This week we have visited St Ermins Hotel which has recently had a £30 million refurbishment and this month has joined the Autograph Collection Hotel which is part of the Marriott brand.
Originally built as St Ermins Mansions in 1889 it was converted into a Hotel in 1899. Conveniently located in Westminster, minutes from St James’s Park.
I loved hearing about the history of the Hotel and it does have some really quirky features…. In 1940 Winston Churchill, held a historic meeting at St. Ermin’s Hotel. He asked a group of people to join him in ‘Setting Europe Ablaze’ – this elite set, were to become the founding members of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). In the 1950’s the spy Guy Burgess (part of the infamous Cambridge five) handed over secret papers to his Russian counterpart in the Caxton Bar
Situated in the Foyer is the House of Parliament Division Bell and halfway up the stairs is the so called secret tunnel leading to the Houses of Parliament !
The Hotel is also home to 200,000 Buckfast bees, who reside in three custom-built hives on the rooftop. In September when it is honey season the Hotel uses their honey for themed afternoon teas.
So back to the serious stuff ! We started our showround in the Crystal Ballroom – this room can take up to 120 for a dinner and the quirky Balcony area would be used for pre-dinner drinks.
We walked through to the Cloisters Suite which was originally the Hotel Carvery Restaurant – this can take up 140 theatre style and is in keeping with the style of the Hotel although not as ornate as the Crystal Ballroom.
On the 1st floor is the Caxton Terrace which is an outside space overlooking the courtyard. This area can be hired exclusively for events – unfortunately due to our lovely Spring weather we were unable to venture out on the Terrace but I would say it would take around 70-90 for a drinks reception.
The smaller meeting rooms are all conveniently located on the 1st floor with breakout areas for catering. The largest room in this area takes up to 60 theatre style and the smallest takes 6 boardroom style.
We then had a look at a couple of bedrooms – they were of a good size, very nicely decorated and had all the usual amenities.
So time for dinner in the Caxton Grill. We decided we would choose something cooked from the Josper Grill – as you can from the picture the portion sizes were man-sized but it was very nice & we ate as much as we could ! I am afraid I ate all my delicious onion rings !
The Caxton Grill has a small private dining room for 10 people and also a semi-private dining area which can take up to 16 people.