AND TODAY’S FINAL GENEROSITY MESSAGE. At The Londoner, the new Preferred hotel that is highlighting Leicester Square and beyond, there’s a busy programme of curated sketching classes and more – and they are FREE TO ANYONE. Not surprisingly, says Charles Oak – hear him below – they are so popular he is having to increase the schedule.
GIRLAHEAD IS ON TWO G-TACKS TODAY. One is Glamour, the other Generosity.
On the Glamour side, CLARIDGE’S annual designer Christmas tree was unveiled two days ago at the foot of its gracious curved staircase. This year the tree is a creation by Kim Jones, Artistic Director of the Dior men’s collections. Named The Celestial Snow Globe, it subtly mixes holographic projections with a white toile – recalling the emblematic haute couture Ateliers’ Toile – to produce a poetic interplay of transparency. Kim Jones is paying tribute to Dior savoir faire, and Christmas baubles the recall iconic Dior emblems.
More Glamour. Alain Ducasse has planned this year’s New Year’s Eve dinner at Airelles – Le Grand Contrôle (see the restaurant above). The costume evening in elaborate 18thCentury ballroom attire, inspired by Louis XIV and his Court, is exclusive for those lucky enough to be staying in this 14-room unique hotel. After the Ducasse dinner, with paired wines,
start dancing the night away into the New Year drinking Champagne and such cocktails as signature Royal Snowflakes, with champagne poured over seasonal scented granita. At 11.30pm, outside guests join in for the midnight firework display. And on the morrow, AIRELLES – LE GRAND CONTROLE continues its celebrations with an Alain Ducasse New Year’s Day Brunch.
GLENEAGLES, ANOTHER G. Gleneagles’ perhaps upstart and definitely high-profile sibling is the Hoxton brand. Hoxton is multiplying fast. As well as owner Ennismore’s forthcoming 240-room The Hoxton, Poblenou in Barcelona, other pipeline Hoxtons include a 198-room The Hoxton, Brussels, a brutalist-style tower building that was formerly Belgian IBM headquarters. Charlottenburg in West Berlin, a few minutes’ from Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm), and its retail, The Hoxton, Berlin, centres on ‘Rough Nouveau’: a play on the gritty and functionalist materials of East Berlin and the intricate, elegant patterns of Art Nouveau – it has been designed as a 1920s parlour. The fourth Hoxton in London will be a 237-room hotel on Shepherd’s Bush Green.
Ergo, GIRLAHEAD HAS MOVED ON FROM GLAMOUR TO GENEROSITY. A more generous message will be coming from the MARRIOTT FAMILY. Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro has ruled against that consumers’ nightmare of resort fees, hidden extras for not only beach and pool use but even, sometimes, car parking, regardless of whether or not you arrive on four wheels. The admirable Mr Shapiro expects more hotel chains to follow Marriott.