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A Stay at the Luton Hoo Hotel

A Stay at the Luton Hoo Hotel

Mr Frederic Billet is a very busy man. Deputy Hotel Manager for the majestic Luton Hoo Hotel, he has VIP guests to meet, grounds to keep, barrel aged wines to select and perhaps most importantly – clocks to wind. “They need winding each week, or else time can stop”, he says in a rolling French accent, worriedly thumbing his way through a collection of bronze keys. “Today I have six clocks to wind, but then others will fall behind and we’ll start again. We are always chasing time”. Glancing around the towering entrance hall of the five-star Luton Hoo Hotel, vast Edwardian mirrors hanging from its walls, I wonder why Mr Billet tries so valiantly to keep his clocks in check. Luton Hoo is a place where time has already stopped. Originally built in the eighteenth-century, the Luton Hoo mansion remains a vestige of a more opulent past. A past when prime ministers built mansions, landscape designers moved mountains and diamond magnates decorated rooms only in marble. Redesigned in 1903 by glittering diamond dealer, Sir Julius Wernher, the mansion was transformed into a dazzling showcase of expense: a Ritz Hotel inspired stairway taking centre stage. It is here that Queen […]

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