Grosvenor House is steeped in fabulous literary history.
Many a famous face has appeared within its walls.
Current Literati events celebrate new releases. But the literary luncheons date back as far as 1930.
And there are many stories to be told.
Between October 1930 and October 2003, Grosvenor House hosted more than 700 literary lunches.
Of these, 666 were the famous Foyles Literary Luncheons.
An impressive 1,000 authors and 500,000 guests attended these events.
Great literary figures have been among the speakers and guests of honour at these luncheons.
But there have also been celebrities from the worlds of theatre, the media, politics and even the military.
To this day, Grosvenor House continues to celebrate literature.
In 1994, it launched the biography The Duchess Who Dared in suite 148, which was in fact Margaret, Duchess of Argyll’s home at the time.
Each year, both the British Book Awards and the Crime Thriller Awards are held in the Great Room, along with quarterly Literati events.
Grosvenor House book club
There is also a traditional book club. But at Grosvenor House, the theme goes one step further.
Here literature lovers get the opportunity to interact with leading authors in an elegant setting.
Authors lead a discussion of their latest writing. Guests are offered the chance to engage with them and ask questions.
Grosvenor House has hosted a list of acclaimed authors for these events.
The line-up has included presenter Libby Purves; journalist and broadcaster Peter Snow and royal correspondent Hugo Vickers.
Countess Carnarvon of the “real” Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, broadcast journalist Kate Adie and the late writer Jackie Collins have also featured on the speakers’ list.
The release of The Santangelos was Collins’s last public appearance.
Attendees remember her to have been “warm, wise and witty”.
A Wilde party
The annual Oscar Wilde Society party is held at Grosvenor House. Guests celebrate the life and works of “the king of bon viveurs”.
It is attended by members of the stage, screen and Parliament. They listen to snippets and sonnets while being tempted by endless amounts of Wilde’s favourite champagne.
To quote the man himself: “I can resist everything except temptation.”
Grosvenor House supported Mayfair Times’ inaugural Mayfair & St James’s Literary Festival, in partnership with the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation, last autumn.
For more information on Literati events at Grosvenor House, read here.
To find out about Royalty and A-list celebs at Grosvenor House, read here.