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Top row, L-R: The hotel’s wine cellars; the bar of the BBC Club; the drawing room, circa 1909 Bottom row, L-R: Artesian bar; Roux at The Landau; the master bedroom in the Infinity Suite

Lastly, The Langham Club Lounge will also open this month. Inspired by the private clubs of the Victorian era, the space is a private sanctuary, complete with a library, a business zone and a butler’s pantry serving everything from breakfasts, right through to evening canapés. “As the original grand hotel of Europe we have always done things on a grand scale,” Palmer says, with a ‘what can I say?’ shrug of the shoulders. Thinking big is how The Langham, London rolls, and with such a landmark anniversary on the horizon, celebrating the hotel’s heritage is top of the agenda. The latest renovations are part of an ongoing plan that Palmer has been working on ever since he was appointed as managing director in 2004. “First of all I did an historic audit on the building and put forward a plan for how a hotel should work,” he tells me. To make The Langham, London an extension of home he insisted on a new glass door and reconfigured the entrance hall to ensure the arrival experience is the “grand” imposing one guests can expect from such a property. The g-word is his favourite adjective, and one which he applies liberally to the elegant Palm Court, famed for Cherish Finden’s awardwinning afternoon teas, and the striking Artesian bar (voted the world’s best) with its speciality rum cocktails.

Today’s luxury market is arguably more competitive than when The Langham, London first started out. Back then, as an old hotel guide reveals: ‘one thousand pounds of meat [were] cut up daily, while eight hundred pairs of boots [were] cleaned every morning by an army of forty shoeblackers.’ “It’s more like a thousand eggs and hundreds of innovative cocktails now,” Palmer laughs. “Today luxury is about people having their expectations surpassed. It’s not necessarily about just having 350

“It’s an evolution not a revolution when you have to deal with something of such an historic nature” thread-count linen any more – the luxury element comes from bringing a certain style, or an extension of personality. Our maître d’ at the Roux at The Landau worked at the Savoy Grill for 25 years. He has a certain clientele that follows him. It’s not simply about the food; guests are attached to the people too.” It’s a pull that Mr Palmer knows all too well, having been seduced by the cogs of the industry on a family holiday when he was 13 years old. “Coming to the breakfast room with white tablecloths and endless glasses

Profile for Runwild Media Group

Vantage Magazine June 2015  

Welcome to the June edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles and...

Vantage Magazine June 2015  

Welcome to the June edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles and...

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