Completed in 1876, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (as it is now named) was the talk of the town when it opened. It was closed in 1935 but once again it became the talk of the town when it reopened in 2005. It is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture, its history a remarkable tale of decay, restoration and spectacular rebirth. The incrediable restoration means that visitors can experience how it was first intended in the 19th Century. Full of colour and beautiful details the hotel is a stunning place to stay, dine and have as a venue. We speak to Charlotte Hewson from the hotel about what it is like to work there.
How long have you worked in events?
I actually started working as a silver service waitress for a beautiful hotel in East Yorkshire when I was 16. So about 19 years! Oh dear that makes me feel old!
What made you want to go in to the events industry?
I have always loved organising, whether it be my school prom or my Mum’s cupboards! Working in events gives me somewhere to channel my OCD!
How did you end up at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel?
I had always admired the building, so when the position became available, I jumped at the opportunity to work at such a beautiful place.
What sort of events take place in the hotel?
We hold all kinds of events at St Pancras, from Weddings to Bar Mitzvahs, Launch parties to commercial filming. It keeps it interesting, working on different types of projects.
What is your most favourite event which you have worked on?
We held a wedding showcase in partnership with BRIDES Magazine in March of this year, which featured a catwalk show of wedding dresses down our Grand Staircase. It was such a great evening and where I first worked with Wild Wood London as they supplied the flowers for the event. You dressed the venue so beautifully.
It must be amazing to work in such an iconic and historically important building. What is your favourite feature of the hotel?
The Grand Staircase is just incredible. I don’t think that it will ever lose the ‘wow factor’ for me.
How many rooms do you have to hire at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel?
We have 10 function rooms of differing sizes, plus some beautiful Suites with separate living areas, which can be used for dinner parties and receptions.
The hotel underwent a major restoration in 2005, have many of the original features been kept?
Yes so many! It’s quite amazing how much work and skill went into restoring and reviving this building. Especially in the Chambers building, where every room has a story of painstaking renovation to tell.
What don’t people know about the hotel?
Back when it was the Midland Grand Hotel, the building had three hundred bedrooms, but only five toilets! That is one of the main reasons for its closure in 1935 before it became the offices for British Rail.
What is the strangest request you have had when planning an event?
Themed weddings were very popular and a couple of years ago I organised one that had a Marvel superhero theme! The bride and groom asked me to create a receiving line full of giant cardboard cut-out superhero’s. I loved it!
What is the biggest event which you have worked on?
Well it depends what you mean by biggest, but I would say Live 8 in Hyde Park was the most prestigious. It was also one of the most amazing events to be a part of and such an incredible experience.
Have there been any major muck-ups on an event you have done and how did you solve the problem?
I once had a little page boy decide to make two fist marks in a wedding cake before the bride and groom had cut it! Thankfully it was an Autumn wedding with lots of artificial leaves as decoration. I was able to discreetly cover up the big holes with extra decoration without the couple ever knowing a thing!
What is your advice to those wanting to get in to the events industry?
‘Hands on’ experience is far more beneficial than any qualifications in the field.
What is your favourite flower?
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is a breath taking venue one which needs to be seen to be believed so I would find a reason to head over there as soon as possible to have a look – a cocktail at the bar or a treatment at their spa should do it! To see our event flowers please click here