The Berkeley formerly stood at the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street on the edge of Mayfair at the turn of the 19th century, bearing the name of the street on which it stood. With good proximity to Mayfair the hotel became a popular venue for debutantes.
The Restaurant in particular was one of the few places where parents would allow their daughters to go unchaperoned, as they reasoned that the staff would keep an eye on them and their escorts.
The Berkeley was purchased by the founder of The Savoy, Richard D?Oyly Carte. Carte had fired the most famous hotel manager, César Ritz, and chef, Auguste Escoffier, despite the threat of bad publicity, because he had caught them both cheating him financially.
D?Oyly Carte approached The Berkeley?s Managing Director and offered him the opportunity to run The Savoy as well but he was turned down. Never one to give up he began negotiations to purchase the hotel. On 1 January 1901 The Berkeley became part of the Savoy Group. Managing Director, George Reeves-Smith, now found himself in charge of two properties.
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