Whimsical country scenes featuring family members inject a humorous element to the glamorous new-look front hall at the Goring hotel, London.
The images are featured in the hand-painted wallpaper by Fromental, whose wallcoverings are already found hanging in the bedrooms of the five-red-AA-star, 90-bedroom hotel, which yesterday celebrated its 105th birthday.
Work on the lobby resulted in the closure of the property for the first time in the history of the hotel, which was opened in 1910 by OR Goring, the great-grandfather of the hotel's current chief executive, Jeremy Goring.
The design of the hall has been overseen by Russell Sage, who intended to mix the relaxed sophistication of a grand English country house with a dash of idiosyncratic humour.
Sage said of the new wallpaper, which took four artists almost eight weeks to paint in acrylics and features silver leaf: "Imagine if all the animals in London Zoo had escaped into Hyde Park… take a closer look and the scene gets curiouser and curiouser…"
The Goring family is referenced throughout, with a monkey on horseback in racing silks representing George Goring's love of riding and sports; a sleek seal highlighting Jeremy Goring's interest in surfing; and two imposing walruses depicting OR Goring and OG Goring, the founder of the hotel and his son. The judge's wig on the head of the gorilla reflects managing director David Morgan-Hewitt's law degree.
Elsewhere, new reception and concierge desks evoke Gerorgian Chippendale furniture, Gainsborough silk curtains dress the windows and a new entrance into the dining room has been created.
Jeremy Goring, said: "The whole hotel is gleaming for our 105th birthday and the new front hall is gorgeous. It's luxurious and glamorous, it recognises our past, but it's also sophisticated and very contemporary. And most important of all, I think it will make our guests smile."