Imagine having a sugar cookie (biscuit in England) served to you on a lovely black napkin and then...
along with your cup of tea, the waitress brings you a crumpet with the largest container of butter in the world! Bliss!
(What is a crumpet? For me, it is what an English muffin dreams to be!)
This was graciously served to us at The Langham Hotel in Eastbourne! https://www.langhamhotel.co.uk/
(If you click on that link above, it should take you to the hotel's website and you will see nice views of the rooms.)
Upon arrival in England, my father-in-law had a book waiting for me. (Normally, I might not have time to read very much but because I was under the weather while there, I read the book from cover to cover!) The book was "Celebrity Hotel" by Neil Kirby.
I loved this book! Neil Kirby started out washing the pots and pans as a 15 year old at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. His charm and very hard work meant that he worked his way up and became the general manager of this famous hotel in London! Since 2005, he is a hotel owner and it is the Langham Hotel!
"Celebrity Hotel" mentions a great many of the celebrities that stayed at the Grosvenor House Hotel while he worked there but for me, it was the life story of Neil Kirby that I found fascinating. For one thing, he is a runner, he has participated in several marathons and a great many of them for charities. (Not sure why runners are so interesting to me...but remember my admiration for Louis Zamperini? And Eric Liddell from "Chariots of Fire"?) Of course, there is also a great deal that Mr. Kirby has shared with us about the running of a hotel and also the design of the hotels. And by design, I mean right down to the furnishings. Look at the color of the cushion above! And then...I also had to take a photo of the wood and the red fabric in the bar. (Read the book and you will know who gave him this advice, the color red with the polished wood!)
(If you have never seen "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid"...watch it!)
Can you see that this is a stained glass window of a lifeboat? And just beneath that window, a box where you can put money to donate to the RNLI. (Royal National Lifeboat Institution, you may read more about it here.)This would be typical of Neil Kirby and a very nice touch, I think.
Now, if you happen to be in Eastbourne and want to find the Langham Hotel, it is the one with the Victorian bathing house right in front. When Neil Kirby bought this hotel, he told me that he bought the bathing house with the hotel! Yes, my friends, I actually met Neil Kirby and spoke with him, yes indeed! In fact, I got one of his books myself and he autographed it with the sweet inscription, "To Richard & Kay"! (I have a great fondness for autographed books, did you know?) Did I get a photo? You know I did!
There! It is my dear husband and father-in-law beside Neil Kirby on a very sunny day in the lobby of the Langham Hotel. I snapped this photo myself and just before I took it, I said," here are the three lads from Croydon!" (Neil Kirby is from Sanderstead, which is very close by, I think. Hey, I am a Yank, what do I know?!)
(Eastbourne is amazing...all the hotels are across the street from the beach. ALL of them! Therefore, there is nothing to spoil your view of the sea.)
Can't you just picture Hercule Poirot having a drink here? Mais, oui!
You know I did! Make mine a Pimm's with full fruit!
Thank you, Neil Kirby for your lovely book and taking the time to speak with us. My father-in-law was most impressed that I had the nerve to go up and talk with you but after all, I am an American and we can get away with things like that!
Look! I was pleased to see that this bowling club is sponsored by the Langham Hotel. In fact, I have read that Neil Kirby has donated a great amount to charities! For me, he may have met a great many stars and millionaires but what impresses me is how much he has given back! Hey! I found something in a magazine about him...it is called "Pearls of Wisdom" and you may read it just here.
Friends, once again I am sorry that I have haven't been able to blog very much lately! I hope I am getting better now. Finally!