Today in 1906, the legendary hotelier César Ritz opened the London Ritz, not far from the Savoy, from which he had been fired less than a decade earlier after thousands of pounds’ worth of booze mysteriously disappeared.
The 13th son of a Swiss farmer, Ritz started as a waiter in a small hotel, whose owner told him he would never succeed in his dream of becoming a hotelier. Ritz moved to Paris at the age of 17, and just over two decades later he had started a restaurant with the chef Auguste Escoffier, and had managed the Savoy. He then opened the Ritz Paris, still one of the great hotels of the world, and London came eight years later.
So today why not toast the London Ritz with a Ritz Cocktail, created by master mixologist Dale DeGroff?