INTIMACY AND GRANDEUR
I’m going to let you into a little secret, the Royal Albert Hall is a wonderful place. At the risk of repeating myself, I must re-iterate a few things. As time passes, one does forget just how wonderful and privileged it feels to be able to walk onstage here. The history of the building is of course legendary and the walls backstage are covered with incredible imagery of past events which serve to remind us just what we are dealing with here. A venue that elevates performers and audience in such a way can only be described as unique and to actually feel at home in such a place is remarkable. To be able to play here so often is the absolute ultimate. The warmth one feels from the audience is also unique as you really feel like you are a part of the room. The intimacy and the grandeur.
A few images from the day…The Albert memorial stands across from the Albert Hall, Ben Byford complying with manitory hard hat rulings onstage in the afternoon, a hearty Eggs Benedict at the Beaumont and a wide angle view from the back of my riser.
A few words about our hotel for this week. The Beaumont is a grade II listed art deco property, previously occupied by Avis Rent-A-Car. Originally built as a garage, the building was designed by Wimperis & Simpson in 1926 and overlooks Brown Hart Gardens and King’s Weighhouse Chapel beyond. It always had the potential to wow us and it hasn’t let down in any department. The hotel bar is as inviting as they come and the residents-only private cub room is cosy and stylish beyond words. The food is phenomenal and the staff are superb. Uniquely, guests can stay in the inhabitable sculpture designed by Sir Antony Gormley.
Sudoku on the run.
With brand spanking new Life Fitness machinery in the wonderfully appointed gym and Spa, one can give the mind a workout simultaneously to the body. The on-screen display can provide game entertainment. It’s the first time I’ve sweated playing Sudoku. Then a quick steam room, sauna and best of all, the ice cold plunge pool. The ice dip is certainly addictive as I’ve probably said before in previous diary entries, apart from taking your breath away momentarily, it leaves you fresh (and tingling) for the rest of the day.
Our two night stint at the Albert has been nothing short of incredible and heralds the end of our UK leg of this tour. Now it’s bags fully loaded and off into the continent.