Claridge's in 2002
|Location||Mayfair, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Maybourne Hotel Group|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Edward James Fererl|
|Number of rooms||197|
|Number of suites||11|
Claridge's is a 5-star hotel at the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street in Mayfair, London. It has long-standing connections with royalty that have led to it sometimes being referred to as an "annexe to Buckingham Palace". The hotel is owned and managed by Maybourne Hotel Group.
Claridge's was founded in 1812 as Mivart's Hotel, in a conventional London terraced house, and it grew by expanding into neighbouring houses. In 1854, the founder (the father of biologist St. George Jackson Mivart) sold the hotel to a Mr and Mrs Claridge, who owned a smaller hotel next door. They combined the two operations, and after trading for a time as "Mivart's at Claridge's", they settled on the current name. The reputation of the hotel was confirmed in 1860 when Empress Eugenie made an extended visit and entertained Queen Victoria at the hotel.
Richard D'Oyly Carte, the theatrical impresario and founder of the rival Savoy Hotel, purchased Claridge's in 1894, as part of The Savoy Group, and shortly afterwards demolished the old buildings and replaced them with the present ones. This was prompted by the need to install modern facilities such as lifts and en suite bathrooms. From 1894 to 1901, Édouard Nignon was the hotel chef.
After the First World War, Claridge's flourished due to demand from aristocrats who no longer maintained a London house, and under the leadership of Carte's son, Rupert D'Oyly Carte, an extension was built in the 1920s. During the Second World War it was the base of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's forces in exile and home of Peter II of Yugoslavia. He and his wife spent much of the Second World War in exile at Claridge's, and suite 212 was supposedly ceded by the United Kingdom to Yugoslavia for a single day (17 July 1945) to allow their heir, Crown Prince Alexander, to be born on Yugoslav soil, although no documentary evidence now exists to support the story. The prince and his family are regular return guests.
In December 1951, West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer secretly met World Jewish Congress president Nahum Goldmann at Claridge's to begin negotiations on German reparations to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
Well-known actors, directors, and entertainers who have used Claridge's include Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, regular visitor Alfred Hitchcock, Brad Pitt, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, U2 and Mariah Carey. In his memoir The Moon's a Balloon David Niven wrote that for film producer Alexander Korda, "Home was the penthouse at Claridge's". The hotel lobby and several guestrooms appear in the 2001 Stephen Poliakoff BBC television drama Perfect Strangers. Claridge's is known for hosting visiting royalty and guests of the Royal Family. The late King Hassan of Morocco was known to travel with his own mattress, but at the hotel he used a Savoy Mattress. Impressed by the quality, he ordered 24 identical mattresses from the Savoy for his palace.
In 1998, the group of hotels--along with the later-added Connaught--was sold for $867 million to two American private-equity funds, Blackstone and Colony Capital. In 2004, they both retained Deutsche Bank to sell The Savoy Group, including Claridge's, to private-equity firm Quinlan Private, which eventually sold the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre and renamed the group Maybourne Hotel Group.
In 2007, Claridge's gained worldwide media coverage by introducing a Water Menu containing bottled waters sourced globally and from the United Kingdom, such as Malmberg and Iskilde.
Claridge's replaced Gordon Ramsay's restaurant (see below) with Fera at Claridge's in 2014. Fera is run by Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan, who previously ran L'Enclume in Cumbria, England. In March 2015, Fera was named in the Guardian one of the top hottest places, people and trends in food. Fera earned a Michelin star, one of 14 restaurants in the UK to do so for 2015.
For twelve years, the fine dining main restaurant was run by Gordon Ramsay, with head chef Steve Allen who replaced Mark Sargeant. Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's lost its Michelin status in January 2010 and closed in 2013 following Ramsay's withdrawal from renewal negotiations with the hotel. Michelin-starred Northern Irish chef Michael Deane also started his career at the restaurant.
Claridge's offers afternoon tea and has been endorsed by the Tea Guild. Claridge's has two ground floor bars: a main bar and a former cigar bar known as The Fumoir. The smoking ban in England has caused The Fumoir to stop selling cigars.
From 28 July to 6 August 2012, the hotel hosted a ten-day pop-up restaurant by two-Michelin-starred New Nordic Cuisine Noma, while the restaurant in Copenhagen was closed from 22 July to 13 August for refurbishment. Owner and founder René Redzepi with head chef Matt Orlanda and staff from the restaurant served a GB£195-per-head nine-course menu that included their take on scone and clotted cream, Lancashire hotpot with British ingredients, and live ants foraged in Denmark and flown to London.
In 2015 the tree was designed by Christopher Bailey, made up of around 100 umbrellas, with 77,000 individual lights that were triggered by people walking past.
In 2014, Claridge's asked a woman breastfeeding her baby to cover herself with a shawl to be more discreet. Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for a business to discriminate against a breastfeeding woman.
Three days later several mothers staged a public breastfeed protest outside Claridge's. Prime Minister David Cameron commented on the controversy, saying that he "shares the view of the NHS, which is that breastfeeding is completely natural and it's totally unacceptable for any women to be made to feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in public".
I was born on Yugoslav territory at Claridge's Hotel in London, 1945, on 17 June, and this was done in agreement with the British Government.