Tales Of Covent Garden: The Savoy
Welcome to the next feature in our on-going content called Tales of Covent Garden! Each month, Covent Garden will be bringing you exclusive interviews of the people who live, work and love Covent Garden. Next, we talked to the Deputy Head Concierge at the world renowned Savoy Hotel.
Who are you, where do you work and what do you do?
My name is Jamie McDowall and I have the distinct pleasure of working at the beautiful Savoy Hotel as the Deputy Head Concierge.
How long have you worked in Covent Garden?
I have worked in Covent Garden for three years and visited this location for 17 years.
What is your favourite thing about Covent Garden?
The theatre proximity and atmosphere that the influx of visitors bring to this area. The vibrancy of the surrounding area and the quirky history about the buildings and events are also highlights.
Tell us a story about Covent Garden…
The market place played host to the first performance of Punch & Judy in the UK and was rumoured to have been witnessed by Samuel Pepys in 1662.
Tell us a secret about Covent Garden…
London’s oldest restaurant, Rules, has a secret room upstairs where the Prince of Wales, Edward VII, would entertain his mistress, Lillie Langtry, away from prying eyes when they dined in the late 19th Century. A special curtain was even installed so they could slip up the stairs unseen by the ‘commoners’.
What is your favourite concierge request from Christmases past?
One of our Canadian sister hotels had a guest ask for a Christmas tree in their room late on Christmas Eve. With everything being closed they had a team member cut down a tree from beside the hotel so they could place it in the room. We have a superb florist at The Savoy so would happily arrange this without the need for a chainsaw plus our stunning Christmas tree is always a spectacular showstopper for our guests.
What are your big tips for Covent Garden outings in 2018?
Sushisamba are opening their second London restaurant. Following on from the success of their elevated flagship at Heron Tower in the City, we have all been excited about what lies behind their mirrored walls on the upper level of the main market place that have drawn us in for most of this year. Sure to be another hit for all concerned. The Tina Turner Musical also opens in early 2018 and this looks set to be a summer hit so get in early!