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It was a tight question whether the timing of this fly-on-the-wall series on a hotel where suites start at £ 1,500 a night was perfect or awful
Was the middle of a pandemic the right time to feast on luxury and frivolity, to better dream of savoring them one day? Or was it the documentary equivalent of telling the peasants to eat cake?
The Savoy was made by Studio Ramsay, the production company of Gordon Ramsay, who runs the hotel’s famous Grill As such, it could have been a long publicity for the Scottish hammer of desperate restaurateurs
To a degree, that was But to be fair to directors / producers Bella Lloyd and Libby Overton, it was accompanied by enough irony and sneaky touches of humor to do more than just public relations.
Enjoying ‘unprecedented access’ (has a filmmaker ever had standard access to the bog?), The Savoy has entered, all the facts and figures Opened in 1889, Britain’s first luxury hotel , 267 rooms, four restaurants, 600 employees – 25 for each guest – continually delighted narrator, Celia Imrie (nice touch to hire the actor who played Miss Babs in Victoria Wood’s Acorn Antiques)
All four episodes will cover the months leading up to the lockdown, a period described as « the most dramatic period in hotel history » I would have thought WWII would have something to say about it
In the whirlwinds of Rhapsody in Blue, the foreground took center stage on the Strand, changing from a figure in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk to a porter in livery emerging from Savoy to hail a cab Point made
The idea that the Savoy was a haven for the rich and the handsome took a dunt when we moved to the American Bar Sitting there was a man wearing a denim jacket and a mule
It was time to meet the first of the « characters », without whom no factual series can be complete Sean the butler thought himself « a bit of a tyrant » Then there was Michael, a new start that Sean had taken under his control. not-very-tyrannical-just-a-little-moany-wing Michael had wanted to be an actor, just like his late mother, Lynda Bellingham, the mom of the Oxo commercials But then a kid came in, Michael needed a stable job and we were there « I am determined not to fail again » he said
What stories and sadness lie behind that engagement we hope to uncover.This was one of the winning things about the movie: it provided just enough information about the people to suggest there were depths there. if we wanted to watch
This was notably the case with Thierry, the manager of the restaurant « He exudes sophistication and passion, » said Ramsay, making his own ooze
Thierry liked to give his staff a pep talk before the service, telling them in his French like the accent of the Eiffel Tower that they were not waiters but « sellers of pleasure » We wondered if Thierry knew David Brent
It was Thierry’s job to ‘grow’ the arrival of Ramsay, who was coming to test a new dish In he was sweeping, swearing and lathering in a boring familiar way. to have found a chipped plate “Looks like it was served in my fucking grandma’s Spanx,” said Ramsay Thierry looked mortified Thinking he ran his own restaurant until soaring rents forced him to leave Stories, you see?
The same goes for the guests The married couple who had been coming to Savoy for 26 years Elle: « We could have bought several houses » Him: « Don’t say that, honey » She said the staff were always so genuinely happy to see them, then added, « Well, I hope so » Or the accountant from East Anglia who stayed 70 days a year and knew the Grill menu better than anyone In a scene dripping with irony, he and a guest ate Steak Diane while discussing the idea of helping the homeless over Christmas
The evening ended with Michael loaded and pale after having organized a small evening under the watchful eye of Sean But there were pleasures to come « I can’t wait to take the bus, on the way home, at a in the morning, alone, with a meal offer of £ 3 from Tesco »
Maison de la famille, a day at work Have the favorites at the Savoy given you similar satisfaction? Sure, but keep it to yourself Times are tough
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The Savoy Hotel, London, ITV, Gordon Ramsay
News from around the world – GB – TV REVIEW: Life at the Savoy is a hot and cold luxury for some
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