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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
The Savoy Hotel
One of the must-know places to find a lavatory in an emergency.
Location: 1 Savoy Hill, Strand, WC2R 0BP
Description: The Savoy Hotel was built by opera and theatre impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte with profits from his Gilbert and Sullivan operas, at the Savoy Theatre he built next door 8 years earlier.
The hotel was opened on 6 August 1889 and was the first in the Savoy group of hotels and restaurants. It was also the first luxury hotel in Britain, introducing electric lights throughout the hotel, electric lifts, bathrooms inside most of the lavishly furnished rooms, constant hot and cold running water and many other innovations.
Winston Churchill frequently took his cabinet to lunch at the hotel.
Entertainers here have included George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and NoŽl Coward.
Famous guests have included Edward VII, Enrico Caruso, Charlie Chaplin, Harry Truman, Judy Garland, Babe Ruth, Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, HG Wells, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.
Artists Claude Monet and James Whistler both stayed at the hotel and painted or drew views, from their rooms, of the River Thames.
The Savoy also featured prominently in guest Oscar Wilde's trial for gross indecency because he had conducted his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas in the hotel.
Actor Richard Harris, who lived here in a suite, for the last few years of his life; while being carried out on a stretcher before he died, he joked, It was the food.
The hotel has also featured in films: the romantic finale to the Notting Hill (1999) was set in the Lancaster Room, where Anna (Julia Roberts) and William (Hugh Grant) declare their mutual love.
In 1921, the hotel was used in the film Kipps, based on the novel by H. G. Wells.
The hotel also featured in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) and Entrapment (1999).
Also, the Savoy is one of the must-know places to find a lavatory in an emergency. Free, handy for theatreland and Covent Garden, linen towels, smart wooden fittings.. what a loo!
Tagged in this Tour: London in 4 days