Wednesday 6 October 2010

R.D.Blumenfeld on hotels and lodgings

Wednesday, 29th June, 1887

Harry Gillig, who manages a travellers' exchange, told me to-night that there have never been so many well-to-do visitors in London, due no doubt to the Jubilee festivities. The fashionable hotels, such as Long's [Berkeley Square], Brown's [Dover Street], the Bath [Piccadilly and Arlington Street], and the St. James's [now Berkeley] are all crowded, and you cannot get a suite under £2 a day.
Friday, October 3rd, 1890

I only stayed a few days at my lodgings in Torrington Square. It was quite a nice place,
but on the third morning the proprietor came and sat with me while I was having my morning coffee, and told me that his profession was that of "official embalmer" to most of the foreignembassies and legations. Whenever a well-to-doforeigner dies in London my landlord is called in to embalm him. That was too much for me.For some reason my coffee took on the composition of embalming fluid, and on the next nightI had a dreadful nightmare, in which I was being scientifically embalmed. So on the following morning I paid up and came to live in Duke Street, St. James'. I have a comfortable sitting-room, a bedroom, a real bathroom not a portable bath and valeting, all in, for £2 10s. a week.

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