Friday, 31 July 2015
London Hotel celebrates half century
London's Royal Garden Hotel is 50 years. The party starts tomorrow. Makes you feel antique. A year after it opened, give or take a few hours, I was in a crowd of several thousand ecstatic people cheering the Boys of 66, England's victorious World Cup squad, as they emerged on to the entrance canopy in Kensington. Players and manager had gone to the hotel for a banquet attended by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Then it was on to the Grove Tavern in Knightsbridge for a joyous night of celebration. All over London - and into the small hours - car horns were echoing the rhythmic clapping of the 93,000 Wembley crowd. I hope they have a happy birthday at the Royal Garden but for some of us it will be the occasion for a certain wistfulness.