Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The London Bristol Hotel for the best meal in town

Here’s an ad for the Bristol Hotel in London, just popped into my mail box. It was a match for its opposite number in Paris. It occupied two adjacent buildings, at 33 and 34 Burlington Gardens, and according to The Gourmet’s Guide To Europe by Liet-Col Newnham Davies and Algernon Bastard (crazy names, crazy guys), the Bristol’s Spanish manager, Ignacio Lersundi, gave “one of the best, if not the best, table-d’hôte dinners obtainable in the English capital". But by the time the Guide was published, in 1903, Lersundi was dead and a fifty-three year lease had just been taken on the Bristol Hotel building by the Ladies Army and Navy Club, for near relations of men who held, or had held commissions in the services. With more than 3,500 members, it was the biggest women’s club in the world, offering cards, billiards and ‘many feminine attractions’.