Grand Hotel in Folkestone before. Like its name, it is a grandiose building and reminded me somewhat of the buildings in Cheltenham. Located on the sea front, it is a wonderful example of slightly faded Edwardian elegance, from the traditional revolving doors in deep weathered wood with worn varnish to the high panelled ceilings with sparkling chandeliers, delicate stained glass and floor to ceiling windows streaming in the light and sun from the seashore just yards away.
It's a wonderful building, full of intricate details and hidden delights.
While ordering pre-show drinks the bar staff gave me an impromptu history lesson on the Hotel after seeing me in full shutterbug mode. King Edward VII stayed here on numerous occasions, with both the Queen and his intimate friend Alice Keppel. The antics of the King and his friends resulted in their favourite room, the Glasshouse earning the nickname of the Monkey House which then led to the origin of the phrase 'monkey business'!
I felt like I had been transported back in time, the features were stunning and the room was beautifully proportioned, with mirror strips running across the ceiling in varigated pastel shades and etched mirrors reflecting the soft lighting across the room. The details were everywhere.
All tables had been set up facing the stage which was dressed to recreate a 1958 living room in Hammersmith.
The play was In By The Half by Jimmie Chinn and performed by the Company of 12. As with most dinner / cafe theatre it was a one act play and in this case was a very gentle comedy exploring the broken relationship between a retired actress and her daughter..
Instead I made do with snapping details in the bar.
Have you ever been to dinner or cafe theatre? What were your thoughts?