After a career spanning 87 years, it’s good to see the octogenarian Kaspar the Cat take centre stage at his local haunt. He started life as a 14th guest at The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, London, designed by Basil Ionides from a single piece of plane wood – joining unlucky tables of 13 for lunch or for dinner – taking away the fear and superstition of this number, whilst keeping a wooden silence as his fellow guests relaxed and enjoyed the occasion.
A companion of Winston Churchill who wouldn’t host a meeting at The Savoy or The Other Club without him (Churchill even rescued Kaspar from a kidnapping by Canadian pilots during WWII), he was destined for a life as a minor celebrity on the sidelines until the re-opening of The Savoy in October 2010. Suddenly, topiary Kaspars were guarding the entrance to The Savoy on The Strand whilst the cat himself (or I suspect a replica – who knows) – sat (and sits) in the Front Hall. Great plans were afoot for this feline however.
When the old River Restaurant was reborn, who better to oversee this renovation than Kaspar? His name has now been given to the property’s new restaurant – Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill – and a new amorphic sculpture of him by Jonty Hurwitz sits near the restaurant’s entrance.
Kaspar’s image is displayed on the restaurant’s water bottles and even the cappuccinos are topped with a chocolate outline of him. Perhaps even the move to a seafood grill is in keeping with this celebrated feline’s tastebuds?
Having worked with historic hotels for most of my life, I know how very difficult it can sometimes be to modernise and update a much-loved, iconic hotel like The Savoy – everyone has an opinion about how it should operate and look.
As a Savoy supporter of over twenty years, I am very protective of the hotel and would be, even if I didn’t work for the operating company, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
Happily, I think here, under Kiaran MacDonald’s stewardship, The Savoy has taken a little piece of priceless history, and made it central to the modern hotel’s operation. Genius I call it.
NB – take a chocolate replica of Kaspar home from The Savoy’s Tea Boutique or even a plush toy of him too … I have (as you can see here! 🙂
Contributor: Sue Lowry
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a client of Magellan PR. For more information, please visit http://www.fairmont.com, follow them on twitter @FairmontHotels, on Facebook/Fairmont Hotels and on Pinterest under FairmontHotels. Their community website is www.everyonesanoriginal.com. The Savoy London is operated by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and can be found at http://www.fairmont.com/savoy, followed on twitter @TheSavoyLondon and on Facebook/TheSavoyLondon. Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill has its own website: www.kaspars.co.uk, can be followed on twitter @KasparsLondon, on Instagram: KasparsLondon and on Facebook/Kaspars.
Magellan PR is on Twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+: Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry. For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com. Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.
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