Two Bespoke Hotels employees have been named on the 2017 Hotel Designs Brit List, which shortlists the 25 most inspirational and influential hoteliers for the year.
Both company Chairman, Robin Sheppard, as well as Mario Ovsenjak, General Manager of the fabulous Hotel Gotham were selected amongst the most influential and inspirational individuals in the hotel industry for the past year.
There’s nothing that evokes old-world England quite like afternoon tea. In the 19th century, and well into the 20th, it united the aristocracy and working classes as the country came to a halt at four o’clock for sandwiches, scones, cakes — and, of course, tea made the old fashioned way. As the old popular song put it, “everything stops for tea”.
Today, we might throw a tea-bag into a cup, but most of us don’t have time to stop for a full afternoon tea. We still love it, though, whenever we have the opportunity indulge ourselves at a tea-room or hotel.
Afternoon Tea in Hotels
If you’re in London, tea at a hotel like Claridges or the Dorchester is a treat everyone no one should deny themselves, but a hotel doesn’t have to be that famous or expensive for the experience to be special. Properties up and down the country offer this service both to guests and non-guests.
If you’re staying there, a traditional tea can make your break extra special. Or, if you’re in the vicinity of the right hotel, you can pop in and enjoy the elegance just as it should be.
Here are just a few of the hotels around the country that offer afternoon tea:
Hallmark Carlisle Hotel — In the heart of the historic city of Carlisle, the Hallmark offers a comprehensive tea menu in the bar or brasserie. It’s popular, though, so you’ll need to book.
Tigerlily — A chic hotel in the centre of Edinburgh, Tigerlily’s celebrated restaurant offers tea either cosily inside or at its pavement tables on George Street in summer.
Hotel Gotham — A listed art-deco building in mid-town Manchester, the Hotel Gotham serves tea at any time between 2.30pm and 6pm.
Inn on the Lake — By contrast, the Lake District’s Inn on the Lake offers stunning views over Ullswater while you take your tea in either the Lake View Lounge or the Orangery.
The Grosvenor Arms — Situated in the picturesque Dorset town of Shaftesbury, the Grosvenor Arms serves tea in its restaurant.
Of course, these are just a handful of the many hotels around the country serving afternoon tea. Whether you’re on holiday or a day out, or whether you’d like to treat yourself close to home, check out your area for hotels to visit.
If modern art is divisive then there are few words for the reaction that modern architecture can inspire because by anyone’s standards, it’s an exciting time for art and design.
Whether you love or hate the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Renzo Piano, post-war the collaborations between form and function have scaled new heights and produced some of the most creative and important structures of the modern age.
They have also inspired generations of people in their field, and as a result the line between art and architecture has become blurred, interior and exterior have become fluid, and surely the result is some of the most thrilling and democratic art around, because whether you are on the outside looking in or the inside looking out, it’s art that we can all interactive with and enjoy.
Nowhere has this become more evident or important than the hotel industry, especially in the boutique hotel sector. As a place defined by standards, service and experience, design has taken precedent as the mood influencer, the holiday inspiration and the purveyor of interesting social media content. After all, few things make for a better Instagram photo than a beautifully orchestrated library, a cantilevered swimming pool overlooking a city or carefully chosen textiles hinting at an offbeat sense of humour.
Perhaps one of the best examples of contemporary design and interesting architecture is the Andersen Boutique Hotel in Copenhagen. Denmark’s capital city is a hub of character, quirks and contemporary intrigue, so it’s fitting that the hotel follows suit.
This boutique hotel is decorated with textiles and wallpapers from the Designers Guild and boldly showcases a vibrant colour scheme. Everything from the lighting to the carefully selected magazines has been choreographed to fit and enhance the urban buzz and inspiring atmosphere that surrounds it.
Meanwhile the likes of our newly opened boutique hotel – Gotham Hotel in Manchester fuse a historic exterior with the sleekest and sexiest of interiors, to prove that really great design is a fluid, evolving, ongoing process that embraces both the past and the future in a way that we can enjoy it in the present.
If you look at it that way, where we are now with modern design isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s an incredibly exciting experience for us all and I can’t help but wonder where it will take us next…
Can you feel it? The buzz, the palpable hum of excitement? I am not hiding my excitement about the opening of Hotel Gotham, Manchester’s newest five star hotel, at all well. But I’m not the only one.
In the weeks preceding the hotel’s opening last month, local and national press have been equally effervescent about it, with its 1930s interiors that have brought the 80 year old building and former bank back to life. Manchester Evening News enthused over the “swanky private members bar”, “stunning views across the city” and the “playful nods to that banking past” with gold ingot toiletry displays and moneybag-style laundry bags.
Much love has also been expressed for the video that’s shown to guests at the Hotel Gotham, which gives Manchester a New York twist. It shows the city’s glamorous side and features landmarks such as the central library, the big wheel and China Town, all epitomizing the hotel’s tagline “Manhattan comes to Manchester”.
Manchester is seeing an increasing number of people visiting for weekend getaways, exploring all the history and culture it has to offer, and as the doors swung open at Hotel Gotham, it can now claim its title as the second five star hotel in the city, although no other can stake a claim to the accolade of ‘Europe’s sexiest hotel’. Perhaps if they too channeled their inner Gatsby then they would get that sensual feeling.
While we have waxed lyrical about the hotel’s history and the narrative surrounding it however, it is the service unlike any other that’s really getting our hearts pumping. Only guests with a reservation either at the hotel or in the restaurant are allowed in because the name of the game here is privacy and luxury.
Rooms range from £150 per night to £1,000 per night for an inner sanctum room, especially good for those with a hidden desire to be Batman and have an utterly clandestine break. On which note, the hotel’s name does come from the comic book antihero’s home town and a nod to his secretive nature comes in the form of bat shaped ‘do not disturb’ signs on the bedroom doors.
Of course there’s more to talk about, and no doubt we will, but for now the anticipation is over and it’s time to celebrate a summer with serious sex appeal…