A Clefs d’Or (or Golden Keys) Concierge…

SamJ : March 20, 2013 12:54 pm : Hotel News


For those of you that ARE a Clefs d’Or Concierge (and for those that aren’t) and sometimes wonder why you’re doing the job on a really difficult day, this video was produced by and features Thomas Wolf, Chef concierge at The Fairmont, San Francisco. In the words of Les Clefs d’Or Blog, it “truly represents the spirit, passion, and dedication of our concierge profession”.

And just in case you don’t know who this amazing Thomas Wolf is… The Fairmont San Francisco was the first hotel to offer the services of a concierge in the United States.  In the 1970s, Wolfe, who trained as a concierge in Europe, set up a concierge desk in the hotel lobby.  Because most Americans were not familiar with the concept, he placed a note explaining the concierge’s role and the ways in which he could assist travellers in each guest room.  Wolfe later founded the US chapter of the international organization of hotel lobby concierges, Les Clefs d’Or, in 1978.

Wolf explains, “As the first concierge in the United States, mine was a unique vantage point.  Having worked in Europe, I knew what was expected of a great concierge.  I was able to take this revered European tradition and inject with an American’s ‘can do’ spirit.”

An incredibly inspirational man who has a real passion for his career!

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Sofitel Hosts Michelin Star Gourmet Event In London on 21 March 2013

SamJ : February 8, 2013 2:48 pm : Hotel News

Sofitel Luxury Hotels is delighted to announce that its next Stars, Food & Art charity event will take place the first time in London at The Balcon at Sofitel London St James on Thursday 21 March 2013.

Stars, Food & Art combines art with gastronomic excellence and the London event sees four talented chefs participating: Raymond Blanc, Christophe Muller, Michael Moore and Guy Krenzer. Each chef will prepare one dish in this four-course fine-dining charity event which begins with a Champagne reception.

Strategically placed screens in the restaurant will broadcast live video from a webcam in the kitchen, offering a behind the scenes view and Chefs will also meet with diners in the course of the evening.

While special dietary requirements will be catered for, menus will only be revealed on the evening itself.

Raymond Blanc is Chef Patron of two Michelin Star restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. The self-taught French chef has appeared on a number of television shows and was awarded an OBE in recognition of promoting culinary excellence and for raising awareness of the importance of healthy food.

Christophe Muller is Executive chef at three Michelin Star L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, the French restaurant founded by legendary chef Paul Bocuse. French born Muller is known for his precision, speed and innovative methods, and has worked at the temple of classical French cooking since 1994.

English born Michael Moore is one of Australia’s most respected chefs. Renowned across three continents the popular television chef, food consultant and author has a passion for nutrition and food science, making high-end food accessible to both the cook at home and to the discerning restaurant patron.  Michael is currently the chef/owner of Sydney O Bar and Dining, located atop the famous Australia Square building.

Guy Krenzer is Executive Chef and Creative Director at Lenôtre. At 26, Krenzer had already been awarded a medal at the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the Olympics of pastry making, held every four years in Sorbonne. Chef, artist and artisan, Krenzer leads a team of 500 and yet is known for his calm and serenity, perhaps aided through his love of Shiatsu.

The event is being held in aid of The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia – Friends in the UK.The Royal Flying Doctor Service offers primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia, especially those in remote and rural communities.  The Friends in the UK work to raise funds for aircraft replacement.

The spectacular gourmet festival “Stars, Food & Art” combines art with the highest culinary pleasure: Ambitious artistical performances will underline the delicious creations of internationally renowned chefs.

The tickets are £275 + VAT per person and include the menu and 
corresponding wines as well as an exclusive art program.
Reservations must be made in advance by contacting Corinne Cleret (Corinne.cleret@sofitel.com / Tel. +44 (0) 20 7747 2205)

For more information visit www.starsfoodart.com.

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The Dorchester’s Gingerbread House (that was actually a hotel!)

SamJ : December 11, 2012 3:31 pm : Hotel News

What can one say really about The Dorchester’s absolutely incredible gingerbread model of the hotel! It’s an incredible, painstaking feat of engineering and we are now the number one fan of the resident pastry chef (or it must indeed be chefs?) that accomplished this work of art! Congratulations!

P.S. The beautiful pop-up sweet shop in the lobby is an absolutely inspired addition to the hotel for the festive season!

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Athleticizm by Goldie at The Cumberland Hotel

SamJ : July 27, 2012 2:17 pm : Hotel News

The Cumberland Hotel is fast becoming a must-use venue for showcasing contemporary art. The hotel’s foyer perfectly lends itself to a pop-up gallery space, and has already featured a street art exhibition with the likes of Banksy and Shepherd Fairey.

On Friday, the 3rd August, The Athleticizm Exhibition comes to The Cumberland Hotel and runs until Sunday 12th August. Twelve of Britain’s leading Olympic hopefuls have been painted by urban art pioneer Goldie.

The athletes include such household names as Olympic cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton 2009 World Champion triple-jumper Phillips Idowu MBE, Jessica Ennis MBE, three-time World Champion track cyclist Shanaze Reade, leading field athlete and nine-time National Champion Goldie Sayers, and high-jump hopeful Tom Parsons.

Athleticizm brings street art together with the world of sport in a unique way for the first time and the energy and power of these sporting greats is perfectly complimented by the colour, vitality and edge of Goldie’s art.  His skilfully composed street-art style marks and departure from the traditional portrayal of national sporting stars, the exhibition celebrates the new generation of athletic hopes and depicts the ‘rawness of their talent’ says Goldie, ‘in a light in which they are rarely seen.’


Curated by: Eddie Lock and Beautiful Crime, the Athleticizm Exhibition runs from Friday 3rd August – Sunday 12th August. Admission: Free 

For further information please visit
www.guoman.com/athleticizm or www.eddielock.co.uk.


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Reform Social & Grill at The Mandeville Hotel

SamJ : June 1, 2012 10:38 am : Hotel News


The Mandeville Hotel has opened their brand new restaurant and bar ‘Reform Social and Grill’, bringing a British experience to this gorgeous luxury London hotel.

With a dedicated entrance on Mandeville Place, the owners have taken inspiration from classic British gentlemen’s clubs for both the restaurant’s interior design and food and drink menus.

Reform Social and Grill offers an informal yet sophisticated experience with an extensive British-inspired menu. The kitchen is headed up by head chef Jens Folkel, who was previously at Bistro du Vin, with Giovanni Piattoli, formerly of Mark Hix’s Albemarle Restaurant at Browns Hotel, as restaurant manager.

The restaurant serves breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and afternoon tea as well as dinner.  This all day dining menu serves classic British fare using the finest ingredients sourced from around theBritish Isles.

If that isn’t enough to tempt to you, the Reform Social and Grill’s bar serves some of the most interesting bar snacks in London, including Duck faggots with game chips, Crispy lamb bacon with mint jelly, Beef burgers made with Welsh Wagyu beef and Isle of Wight tomatoes on toast.

The cocktail list naturally includes British classics made with some of the finest spirits distilled in theUK from both established brands and up-and-coming artisanal small batch producers.

Reform Social & Grill – Mandeville Place, London W1U 2BE
For bookings: Tel: 020 7224 1624

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InterContinental Park Lane launches two new afternoon teas for 2012

SamJ : April 20, 2012 12:45 pm : Hotel News

Wellington Lounge at InterContinental London Park Lane is marking its official Tea Guild Accreditation with two new afternoon teas for 2012

Created by Executive Chef Paul Bates, Botanical Tea and Royal-Tea join the existing Wellington Lounge Afternoon Tea to create a menu that blends the best of tradition with contemporary twists.

Botanical Afternoon Tea (available from 1 April 2012)

Celebrating the hotel’s location overlooking the iconic Royal Parks, this delicate and whimsical tea mixes citrus, berries, spices, and herbaceous botanicals for a taste of Spring. The sensory awakening begins with a botanical palate cleanser made with Kentish pears and sprinkled with juniper. Four generous open-face sandwiches including guinea fowl in a mustard seed and mayonnaise dressing topped with fried celeriac are followed by warm citrus peel scones served with quince and cardamom preserve, fresh English strawberry jam, and clotted cream. The cakes, created by InterContintental London Park Lane Pastry Chef Luis Meza, are inspired by the colours of the season and include a not-to-be-missed blueberry macaroon.

Botanical Tea is paired with a Champagne cocktail that blends homemade vanilla bean syrup and cardamom bitters with very dry NV Brut Moet & Chandon.  more »

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The Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London Delays Opening Date

SamJ : April 16, 2012 10:25 am : Hotel News

The opening date for the first Bulgari Hotel in London, will now be the 1st June 2012 and not May as previously expected.

With 85 bedrooms and a 25 metre swimming pool, The Bulgari Hotel will also feature the rather impressive Bulgari Spa, which is set over two floors. Congratulations to Antonio Bignone (formerly of The Dorchester) who will head up the Concierge Desk along with Karin Obermann (previousy at Claridge’s), who will be assisting him. We’re looking forward to seeing your brand new shiny home!


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Mad Hatter Easter Afternoon Tea at The Royal Horseguards Hotel

SamJ : March 28, 2012 12:41 pm : Hotel News

Guoman Hotel’s five star The Royal Horseguards has for the first year been honoured with a prestigious Award of Excellence from the Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea Awards.

This Award is testament to The Royal Horseguard’s high level of commitment to tea services. An extensive list of specialties teas is on offer, which over the last year has included dedicated themed offerings to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Christmas, the Chelsea Flower Show, the Royal Wedding and Bonfire Night.

Depending on the season, guests can enjoy The Royal Horseguard’s afternoon tea on the hotel’s intimate outdoor terrace with spectacular views of the iconic River Thames and the London Eye or in front of the fireplace in the hotel’s cozy and romantic lounge.

Staying true to its tradition of providing guests with quirky and unique themed tea offerings, this coming weekend The Royal Horseguards will be launching its Mad Hatter Easter Afternoon Tea. Designed to mimic the quintessentially English afternoon tea but with a fun Easter twist, the Mad Hatter Easter Afternoon Tea will be available from 31 March until 15 April 2012 .

This specially designed Alice in Wonderland inspired menu features an array of quirky treats including bubbling potions, white rabbits and edible chessboards! more »

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1 week only – The Capital Restaurant welcomes Greece’s most celebrated chef, Athinagoras Kostakos

SamJ : February 28, 2012 3:29 pm : Hotel News

Renowned Greek chef, Athinagoras Kostakos will being visiting London and creating his signature dishes at the Capital Restaurant between the 6th and 10th March 2012.

Kostakos became a household name in Greece after winning Top Chef, the Greek version of the American reality series and at 27 years old, is the youngest Executive Chef in the country.
Based at a luxury boutique hotel, Bill & Coo Mykonos, Kostakos’ formidable talent has long been recognised by visitors to the Greek island, and he has also won the Condé Nast Traveller 2010 Readers’ Choice Best Hotel Restaurant award.

Signature dishes include the likes of Honey roast vine cherry tomatoes, goat’s cheese & crispy capers with thyme and olive oil foam; Native lobster with Orzo pasta flavoured with ouzo and extra virgin olive oil; Roast rack of lamb, Myconian herb crust, braised lamb shoulder baklava and Mandolato trilogy of nougat parfait, cotton candy & soup.

Kostakos will create a 3 course lunch menu at £29.50 and for dinner 3 courses from the a la carte menu is priced at £50.00. There will also be a truly exceptional experience of the ‘Charisma of Bill & Coo’ a tasting menu at £70.00.

For a booking please contact: restaurant@capitalhotel.co.uk or telephone 020 7591 1202.

The Capital Hotel
22/24 Basil Street
London SW3 1AT

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Hix Belgravia at The Belgraves, A Thompson Hotel

SamJ : February 20, 2012 10:53 am : Hotel News

The Belgraves, A Thompson Hotel, opened its doors in Belgravia on the 1st February 2012.  The hotel is the first UK Property for the Thompson Hotel collection (an elite portfolio of service and design-driven hotels in major urban cities including New York, Los Angeles and Toronto) and a joint venture with The Harilela Group.

Inside this luxury hotel we find Hix Belgravia, the new 65-seat restaurant from celebrated chef, Marx Hix, offering a menu inspired by his travels around the world.

The second of Hix’s famous bars, Mark’s Bar, is situated on the mezzanine level and leads to a stylish cigar garden.  Private dining or meetings for up to 22 guests can be hosted.

In Mark’s signature style, the restaurant and bar boast specially commissioned artworks from British artists. Mark Hix is known for his original take on British gastronomy and is frequently lauded as one of London’s most eminent restaurateurs. HIX Belgravia and Mark’s Bar hope to bring something unique to the desirable Belgravia neighbourhood.


 HIX Belgravia is located at Pont Street, London SW1X 9EJ.
For further information please visit www.hixbelgravia.co.uk;
For reservations call 020 3189 4850.

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