The Dorchester to recreate 1953 Coronation Decorations on its famous façade for HM The King

Posted in News on 28 March, 2023

To celebrate the coronation of HM The King, The Dorchester will recreate the decorations used for his mother’s coronation in 1953.

The decorations on the hotel’s famous façade will mark the start of the celebrations throughout the hotel to honour His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort, including a celebratory afternoon tea and speciality menus.

Perfectly situated in the heart of London since 1931, The Dorchester stands tall in Mayfair with Hyde Park on its doorstep. The original decorations for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 were created by British stage set designer Oliver Messel, and were said to be the best in London. That same year the designer unveiled a luxury suite within The Dorchester, which to this day remains as designed by Messel and is protected by the hotel. Messel’s design for the coronation decorations included dramatic draping across the hotel’s balconies, created to make the hotel’s concave façade look like the interior of a theatre seen from the stage.

At the ever-welcoming heart of The Dorchester, The Promenade will present a royal take on its world-famous afternoon tea. Available over the coronation weekend, from Friday 5 to Monday 8 May, 2023, executive pastry chef Michael Kwan has created a delicate selection of themed cakes, accompanied by exquisite sandwiches and a refreshing glass of Champagne. Coronation Afternoon Tea is priced at £125 per person, including a glass of Champagne and a gift.

Guests of the hotel will also be able to visit the new Cake & Flowers boutique, with its own entrance on the Deanery Street corner of the hotel, where in-house designer florist Philip Hammond will create a spectacular floral display in the window. Within, shelves and cases will be filled with delights; signature cakes to take away in chic packaging, uniquely presented gift hampers, floral bouquets and a selection of champagnes and artisan chocolates. As tribute to The Coronation Emblem, Hammond will also create magnificent floral arangments throughout the hotel unifying the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom; the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and the shamrock of Northern Ireland.

Vesper Bar

At The Dorchester’s new cocktail destination, Vesper Bar, the talented team will be serving a special martini ‘Sovereign Martini’ inspired by The King’s favourite tipple. The stir will use Wessex gin, Royal Garden mead, dry vermouth, lavander bitter and orange scent. All presented in a delicate martini glass made bespoke for Vesper Bar.

The King made his first public appearance at The Dorchester in 1970, and has since attended many times for charitable dinners and state banquets. The King’s parents were also very familiar to the hotel, his father HRH Prince Philip held his bachelor party at The Dorchester on the eve of his wedding and HM The Queen visited throughout her reign. Come May 6th, The Dorchester will have celebrated three royal coronations, the first in 1937 for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, where special stands were built on the hotel’s rooftops for spectators to view the procession. For HM Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, in addition to the elaborate façade, Oliver Messel created huge crowns which were suspended from the ceiling in the lounge and ballroom.

Just in time for the coronation, The Dorchester has unveiled its newly transformed ground floor following the most comprehensive renovation in three decades inclusive of the forecourt, garden, lobby, The Promenade, Vesper Bar and Artists’ Bar.

The Dorchester’s façade will be transformed on April 20, 2023, with the decorations lasting until May 19, 2023.

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