The second we walked into 10 & 11 Lancaster Gate, we knew we’d found ‘the one’. We’d been searching for somewhere to hold our first shoot for weeks… imagery is so incredibly important in introducing Amanda Walker, the location had to be just perfect.
We wanted a London location with impact, somewhere with history, but not stale…grand, but not ostentatious. A little like looking for a new home, we visited several potential locations for our shoot but none of them spoke to us. And then one sunny day we stepped inside 10 & 11 Lancaster Gate, and well, she had us at hello. Impossibly large windows flooded the rooms with light, magically illuminating the layers of history within & revealing the enchanting features beneath.
A LITTLE HISTORY…
Standing at the western end of the Lancaster Gate the properties were built in 1862 as luxury mansions with English Baroque details and French mannerisms. Lancaster Gate quickly became a fashionable district for wealthy families such as original residents Sir Albert Evans, owner of one of the world’s largest paper companies.
Between the two World Wars, changes in lifestyle meant that large period homes like these were no longer viable, so in the roaring 1920’s numbers 10 & 11 were amalgamated to form a 60 bedroom hotel known as the ‘Averard Hotel’. The hotel ran for many decades, but in more recent history fell into disrepair. Its tired, quintessential British character featured as the location for the 2005 film Mrs Palfrey at The Claremont starring Dame Joan Plowright, the widow of Sir Laurence Olivier.
Following its eventual closure in 2008, the hotel became destined for renovation, however stripping back its false ceilings and panelled walls soon awakened the suspended history laying beneath. Incredibly ornate detailing gently faded over the passage of time now whispers the tales of a bygone age.
The hotel is currently for sale, who knows what the future might hold for her, but we feel immensely privileged to have been able to savour this unique, magical moment of time in her history.