Our Table Talk series is all about dinner party conversations. If you were sat beside our guests at a candlelit dinner party, what would you want to ask them? We’ve curated our dream dinner party guest list and will be chatting to our guests throughout the year, asking them all about themselves, their area of expertise and, of course, their own dream dinner party scenarios.
Our next guest is hotelier Georgie Pearman, founder of Country Creatures and director of Cubitt House. Georgie is behind some of the English countryside’s most stylish hotels, including The Double Red Duke, a 17th Century coaching inn with rooms located in the Cotswolds. Her latest venture is The Princess Royal, a pub with four individually designed bedrooms that is opening its doors in Notting Hill this month. We caught up with Georgie to ask how she goes about designing new hotels, and her tips for exploring the area where The Princess Royal is based.
Hello Georgie! Double Red Duke (and the soon-to-open Princess Royal) looks like the perfect place for a good night's sleep. When designing the bedrooms, how do you create the perfect relaxing environment to aid sleep?
We use the best beds that we can find and over the years have worked with Hypnos and the Cotswold Bed Co. I really like the Cotswolds Bed Co. ones – they are made in the UK and are extremely comfortable. We also soundproof all the rooms as much as possible.
How do you go about designing a new hotel, like The Princess Royal? Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m really driven by the architecture of the building. At the Double Red Duke, I used a lot of reclaimed materials from reclamation yards because the building dates back to the 1600s and so putting in really modern panelling and doors didn’t seem right. I found some beautiful old panels and stained glass and we used that as the focus for the bar. Everything else followed from that really. I also had some old Indian palace rug fragments and I used those as a basis for designing the fabrics for the curtains in the bar areas – a layering of old wood, antiques, things from our travels, textures, art & colours. It’s a bit of a mish mash but I think it works, some might disagree!
Food is just as important as sleep in your hotels. How do you tie the two together for a cohesive experience?
Whilst hospitality is about mixing everything from the interiors, service, music, art, drinks - really the key is great food because without that people wouldn’t keep coming back. We are very lucky to work with some really talented chefs including Ben Tish, who is the Chef Director at the Cubitt House family of pubs in central London. We fell in love with his food when we visited Norma on Charlotte Street. Henrik Ritzen is Head Chef of the Double Red Duke and was previously Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Aquavit in London. In the Cotswolds, Dan, Stuart & Majiec have all worked with us for many years and are really talented. If any of these chefs were cooking, I’d be over the moon as I know its consistently good.
We're excited for the opening of The Princess Royal in Notting Hill. Could you share your recommendations for guests to enjoy the local area?
There’s so much to do in the area, from a walk down the famous Portobello Road market searching for vintage clothes and antiques to eating in some of the best local restaurants. Obviously, we hope that The Princess Royal will be up there, but we do also really love Gold and Granger & Co. is always popular for brunch. The Notting Hill carnival is world famous but it’s also lovely just to walk to Hyde Park and spend time there on a summer’s day with a picnic.
Who would be your dream dinner party guests and why?
My dream dinner party guests would be all my lovely friends with good food, wine and a lot of laughter - they know who they are!
What would feature on your dinner party playlist?
I’d leave that to the guests to discuss and fight over.
Tell us about the most memorable dinner party you've ever attended?
I think the most magical one was one in Marrakech for a friend's birthday. A candle-lit dinner under the stars with lots of fun people; we stayed at the beautiful Dar Zitouna.
Could you pick 5-6 products from our website for your dinner party edit?
I love all of Rebecca’s things so it would be difficult to choose but I would pick the Stella Waxed Italian Linen Placemats in emerald, the Claudia Linen Napkins in emerald and the Basket Weave Plates with the emerald edge. I’d pair these with the Rippled Tumblers, some vintage wine glasses (none of which would match), the Bamboo Handled Cutlery, some amazing flowers by Wild at Heart dotted with some 100 Acres signature candles.