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There Were Angels Dining at The Ritz…

February 22, 2012

There are certain places whose very names have become bywords for style and sophistication.  The Ritz Hotel in London is most definitely one of those places – its name is synonymous with elegance and class – so you can imagine how thrilled I was when Laura and Darren asked me to sing at their wedding reception there a couple of weeks ago.

The Ritz Hotel London

The Ritz Hotel's entrance on Arlington Street

The Ritz Hotel viewed from Piccadilly in London's West End

The hotel, which first opened its doors in 1906, is every bit a lavish as you’d expect.  The photos I snapped on the night don’t really do it justice:

Inside The Ritz Hotel, London

Interior of The Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly, London

Laura and Darren’s wedding cake was set up in the Marie Antoinette Suite which, with its ornate Louis XVI style, is based on a salon in the Palace of Versailles.  Apparently, during World War II this was one of the rooms used by Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle and General Eisenhower for summit meetings:

The Marie Antoinette Suite at The Ritz Hotel, London

A quick aside about my “dressing room”.  I’m used to getting changed in all sorts of strange places (on one occasion I had to change in the chambermaids’ broom cupboard in amongst the mops and vacuum cleaners!), but there were no such inconveniences at The Ritz.  HERE is the room they gave me to dress in:

My dressing room - The Burlington Suite at The Ritz, London

That’s the Burlington Suite, don’t you know.  And not a broom in sight!

The reception itself was held in The Ritz’s beautiful Music Room.  The Music Room is part of the William Kent House, an eighteenth-century townhouse which now forms part of the hotel.

The Music Room at The Ritz

Laura and Darren’s wedding was an elegant family affair and they asked me to provide the evening entertainment for their guests.  Their first dance was “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”.  It isn’t often you get to perform a song at the venue that’s name-checked in its lyric so it was a particular thrill to sing the opening verse:

“That certain night, the night we met,

There was magic abroad in the air.

There were angels dining at The Ritz

And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.”

London wedding singer Simon Partridge with Laura and Darren at The Ritz Hotel

I’m indebted to Laura and Darren’s wedding photographer Sacha Miller for letting me share the two fabulous pictures below which he took of me singing on the night.  You can see his photos from the rest of the day on his blog.

"There were angels dining at The Ritz". Wedding singer Simon Partridge at the London hotel.

"And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square." Wedding music at The Ritz Hotel with Simon Partridge.

A wonderful, wonderful evening.  There truly was “magic abroad in the air” and I thank Laura and Darren for letting me be a part of it.

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