St Ermin’s Hotel in London is a beautiful, exclusive hotel with a colourful history. It’s named after St Ermin, who was celebrated in a 15th century chapel that originally occupied the site until St Ermin’s Mansions were built in 1889. Ten years later the mansions were converted into a hotel and have remained so until the present day.
But far more interesting than that is the connection to Winston Churchill and World War 2. In 1940 Churchill held a meeting at St. Ermin’s Hotel attended by an elite who were to become the founding members of the Special Operations Executive. The unit acquired an entire floor of the hotel from which they ran their covert operations, with MI6 stationed two floors above. Today the story goes that a secret tunnel runs from underneath the grand staircase in the Lobby all the way to Westminster…
The hotel recently joined the Marriott Autograph Collection, a series of exclusive flagship Marriott hotels around the world, and to celebrate they threw a big party and invited me to document the night in photographs for them. All evening live music was supplied by Khushi, and around the venue were stalls offering delicious artisan cheeses, meats and cakes to nibble, some amazing gins from Sipsmith, a handwriting analyst, custom leather luggage tags being made to order, and – my personal favourite and probably the biggest hit of the night – the guys from Henleys Sweets with a display packed with confectionary goodies.
Here’s some of my favourite shots from the evening. Thanks for visiting! You can find out more about my event photography here.