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PALACE PAPERS

ISSUE 4


All day British dining experience

Join the festivi-tea

Indulge yourself in our Christmas Afternoon Tea, a hand crafted assortment of irresistible festive sandwiches, cakes and scones. Add a little sparkle to the occasion with with our Pink Christmas Gin & Tonic, bottomless prosecco or champagne.

To book visit strandpalacehotel.co.uk/haxells


}THE PALACE PAPERS } Welcome to Issue 4 of The Palace Papers

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elcome to the fourth edition of The Palace Papers, where we hope you will enjoy reading about all that is happening within the hotel. We are delighted to bring you the very best the capital has to offer this festive season, including musicals, exhibitions and much more. Our last edition was very well received by our guests, and we hope that this new festive issue will give you fresh insight. David MacRae

David MacRae Managing Director

A warm welcome from the Strand Palace team

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elcome to Strand Palace from all of the team! We love the festive season in the capital, and of course welcoming guests from all over the world to the heart of London. There are a million reasons to look forward to the Christmas period, and we have named a few of our own

below! Not only do we strive to serve London love to our guests, we look forward to all the things associated with the festive season. So whether you are spending time with friends and family, or celebrating in style, the team would like to wish you all the best for the coming months.

DID YOU KNOW: From the 1st December we will be serving our very own Christmas themed Afternoon Tea To book please visit strandpalacehotel.co.uk/afternoon-tea

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY

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Cover Artist: Joshua Ben Monobrow Design

ave the Children’s eighth annual Christmas Jumper Day is taking place on Friday 13th December and the Strand Palace team will be raising money again for this brilliant charity. Last year we raised £183.00 – proof below! We believe that it is important that the whole team takes part in fundraising and has fun while doing so. Since launching in 2012, Christmas Jumper Day has raised a fantastic £21million to help the charity build a better

future for children in the UK and around the world. The Strand Palace team has taken part since 2013 and has raised a total of just over £930 for Save the Children. We ask those who have donned a jumper on the day for a small donation and to strike a pose for the annual picture. The sillier the better! Don’t worry if you feel shy about wearing a jumper, you can still donate. Not sure where to get your Christmas jumper? We suggest visiting NotJust.Shop who are collaborating

with Save the Children and will launch a range of limited-edition tongue-incheek Christmas jumpers to be sold across its site from November 2019. The range will include jumpers paying homage to David Attenborough and Dua Lipa, and cost £40 - with £10 from every sale being donated to Save the Children.

For information on how to get involved and donate visit christmasjumperday.org the palace papers: created by sabadesigns.co.uk printed on recycled paper the palace papers

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


4 WHAT’S ON

 27 October – 26 January The ‘Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits’ exhibition is on at the Royal Academy of Arts  28-31October Get ready for Halloween with appropriately spooky movies at the Rivoli Pop Up Cinema  31 October Marvel at classic cars and bikes at the vintage ‘Park it in the Market’, at Greenwich Market  31 October Sing your heart out at the ‘Rocky Horror Halloween Singalong’, at the Aeronaut

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NOVEMBER C1-2 November Don’t miss the spectacular Fireworks Festival at Alexandra Palace  2 November Get up close to classic and futuristic vehicles at the Regent Street Motor Show I D 2 November Make the most of Bonfire Night with dazzling views of the Thames at the Battersea Park Fireworks E 3 November Celebrate Diwali at Trafalgar Square  November – December Christmas is officially on when the Oxford Street Christmas G lights are twinkling!  Early November Join the street party at the Carnaby Street Christmas lights switch-on  8 November – 5 January More seasonal magic at the Southbank Centre Winter Festival  9 November Don’t miss ‘London’s biggest day out: The Lord beautiful ice rink at Somerset Mayor’s Show’ House F 10 -11 November  November – December Look out for events in central Join the festive spirit at the London commemorating Regent Street Christmas Remembrance Day lights switch-on  9) 12 November – 3 May  15–24 November The Steve McQueen ‘Year The EFG London Jazz Three’ exhibition opens at Festival is on, at various Tate Britain venues across the city  13 November – 12  16 November – 26 January January Skate on London’s most Get festive Harry Potter-style, the palace papers

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with the ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ Studio Tour  Throughout Autumn Fly to the moon with the ‘Legend of Apollo’ 3D experience, at the Science Museum  20–24 November The ultimate foodie experience awaits at the ‘Eat & Drink Festival Christmas’, at Olympia G 21 November – 5

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4

Artist: Marianna Madriz

OCTOBER  3-6 October Discover the world’s most exciting artists at Frieze London art fair, at Regent’s Park  4 October The Vegan Oktoberfest is on at Greenwich Market  4-13 October London Cocktail Week is on at various locations across London  5 October Join the iconic 10k run at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park  6 October – 3 November Don’t miss the NFL London Games, at Wembley and Tottenham Spur Stadium  7 October – 26 January The ‘Gauguin Portraits’ exhibition is on at the National Gallery  Until 13 October The ‘Leonardo da Vinci: A life in Drawing’ exhibition is open at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace  13 October Run through the greener side of London with the Royal Parks Half Marathon  17-18 October The London Bierfest is on at Old Billingsgate Market  17-27 October The London Literature Festival is on at Southbank Centre  18-20 October Food lovers can explore the best of Italian food & beverage at ‘Welcome Italia’, at the Royal Horticultural Halls  19 October Visit the London Festival of Wine at the magnificent One Great George Street in the heart of Westminster  Until 20 October ‘The BP Portrait Award’ exhibition is on at the National Portrait Gallery  Until 20 October The ‘Food: Bigger than the Plate’ exhibition is on at the V&A  24-26 October The ‘Halloween Oktoberfest Special’ is on at Olympia B26-31 October Take a spooky ride across London with the Ghost Bus Tours  Until 27 October The Takis exhibition is on at Tate Modern


WHAT’S ON 5

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STRANDED

Moon’ installation at the Natural History Museum  7 December Spend a fun-filled day at ‘The Great Christmas Pudding Race’ in Covent Garden  On selected Sundays Take a wonderfully Dickensian Walk across London, organised by the Charles Dickens Museum Tennis’ at Royal Albert Hall So much to do, so little time...  12, 13, 20 December  29 November – Take a Greeting Card 1 December Masterclass at the British Celebrate Japanese culture Library at the ‘Hyper Japan’ winter  20-21 December market, at Olympia Prepare for a glamorous affair at the ‘All About Gatsby DECEMBER Christmas’ party at The  Throughout London Cabaret Club C December  23 December The William Blake Join the celebrations at the exhibition is on at Tate ‘Festive Family Carols by Britain Candlelight’ at St Martin in I 4 December the Fields Get your glam on for ‘The  24 December First Nowell: A Christmas Enjoy a magical Christmas Gala Evening’ at St Martin K Eve with a glass of in the Fields Champagne and breath 4, 11 & 18 December Enjoy the festive atmosphere taking views at the Shard  25 December and delicious food at the Attend the Christmas Day Greenwich Christmas Late service at the magnificent St Market Paul’s Cathedral  6 December L25 December Book a wreath-making Watch the legendary workshop by Kas & Ros at Christmas Day swimming Tower Bridge race for the Peter Pan Cup at J 5 December J Don’t miss the Christmas Tree Hyde Park lighting ceremony at the heart  25 December H of London, Trafalgar Square Book a Cruise on the Thames with a 4-course K throughout the traditional Christmas lunch festive season  Throughout December Grab some warm mulled Enjoy a family day out at the wine and get ready for festively transformed ZSL Christmas carolling at London Zoo Trafalgar Square  Throughout  11-13 December Get in the festive mood with December Cosy up with a blanket and classic Christmas movies at the Rivoli Christmas Pop Up a cup of hot chocolate at the Pergola Paddington Central Cinema rooftop, reinvented for the Accelerating the Modern  14 December January season World’ opens at the V&A Enjoy lovely wintry scenes Discover countless H28 November – with a guided walk through  Throughout Christmas markets, festive December 22 April Highgate Wood bars and snowy grottos Walk through glittering The exhibition ‘Food  Throughout at London’s epic Winter trees and glowing flowers, Glorious Food: Dinner December Wonderland, in Hyde Park with ‘Christmas at Kew with Dickens’ opens at the Explore the twinkling  throughout the Gardens’ Charles Dickens Museum wooden cabins along the festive season  28 November – 1 Thames at ‘Christmas by the M31 December The Alfred Hitchcock Get ready for the most December River’, London Bridge City London Walk with spectacular New Year’s Watch tennis legends Martina  Throughout Sandra Shevey Eve Fireworks at Thames Hingis, David Ferrer and December  Opens 23 November Riverside others at the ‘Champions Visit the ‘Museum of the The exhibition ‘Cars,

in London?

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Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


6 HAXELLS RESTAURANT & BAR

HOME COMFORTS

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Settle in at Strand Palace

he season for indulgence is upon us! This festive period, treat yourself to a solid night’s sleep followed by your choice of breakfast from our enticing a la carte menu to start your day off right. Our deluxe rooms are like a home away from home, each fitted with a sumptuous Hypnos bed so you can rest easy away from the crowds after a long day’s struggle through that Christmas shopping list. Haxells Restaurant and Bar serves a range of hearty British classics throughout the day, from beer-battered fish and chips to beef wellington. Enjoy dishes such as our superfood salad, or if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, top it off with a belter of a Knickerbocker Glory. What’s more, our new menu features a selection of festive dishes to really help get you in the yuletide spirit. To book, email us at Haxells@strandpalacehotel.co.uk. If you have any allergies or food intolerances, please let our team know about your requirements and we will be more than happy to accommodate. FUN FACT: According to the UN there are 196 countries in the world. Guests from 80 of those countries visit Strand Palace each year – a number we are rather proud of. With our staff speaking over 40 languages between them, there is a reason so many customers become regular visitors. You will feel at home right away.

the palace papers

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


HAXELLS RESTAURANT & BAR 7

the palace papers

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


8 SHOPPING

MEET THETIME EXPERT PLAY with Benjamin Pollocks Toy Shop

f you love art, folly or the bright ‘ Ieyes of children, speed to Pollock’s’ wrote renowned author Robert Louis Stevenson. One of the oldest toyshops in London, Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop has been delighting customers young and old for 130 years. Its story began in a dark and dusty building in 19th century Hoxton, when Mr Pollock married Eliza Reddington who inherited her father’s Theatrical Print Warehouse in 1877. In 1980 the shop then moved from Monmouth Street to the very heart of theatreland, becoming one of the first shops to open in the newly renovated Covent Garden Piazza. Over the course of its colourful history, Pollock’s Toyshop has stayed true to its original aesthetic and continues to specialise in Victorian toy theatres, selling originals and reproductions from around the world as well as a selected array of traditional toys. Today the shop also produces its own celebrated range of theatres and paper models designed by contemporary artists - often found on display at the Royal Opera House, Liberty, and Fortnum & Mason. With past patrons including Charlie Chaplin and Joanna Lumley, Pollock’s Toyshop withstands the test of time and proves there is a child in us all! www.pollocks-coventgarden.co.uk

ETTINGER Bridle Hide rectangular key fob in British racing green £50.00 www.ettinger.co.uk

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE GIFT SHOP Cocktail Set, including Shaker, Book, Pineapple Ice Bucket, Ice Tongs and Brass Jigger. Can be bought individually or as a set £128.99 www.shop.roh.org.uk

ATELIER COLOGNE Café Tuberosa, a floral fragrance for women and men £170 for 200ml(with a free 30ml) www.atelier cologne.com

BENJAMIN POLLOCK'S TOYSHOP Pop-up card of the famous Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop £10 www.pollocks-coventgarden.co.uk

PETER HARRINGTON A First Edition of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol £4,500 www.peter harrington.co.uk

FUN FACT: The history of Londoners’ love of playtime can also be traced to the Strand. In 1830 the famous Lowther Arcade was built on the site now occupied by Coutts Bank. With glass domes and pilaster walls, this grand construction was lined with toyshops, ‘like a perpetual fair under cover’. the palace papers

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


SHOPPING 9

TINKER TAILOR London Christmas decorations at Fortnum & Mason £18-£25 www.fortnum andmason.com

THE BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE The Strand Palace team have shopping on their minds...

BATES GENTLEMEN'S HATTER Black Mottle Woollen Herringbone Gatsby Cap £95.00 www.bates-hats.com

ROSEHEART JEWELLERS

Chrysophrase drop earrings, sterling silver with gold accents. Chrysophrase helps with relationships, promoting trust and security. Physically it purifies and detoxifies £375 www.roseheart jewels.co.uk

JAMES SMITH & SONS UMBRELLAS The Lulu Guinness Birdcage £34.95 www.james-smith.co.uk

GEE RICCI R2 blue shirt with all over flower print £95.00 www.geericci.online

STANFORDS 18th century sundial and compass £42.99 www.stanfords.co.uk

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Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


10 CHRISTMAS INVENTIONS

WHAT THE

DICKENS

Mick O'Hare puts the great author’s Christmas credentials to the test

Artist: Joshua Ben

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now is falling outside, there’s holly above the door, turkey in the oven, mulled wine warming on the stove and it’s time indeed for goodwill to all men. It can only be… well, how many seasonal clichés can you stand? We are talking Christmas, the essence of a Victorian Yuletide, and the timeless traditions passed down the generations. Timeless? Well, maybe not. Our festive traditions may seem abiding but many insist that they were largely codified by one man, and that he is solely responsible for the way we celebrate Christmas today. I’m talking about the same chap who brought us the Artful Dodger and Uriah Heep. It is, of course, Covent Garden habitué, Charles Dickens. Does this assertion stand up? Well, what movie will soon be on TV in every nation of the Englishspeaking world and beyond? A Christmas Carol, natch; Dickens’s perennial tale of human redemption, complete with Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Marley's ghost, a huge turkey and blind man’s buff (a game more innocent than its name might suggest). You could argue that this is how we know what Christmas looks like. Did such a thing even exist before A Christmas Carol was written in 1843? The unwitting have suggested that it did not, that Dickens himself created the rituals we celebrate decades later. So can one man, however astute his social commentary – operating, lest we forget, in the twilight world long before Instagram influencers – really have shaped in just one novel the ‘traditions’ that endure today? The Dan Stevens-starring The Man Who Invented Christmas, released in 2017, rather suggests Dickens did. But – and let’s be brutally Scrooge-like here – he didn’t. End of. For this you might imagine the author would be eternally thankful, because who wants to be held responsible for the over boiled Brussels sprout? The University of Santa Cruz’s Dickens Project is adamant. Dickens did not “even in the figurative sense” invent Christmas, while the late David Parker, former curator of the Dickens House Museum in Bloomsbury and arguably the world’s foremost Dickens scholar, wrote that the author reinvigorated the holiday with “deep emotional charge”, but added that he did not formulate how we celebrate it today. So, what the Dickens (oh dear!) is the cause for confusion? Well, A Christmas Carol was hugely popular at a time when the urban poor, although keen on the notion of Christmas, had little means to celebrate it. In fact the book was intended as a piece of social commentary on the aching poverty of the working class and the relationship between rich

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CHRISTMAS INVENTIONS 11

ONE LAST DICKENSIAN HOMAGE While you are in Covent Garden pop round the corner to Goodwin’s Court, just off St Martin’s Lane. Those bowed, ornate windows are genuine, possibly dating from 1690 but more likely the following century. Once they were shop fronts, the type which existed throughout London up to the time when A Christmas Carol was being written. They are often used in Dickensian and other period dramas on TV. And Harry Potter turned up here too, the court providing inspiration for an alley in one of the movies. Of more salacious interest, Nell Gwynne might once have been a resident…

the palace papers

capitalists and those they employed. Yet beyond the political, the book revitalised lapsed traditions, even though these existed well before its publication. So it’s fair to argue Dickens was somewhat responsible for their revival, so much so that by 1921, literary scholar V. H. Allemandy was writing, “Dickens, it may truly be said, is Christmas.” Even earlier, in 1903, Dickens scholar F. G. Kitton had published “The Man Who ‘Invented’ Christmas” (hence the titular movie). But the truth is slightly different. In the early 19th century Christmas was still popular with the working class (mainly because it was one of the few public holidays), although many couldn’t afford all the trimmings. The gentry, who in the past hosted feasts celebrating Christmas for the entire community, had lost their sense of patriarchal duty. Society had evolved, becoming less communal and more urban. And because the wealthier classes no longer sponsored Christmas they rarely observed it. The popularity of A Christmas Carol changed that: if the season could be celebrated through great literature maybe they should make more of it. And so inspired, the middle and upper classes resuscitated certain moribund customs. With apologies to the great figures of Victorian literature, consider all those posh grown-ups who hosted Harry Potter parties. It’s much the same thing. Dickens fans might be disappointed, but take heart – there’s still evidence A Christmas Carol was responsible for some traditions we hold dear. Acts of charity over Yuletide apparently became very popular and, although December snow is rare in the UK these days, we associate it with Christmas through the book. Dickens lived through eight unusually cold childhood winters, hence the ubiquitous snow. However, other things Dickens associated with Christmas are no longer recognised; quite the contrary. He wrote of death, human failure, ghosts and goblins! If he’d really invented Christmas, we’d be swapping our baubles for nasty mythological critters. But goblins, thankfully, never made the cut. So perhaps confirmation bias is at work here – we’ve taken the parts we like, and discarded the rest. Even so, it’s fair to say A Christmas Carol did alter behaviours. After its publication employers were desperate not to appear like Scrooge,The Illustrated London News noting the change in attitude: “Charles Dickens, thou earned true glory. May the torch of Christmas again impart good tidings.” Oh, and sales of turkey skyrocketed! The book arrived at the right time, perhaps the real mark of a great social observer. And so synonymous with Christmas had Dickens become that when he died, a Covent Garden barrow girl was reputed to have said: “Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die, too?” And it’s not only sprouts that Dickens might be happy to disown as there are many other ‘traditions’ that can spoil a good Yuletide: Christmas pudding and Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine among them. Don’t worry Charles, you’re off the hook.

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


12 STAGE VIEW

WHAT'S ON

STAGE... Strand Palace sets the scene... MUSICAL  Until 19 October ‘Fame’ at The Peacock Theatre  23 October – 29 March ‘Mary Poppins’ at Prince Edward Theatre  Until 2 November ‘Fiddler on the Roof ’ at Playhouse Theatre  2 November – 28 March ‘& Juliet’ at Shaftesbury Theatre  Booking until

3 December ‘The Book of Mormon’ at Prince of Wales Theatre  21 – 23 December ‘Elf, A Christmas Spectacular’ at the SSE Arena, Embley  Booking until 4 January ‘Waitress’ at the Adelphi Theatre  Booking until 25 January ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ at the Apollo

Artist: Marianna Madriz

DANCE  2 October ‘The Beauty of Tchaikovsky’ music and dance at the Royal Albert Hall  2 October – 6 November ‘Manon’ ballet at Royal Opera House  Until 5 October ‘REDD’ dance theatre by Boy Blue at the Barbican  8 & 9 October Gisèle Vienne: ‘Crowd’ at Sadler’s Wells  8 – 27 October ‘Dance Umbrella’ international dance festival across London  17 – 19 October ‘Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero’ at the Barbican  22-26 October Natalia Osipova: ‘Pure Dance’ at Sadler’s Wells  7 November – 16 January ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ ballet at Royal Opera House  28 November – 7 January ‘Coppélia’ ballet at Royal Opera House  11 December – 5 January ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet at the Coliseum  17-24 December Luca Silvestrini’s Protein: ‘The Little Prince’ at The Place  28 – 31 December ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet at the Royal Albert Hall

MUSIC & FESTIVALS  10 October Alice Cooper at the O2  5 – 13 October Darbar Festival at the Barbican  15&16 October Ariana Grande at the O2  20&21 October Cher at the O2  26 October KISS Haunted House Party at the SSE Arena, Wembley  28 October Julio Iglesias at Royal Albert Hall  30 October Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble at the Barbican  31 October Happy Mondays at the the palace papers

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STAGE VIEW 13

CLASSICAL MUSIC  Until 10 October ‘Don Giovanni’ at Royal Opera House  Until 11 October ‘Agrippina’ at Royal Opera House  12 October ‘Verdi’s Requiem’ at Royal Festival Hall  12 October ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Candlelight’ at St Martin in the Field  14 October – 2 November ‘Don Pasquale’ at Royal Opera House  26 October ‘Carmina Burana’ at the Royal Albert Hall  31 October

‘Daniil Trifonov: Scriabin, Beethoven, Prokofiev’ at Royal Festival Hall  31 October ‘Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony’ by the LSO, at the Barbican  1 – 27 November ‘The Magic Flute’ at Royal Opera House  17 December – 23 March ‘La Traviata’ at Royal Opera House  Until 19 November ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ at the Coliseum  28 December ‘Beethoven’s Ninth’ at the Barbican  31 December ‘Viennese New Year’s Eve Gala’ at the Barbican THEATRE  Until 5 October ‘A Very Expensive Poison’ at the Old Vic  5 October – 23 November ‘Vassa’ at Almeida Theatre  10 October – 2 November ‘Solaris’ at Lyric Hammersmith  Until 12 October ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ at Shakespeare’s Globe  14 – 19 October ‘Red Velvet’ at the Barbican  15 October – 18 December ‘Translations’ at Olivier Theatre  21 October – 23 November ‘The Antipodes’ at Dorfman Theatre  Until 26 October ‘Two Ladies’ at Bridge Theatre  29 October – 4 April ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ at Noël Coward Theatre  Until 2 November ‘Our Lady of Kibeho’ at Stratford East Theatre  9 November - 2 February The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe’ at Bridge Theatre  28 November – 18 January ‘Fairview’ at the Young Vic  3 December – 25 January ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ at Dorfman Theatre  Throughout the year ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ at London County Hall

Roundhouse  15-24 November EFG London Jazz Festival across the capital  19 November Herbie Hancock at the Barbican  9&10 November Christina Aguilera at the SSE Arena, Wembley  19 November Bjork at the O2  28&29 November Liam Gallagher at the O2  16 December – 1 January Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at the Barbican  21 – 24 December Christmas Carols at the Royal Albert Hall the palace papers

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14 TEAM WORK

STRANDS OF OUR TIME The team share what they are most looking

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forward to this festive season

s this is our version of a ‘Festive Issue', we armed ourselves with special chalk boards and posed our valued staff members one simple question – what are you most looking forward to this festive season? In a heartwarming show of unity, all 50 asked

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(12 pictured here) said they couldn’t wait to spend time with family and loved ones, especially around a hearty Christmas lunch! The people you see here represent the foundations of our hotel, creating the unique experience that makes our guests keep coming back for more.

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


THE PRESENT 15

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH (& TELL)

Covent Garden is home to all sorts of unusual stories and characters. Jeannine Saba, founder of Covent Garden's local magazine The Covent Gardener tells us about some of her highlights as a resident and our neighbour

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nowing that this issue of The Palace Papers would focus on all things ‘festive’, I started to think about the meaning behind the word. To me, the festive season is about community. It is about sharing precious experiences with friends and loved ones. And, after a decade living in Covent Garden, I certainly have a few suggestions of my own that will put you in the festive mood. My number one tip is to book in to the backstage tour at the Royal Opera House, one of Covent Garden’s best-kept secrets. Each tour is completely unique: you’ll get a behind-the-scenes introduction to the technology, wardrobes, and, if you’re lucky, even catch a glimpse of the ballerina’s practising. It lasts 1hr 15mins and is priced from £12. Then if you want to see the best view in Covent Garden you must head to the terrace for a coffee and take some snaps for your nearest and dearest. It’s not possible to take a bad photo up there! Whilst you’re at the Royal Opera House do pass by the gift shop, not to buy a copy of The Covent Gardener which they are now selling (your fabulous hosts at Strand Palace have already provided you with a complimentary copy of the magazine), but to have a look at some

of the most thoughtfully curated gifts in the area. From cocktail shakers and silk scarves to fans and decorated pillows. To refuel, pop back to the Strand Palace for their Festivi-tea, complete with dainty cakes and finger sandwiches, before heading out to the Piazza to see one of the best Christmas trees in London, along with the most talented street performers. Now that’s a community that’ll raise your festive spirits!

COVENT GARDENERS As a boy, British novelist Charles Dickens worked at Warren’s boot blacking factory in Chandos Place. He is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.

Young Dancer opposite the Royal Opera House was built by Enzo Plazzotta, an ItalianBritish sculptor, who spent most of his life in London.

Yoda, the street performer.

More about Covent Garden and the characters who lived here in the complimentary copy of The Covent Gardener in your room. Follow @thecoventgardener or subscribe at www.thecoventgardener.com the palace papers

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


16 RUNNING ROUTE

WALK ON BY A festive ramble, courtesy of Strand Palace DIRECTIONS TO GET YOU STARTED: You’ll cover about 4.4 miles, so depending on your pace this is a gentle hour and half walk.

TOP TIP: Make sure you have comfy shoes on, and take plenty of photos Personal Training If you are interested in Personal Training during your stay, trainers Andy, Mei and Mark are based in our fully equipped gym. For enquiries or to book a session in advance, email mei@purusactivehealth.co.uk. For inspiration on workouts designed to be used in our gym follow them on Instagram @mafitness_e.pt the palace papers

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4

Artist: Michael A Hill

·Exit the hotel entrance and head down the Strand past Charing Cross, towards Admirality gate. · As you walk towards Buckingham Palace, keep St James park on your left · When you arrive at Hyde Park Corner, head into Hyde Park and follow the signs for Winter Wonderland (open from 21st November) · Then head towards Marble Arch (google maps is very useful getting out of the park!) · Head down Bond Street towards New Bond Street (you can’t miss the extravagant lights) · Walk along Maddox Street towards Regent Street. · Head down Regents Street toward Piccadilly Circus. · From Piccadilly Circus, walk down Haymarket towards Pall Mall, and turn left towards Trafalgar Square (the large Christmas tree is your North Star!) · Head towards the Strand, either back to the hotel, or a quick left on Southampton street will take you to Covent Garden!


FUN FACT 17

DID YOU KNOW... Strand Palace takes a ride

Artist: Jeremy Leasor

During the month of December alone, almost 30,000 people visit the hotel – the equivalent to 500 packed London buses... End to end, those buses would stretch for 5 miles down the Strand, all the way to Canary Wharf.

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Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


18 INVENTIONS

YULE NEVER GUESS... Mick O’Hare unwraps some Christmas trivia’ Just to prove that Charles Dickens didn’t “ invent” everything we take for granted at Christmas, here’s a list of stuff that were, as best we know, invented by somebody else. You can look clever over Christmas dinner by casually throwing a few into the conversation.  CHRISTMAS TREES – imported by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert from his native Germany. When the public saw a photo of the royal family sitting around their decorated tree everybody wanted one. They probably wanted a palace too, but pines are eminently more affordable.  CHRISTMAS TURKEY– it was once the preserve of the rich – Henry VIII was supposed to have been the first monarch to eat it at Christmas. But by Dickens’s time, turkeys were replacing geese on the tables of the poor because it gave more meat for your money, although after being walked many miles from its traditional farms in Norfolk to market in London, they were considerably bonier than when they set off.  CHRISTMAS CARDS – invented by civil servant Henry Cole who didn’t have the time (or patience) to write to all his friends over Christmas and so came up with the idea of a short, printed card. Lazy but enduring.  CHRISTMAS CRACKERS – Tom Smith, a confectioner from London, spent years perfecting the perfect ‘bang’, finally getting it right in the mid-1860s.

Artist: Russ Tudor

 EGG NOG – so undrinkable that we suspect nobody cares about its provenance. Consequently its inventor does not deserve to be remembered and although we’d like to blame the Americans, apparently it’s all the fault of the Brits. Sorry. the palace papers

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TEAM WORK 19

DAY IN THE LIFE The Strand Palace is in very safe hands

M

ichelle Ray, PA to Managing Director David MacRae, has been with Strand Palace for 15 years, and what a journey it’s been. Michelle started her career here at reception, and soon worked her way through the food and beverage department, meetings and event planning, and was even at one point our dedicated Christmas

Coordinator! Michelle has worked for David for the last 10 years, and over that time has become well acquainted with some of the hotel’s regulars, from whom she often receives personal thank you notes. Just this past July Michelle won our employee of the month award, a reflection of her hard work and

organisational skills. This new initiative set up by Teresa Chacon offers a prize of £372, open to all hotel employees working at number 372, Strand. However, Michelle hasn’t always been such a natural in the role… One of her first tasks under David was ordering flowers for a guests’ 50th wedding anniversary, but in haste Michelle added ‘with condolences’ to the order. Luckily this unfortunate mistake was caught in time, but not before David had a good chuckle! Michelle’s daily tasks include managing David’s diary and travel arrangements, booking internal meetings, as well as arranging key events for MacMillan, Save the Children and Poppy Appeal. The hotel has raised £5,000 for charity over the years thanks to Michelle’s tireless efforts. This December she will also organise Supplier Evening, where 80 suppliers are invited for a night of festivities and competitions to say thank you from the hotel. Michelle will spend Christmas this year in Birmingham with her husband and cat, but only after the Christmas staff lunch where all managers, including David, typically don aprons and serve dinner to the staff – a wonderfully festive role-reversal we think you’ll agree!

STRAND CROSSWORD Have a go at our teatime puzzler

ACROSS 2 The annoyed station at the end of the Strand 5 Mean character invented by Charles Dickens 6 Stand under this for a Christmas kiss

14 What James Smith sells 15 Country that gives London our Christmas tree 17 This Henry brought us Christmas cards 18 Undrinkable Christmas drink

- blame the Americans 19 Great Victorian novelist 21 Traditional foul at Christmas time 22 Queen Victoria's husband 23 Where the travellers goes for the palace papers

maps and guides DOWN 1 He's at the Apollo in December and likes mince pies 2 Tom Smith brought us these festive treats 3 Remember,

remember the 5th of ... 4 This 'glorious' dessert can be found in Haxells

7 31st October 8 This house has its own ice rink at Christmas time 9 You will find this bird down by the Wharf ! 10 Number of languages our staff speak 11 Special item of clothing to be worn on the 13th December 12 They brighten up our wonderful capital at Christmas time 13 The name of our restaurant and bar 16 A Grande singer at the O2 20 Put on for the Lord Mayor on the 9th November

DO LET US KNOW IF YOU GET STUCK Please ask one of the team here who will be glad to help you...

Festive Season 2019/ issue 4


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrate this festive season with Veuve Clicquot, served daily in Haxells Restaurant & Bar.

Profile for Strand Palace

The Palace Papers - Issue 4 | Strand Palace  

The fourth edition of the Palace Papers shares the hotel's passion for the festive season and everything you should see and do in London.

The Palace Papers - Issue 4 | Strand Palace  

The fourth edition of the Palace Papers shares the hotel's passion for the festive season and everything you should see and do in London.