“When Hastings and myself, we first came to the Grand Metropolitan Hotel, there was a man at the desk. He was elderly. He must walk with a stick. But when he goes to his room, which is on the first floor, he proceeds not to the lift that is waiting, no, but to the staircase. It was a performance, Monsieur, but a performance that, to Poirot, did not ring true.”
- Bird’s Eye View - Minnehaha Falls - Calhoun Boulevard - St. Anthony Falls - Hotel Radisson - Scene at Lake Minnetonka - St. Marks Episcopal Church - Powers Mercantile Co. - Minneapolis Court House and City Hall - Steel Arch Bridge and Union Depot - Old Block House, Fort Snelling - Nicollet Avenue West From Sixth Street - Nicollet Avenue at Night - Minkhada Golf Club - Stevens House - New Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral - Minnesota State Soldier’s Home - Hotel Nicollet - Metropolitan Life Building - Park Bridge No. 1 - Minnehaha Falls - Minnesota State Capitol Building - Donaldson’s Glass Block - The Anchorage, Lake Calhoun - Milling District By Moonlight in Winter - Hotel Dyckman - Typical Building in Wholesale District - Stone Arch Bridge - Milling District - West High School - Nicollet Avenue East From Sixth Street - View Along Harriet Boulevard - Pier at Shady Island, Lake Minnetonka - Shubert Theatre - Masonic Temple - Racetrack at Minnesota State Fair Grounds - Public Library - Auditorium Building - Post Office Building - General View of the University of Minnesota - Bridal Veil Falls - West Hotel - Security Bank Building - Bridge Over the Mississippi River at Fort Snelling - Folwell Hall and Physical Laboratory - Plymouth Building - Seventh Street North from Nicollet Avenue - Loring Park Showing Hotel Plaza - New Bridge Over Mississippi River at Fort Snelling - Minnehaha Falls in Winter
I think you might have noticed I prefer the Old Town to the New Town so this is a rare sojourn over the North Bridge.
The first Café Royal in Edinburgh was founded by Mr John Ambrose and opened in 1826 at
1 Register Place, across the road from the present building. It previously was a tavern, serving
coffee and wine, as well as beer and spirits and equipped with ample dining rooms which
specialised in oysters. In 1861 all the properties in the area were sold to Robert Hume, a plumber,
who then proceeded to demolish all the old, original buildings.
Work started on the present building in 1861. It was originally built to be a showroom for the
latest in gas and sanitary fittings, but it is doubtful that it ever accommodated any baths or sinks!
On 8th July 1863 the Café Royal moved to its new location in this stylish Parisian building, which
was designed by local architect Robert Paterson.
A glorious example of Victorian and Baroque, little has changed since then.
Entering the Café Royal is like taking a step back in time. Elegant stained glass and fine
late Victorian plasterwork dominate the building. Irreplaceable Doulton ceramic murals,
painted by John Eyre, adorn the walls in both the restaurant and bar. These were purchased by an
early licensee J. McIntyre Henry from the 1886 International Exhibition of Industry, Science and
Art, which was held on Edinburgh’s meadows.
Since opening, the Café Royal has passed through the hands of many owners,
although none have threatened the uniquely Victorian atmosphere. None, that is with the
exception of Grand Metropolitan Hotels, who took over in 1965 and agreed, four years later, to sell
the building to Woolworths, wishing to extend their Princes Street store. Fortunately the city
Planning Officer disagreed, and aided by a petition of 8700 signatures, he ensured that planning
permission was denied. On 27th February 1970 the whole building and its interior were listed,
thus preserving it for future generations. I know I have a few royalty fans amongst my followers, I am not one myself as you have no doubt realised through my blog, my mum always told me that The Cafe Royal is where Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister met her lover
Roddy Llewellyn, in those days the Cafe Royal was basically three different places, The Buffet Restaurant, The Public Bar and Upstairs, The Oyster Bar, which one she meant I do bot know. I pop into the bar every now and then it is relatively the same as when it was first opened over a hundred and 50 years ago, unlike the nearby Guildford Arms which occupies the sane buildings but has had several refits. Well worth a visit.
“Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkey’s leaving the Metropolitan Hotel grabbed the camera off a photographer as his cab drove off. The photographer managed to keep hold of the camera, running alongside the taxi until Turner let go of it.” (Oct 30, 2006)