The Savoy at Christmas – 17 December 2020 – 17/12/2020 – Thursday – ITV
“In terms of ordering…some days you receive 50 cases of champagne and those will be gone within about three days.”
Thierry, restaurant manager at The Savoy Grill
Filled with glamour, elegance, history and character and truly the first luxury hotel in Britain, The Savoy has sat alongside the River Thames for over 130 years. It has hosted rock stars and royalty, Oscar winners and prime ministers and is now opening its famous revolving doors to the cameras for this brand new Christmas Special.
The festive season is the busiest time of year. Across the hotel, every department is preparing for the rush and the hotel is fully booked.
Upstairs in the Butler’s Pantry, tensions are high as head butler Sean is preparing his newest recruit, Michael, for his first ever Christmas at the hotel. Michael is responsible for preparing the room for the Sprenger family, who spend every Christmas at The Savoy.
Michael says: “People are going to come and spend Christmas with their families. They want the tree, they want the presents. They’ve saved up for this. It needs to be perfect.”
Restaurant director Anne is busily preparing the hotel’s four restaurants and her 160 staff for Christmas, and hoping that she might be able to take the day off and spend it with her own family for the first time in four years. The last time she was at home on Christmas Day was when her daughter was born and she was on maternity leave. Anne is desperate to get home in time to put her little girl to bed on Christmas Eve.
Anne says: “It’s a very challenging job to make plans, because if I have to be here then I have to be here. That’s the nature of the beast. As parents, you can really give yourself the guilts, you feel like you’re not enough.”
The Savoy Grill’s restaurant director Thierry and executive head chef Ben are also preparing for a very busy day. With a seven-course Christmas lunch to prepare and three sittings, they will be serving up 4500 dishes in total on Christmas day.
Thierry says: “It’s not like a normal day. Of course, I’d rather be at home. But let’s enjoy it. Hospitality is tough – if you don’t keep control of everything, then it’s going to collapse.”
Thierry’s mum is over from France for Christmas and pops into the Thames Foyer for a festive afternoon tea with her hard-working son.
Regular guest, Howell Harris drives from Wales to spend his first Christmas at the hotel since his mother died. Head butler Sean goes out of his way to make sure he is looked after and surprises him with a special trip to make it a Christmas he will remember.
On New Year’s Eve, new butler Michael is rushed off his feet delivering in-room dining to the high paying guests.
While downstairs Anne is dealing with another staffing crisis as she prepares to welcome 400 guests, who have paid up to £495 each to see in the New Year with riverside views of the midnight fireworks.
Anne says: “There is absolutely no room for error. You are on a very strict timeframe so that your guests can celebrate New Year the way they wish to…and then I can breathe.”
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About The Savoy
“People come to The Savoy to be entertained, to be wowed, to feel luxury and to feel special. When I was being trained they would hit you, throw things at you… it wouldn’t be appropriate to do things like that now.” Sean, Head Butler at The Savoy
Filled with glamour, elegance, history and character and truly the first luxury hotel in Britain, The Savoy has sat alongside the River Thames for over 130 years. It has hosted rock stars and royalty, Oscar winners and prime ministers and is now opening its famous revolving doors to the cameras in this brand new series for ITV.
Filmed over the most dramatic period of the hotel’s history – from the incredibly busy winter season to its devastating coronavirus shutdown – the series will give viewers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those lucky enough to be able to afford this slice of luxury, and those who serve them, as cameras capture the upstairs, downstairs and the most secret of corners.
As a global crisis looms, the series sees the challenges the staff face to continue to make the magic happen with their hard work and attention to detail before the hotel was forced to shut its doors for the first time ever in its history.
This is the first time an iconic hotel has been filmed using an innovative state-of-the-art luxury multi-camera rig, providing unique and intimate access into the intoxicating world of this prestigious location.
This is the story of The Savoy as it has never been seen before.
This show is broadcast on ITV.
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