite, the King Cole Bar, a run for it's money. Of course I'll have to sink into that plush purple banquette and see for myself.

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  51. Simply stunning hotel lucky you I so enjoyed the programme. You so suit this gorgeous hotel

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    1. Inge - did you watch last night? I don't think I'd ever want dinner at Noma.

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  52. you look divine, I want to be there!

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Marquess of Queensbury rules apply.