OK students of English, what is London’s most famous hotel? The answer is possibly The Savoy in the centre of London off the Strand. Opened in 1889 the first manager was not English but Swiss, Cesar Ritz and the chef was Auguste Escoffier whose mouthwatering dishes led to the expression to “scoff” your food meaning to eat far too quickly. Claude Monet painted “Waterloo Bridge” from his balcony, Johann Strauss was the leader of the hotel’s orchestra and a dishwasher, Guccio Gucci was so inspired by the rich, he returned to Italy to establish his now famous luxury goods company. In 1899 Ritz was sacked for bad behaviour so he set up the Carlton Hotel in the Haymarket. His pastry chef became world famous as a leader. He was Ho Chi Minh leader of the Vietnamese Communist party. The hotel is no longer there and on its site is New Zealand House.
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