Monday, 24 April 2017

Roosevelt at the Yalta Hotel Bristol

A bust of Franklin D Roosevelt is now on public display in Roosevelt Street in Yalta — the only street in Russia to be named after a US president. Yalta, of course, is where Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill met to carve up the map of Europe at the end of the Second World War. 

Commissioned in 1960 by Vyacheslav Kurashin, CEO of the Hotel Bristol, the sculpture was made by Konstantin Koshkin, and until recently was kept in the ‘museum’ of the hotel (seen here in the snow). If ever Trump visits Yalta, says the town’s administrative head, Andrey Rostenko, he will be taken down the street to look at the statue. 

See the full story in Tass

Saturday, 22 April 2017

New Bristol for South Carolina

Statesville, South Carolina: Not a hotel now but a restaurant – Bristol Café and Catering is opening in May. Run by Joanie and Jeff Hustead (pictured right) it originally opened in 1889 as the Star Saloon. “This was the hell-raising part of town,” Jeff Hustead told the Statesville Record & Landmark. “It was lined with saloons; as many as two or three at a time. Newspaper articles from the era said the court would have to stop proceedings due to noise from the saloon.”
In 1917 it became the Bristol Hotel & Café, and the centenary inspired the renaming.. 

See the full report

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Up pour le Bristol Cup!

January doesn't sound like the best time of year to play tennis in Europe, but between 1920 and 1932, the most prestigious tennis tournament was the Bristol Cup, held in the New Year at the Hotel Bristol in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. The hotel was built built by Blundel Maple, of the Maples furniture store in Tottenham Court Road, and it included tennis courts, now the town's tennis club. In 1921 Clementine Churchill was delighted to win four games in a single-set doubles match against Wimbledon champion Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers. She was staying at the Bristol while waiting to join Winston on an official trip to Egypt. But writing to him on February 21, she complained, “I am very solitary in this big rather dreary hotel.”

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Yassar Arafat Museum has just opened in Ramallah near the mausoleum where his body was brought after his death in a Paris hospital. Arafat’s wife, Suha, took a suite in Le Bristol Hotel in Paris during his illness and after his death. The story of her stay at the hotel is imagined in ‘Suha Arafat and the Hope Diamond’ a chapter in High Times at the Hotel Bristol. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

England's first hotel goes up in smoke

The Bristol Star's report of the fire at the Royal Clarence in Exeter, includes claims that this was the first inn in Britain to be called a 'hotel' in the French manner when it opened as the Abode Exeter in 1769. The fire started on Friday, October 28, in a nearby art gallery, and after burning for 48-hours left nothing but a few walls that need to be demolished. Owners DL say they will rebuild it. It wasn't until 1874 that the first Bristol Hotel was built in London, though there was a Bath and Bristol Hotel in 1792.

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’. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Israeli President in Odessa Hotel Bristol

When the grand Hotel Bristol was built in Odessa in 1899 more than a third of the city's population was Jewish. Today Israeli President Reuven Rivlin arrives at the hotel for the 75th anniversary of the massacre at Babi Yar when more than 33,000 Jews and nearly 70,000 Roma and political prisoners were killed in Ukraine by the Nazis. (There were further mass killings in Odessa in 1941 and 1942). Rivlin will address parliament and participate in a conference at the Bristol Hotel about his ‘ideological mentor’, the Odessa-born Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940), the subject of an exhibition in the city’s Literary Museum.