The Pink Palace

The white chair in ‘THE PINK PALACE’

This is the Beverly Hills Hotel, rising up ahead of us like some fairy-tale palace on Sunset Boulevard.

Pink, green and white are ever-present colours here, no matter where your gaze should alight – even down to the bookmarks that are so freely supplied to the hotel’s book-reading guests.

Ever since this very special hotel opened in 1912, it has been favoured by celebrities and frequented over the years by all manner of film stars and famous names, rubbing shoulders with tourists from every corner of the world.

Among the galaxy of stars whose names come into mind are Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eddie Fisher, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich, to name but a few.

Beverly Hills Hotel

And then, a little closer to our own times, there are the Beatles, Elton John and almost everyone else of note.

We spent a few days at this friendly hotel some time in the distant past, and I still have fond and positive memories of our stay. The food was out of this world and the service simply couldn’t have been better.

White – Painted Garden Chair

In the Polo Lounge, a section of the dining room that incorporates a small patio garden, diners sat on white-painted garden chairs. There were green cushions on the chairs and white parasols over the tables. It was so exciting to be among people from so many different walks of life, all dining together with us in the Polo Lounge. Everyone seemed willing to chat freely with their neighbours. If you weren’t already acquainted, you most certainly had become so by the time you’d finished your meal. Perhaps part of the magic was all the different languages and dialects that filled the air in the room. It was such a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere.

It was here that we got to know a man who worked in the rodeo industry and who happened to be dining at the hotel with his parents. His name was Rod. (What else?) And, of course, chairs played a leading role here, too: no chairs, no rodeo. I wonder if Rod was a PBR – a professional bull rider. I’m certainly tempted to think so, considering the enthusiasm with which he spoke of his life on the backs of bucking bulls. His was a world about which I know absolutely nothing – except for the fact that it all sounds more than a little terrifying.

Rod the Professional Bull rider

The chairs were made of white-painted iron but, thanks to their pierced splats and sinuous floral decoration, they still managed to convey a light and airy impression. The focus here was on creating a garden idyll that was both bright and cheerful, yet intimate at the same time. The result, achieved with the aid of tables and chairs on different levels and with a mix of green shrubs to separate the guests, was eminently successful.

Stars and celebrities have relaxed in this setting. It’s a place where many a whispered secret has been shared. Curious souls have sated their hunger here. Others have slaked their thirst.

Here, in the relatively recent past, the mink stoles of well-to-do ladies have flicked their tails and warmed the shoulders of their diamond-bedecked owners.

And it was here, too, that I made the acquaintance of a real life cowboy.

Gun Bjerkander Handberg

Note from the editor:

Summer is coming, filled with long, lazy days. It is a good time to catch up on some reading and there are 2 elegant books written by the author of this blog, Gun Bjerkander Handberg to enjoy.

The books are published by Vind & Våg Publishing House, a boutique British publishers, and are available to order online by following this link or by typing PLEASE BE SEATED HISTORIC CHAIRS into your search engine.

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