Friday, 6 November 2015

The Old Dame

We were lucky enough to start off November with an invitation to the reopening of the stunning Queens Hotel in Cheltenham.

Lovingly nicknamed "The Old Dame" the 1830's hotel has been brought back to life after a spell of old fashioned out of date décor and fare.  The last 3 years has seen a boom in new hotel openings around the Cotswolds, from boutique to Cotswold classics, we've seen and stayed in a fair few of them. But we are pleased to inform you that the £5m transformation of The Queens is going to provide them with stiff competition. The rooms are modern but grandeur still remains, with four poster beds, large antique wardrobes and roll top tubs. My favourite room, The Imperial, looks out over the Cheltenham Promenade through two impressive sash windows.

However the regal feel of the Queens has not been lost, with a lot of the original artwork and infrastructure still remaining in addition to the the infamous Pugin hand painted wall paper. The paper has however been given a new lease of life and as you step out of the elevator onto the second floor, it takes your breath away.

Walking into the launch party reminded me of a more organised and less chaotic version of the "Be My Guest" scene from Beauty and the Beast. Rolling tables of cheeses and breads, giant serrano ham joints, pathways lit by fire, waiters walking around with trays of gin cocktails served in apocathery bottles with dry ice flowing out of teapots. There were musicians, magicians and champagne towers lit up by crystal chandeliers. It was almost over the top but in such a glorious way, trumpeting the revival of this iconic Cheltenham landmark.

I was pleased to see local suppliers being used such as Hobbs House breads, Cerney Ash goats and Alex James Cheeses' and The Patisserie Box who provide expert deserts for all of the hotels celebrations. Think trays of macaroons and croquembouche towers!

We topped the night off with a second batch of the Queens signature gin and elderflower cocktail and tucked into generous samples of the kitchens creations. Think billy goat lollipops and melt in your mouth braised ox cheek.

The friendly and super helpful staff from both the hotel and Mason and Williams worked tirelessly to give this old gal a proper welcome home. Congratulations to all involved, we know its going to pay off.

Millie and Meg x

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