19

Landmark Hotel

Jay Blades

  • Suggestion
The Landmark London Hotel

The Landmark Hotel has been a sanctuary to me for more than 25 years; the first time I went in to the hotel, I was really blown away by the courtyard style of the interior, and how it takes you into a different world.

The magnificent atrium at the Landmark Hotel

Having had a colourful and very varied life I seek out spaces where I can find some peace and serenity, and the Landmark Hotel offers me a place where I can forget about the hustle and bustle, be transported to a slower time, or what I assume was a slower time, and just reflect on life, whilst sipping a cup of tea.

Taking part in this project, I looked up the history of the hotel, and was not only amazed at its richness, but also amused that the calmness I find in there was probably not the case in its history.

The Winter Garden at the Great Central Hotel around 1910
The exterior of the Great Central Hotel
Artist’s impression of the exterior of the Great Central Hotel
Dinner in the original Winter garden

I love what the legendary British Lieutenant Airey Neave, who was the first British soldier to escape from Colditz on January 5th 1942, said about the hotel: “Before the war, the Great Central Hotel (its original name) held a strong attraction for me. I was drawn to the magnificent dullness and solidity of the hotel. I liked the brass bedsteads, the marble figures on the stairs and the massive afternoon tea. Outside this refuge my young world was threatened by Hitler. Inside, I could pretend that I belonged to a safer age.” In a way he also sought peace in there…

He mentions a ‘magnificent dullness and solidity’… I would not call it dull though; to me, it definitely feels solid, and I really find the architecture, design and interiors uplifts and refreshes me when I spend an afternoon there!

The entrance to the Landmark Hotel

Next time I am there, I will be imagining all the things that happened at the heart of the hotel during its very vibrant history – how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many buildings in London that offer us a chance to travel back in time!

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