We had a great start to the New Year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, we went on a Heritage tour of this majestic Victorian hotel finding out about its history and enjoying a lovely afternoon tea. As a special treat for 2017 I also enjoyed their famous “Mayflower Spirit” cocktail in the No. 10 bar after the tour had finished.
I applied a thin layer of Parchment acrylic paint to the page using a baby wipe. Once it had dried I added strips of tissue paper which had a lovely holly design; it reminded me of the luxurious silken wallpapers at the hotel. I arranged the tissue strips so they looked like the panels we saw in many of the rooms whilst on our tour and used a UHU Stic to stick them down. Next I stamped ornate picture frames using black Archival Ink to depict the beautiful plaster work, pictures and mirrors found at the hotel. I stamped the frame onto some of the holly tissue paper, then fussy cut the centre oval and added it to the centre of the frames I had stamped on the page using a UHU Stic. I collected a variety of booklets, leaflets and postcards from the hotel reception during our visit and used these as part of my design. I cut the images out with Fun Cut scissors to give them a serrated edge and used a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker along the edge to give them more definition, then stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic or double-sided foam tape. For the palm tree I stamped the image onto the back of one of the postcards from the hotel using Archival Ink. I also saved the tea bag tags from the green tea we had as part of our afternoon tea and added them to finish the page.
The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, opened in 1867 and is situated on the North Promenade seafront and enjoys spectacular views over the beach and sea. The hotel retains the opulence and glamour of its Victorian heyday, and has welcomed a host of famous guests including Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, The Beatles, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.
The Churchill Room was named to honour the many visits Sir Winston Churchill made to the Imperial when he was prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. The room is much the same as the old photograph, although with one surprise. Recently, the photograph pictured has come to light and it shows a magnificent stained glass domed ceiling in the room. Exploratory holes were drilled into the current ceiling to discover that the stained glass ceiling is still there, although it’s not in great condition and is estimated to cost over a million pounds to restore.
The Grill Room is now the Louis XVI Function Room and has the most beautiful plaster work, wall coverings, mirrors and chandeliers.
The Palm Court is now the Dining Room and looks very elegant especially with the beautiful dome chandeliers. In Victorian times, palm trees were considered very exotic and a demonstration of wealth.
The Ballroom now called the Washington Suite has one of the best dance floors in Blackpool and the most wonderful plaster work of cherubs, flowers and sea creatures. The National Dance Championships have been held in Blackpool since 1920 and the Imperial Hotel is very popular with competitors as they can practice on the dance floor before heading off to the competition.
Recently the hotel discovered that a room used for storage of employee files was once an impressive suite of Russian, Turkish and seawater plunge baths which were built in 1901, but had been plastered over and hidden. They are slowly being restored in conjunction with the Blackpool Civic Trust. In the photo (above) you can see that the magnificent tiles were painted and then plastered over and part of this has now been removed to reveal the original tiles once more.
The original glass-roofed billiard room retains its stained glass canopy but has been turned into a bar and named No. 10 after all the UK prime ministers who have stayed at the Imperial whilst in office.
During the tour we found out about the Head Cocktail Bartender who had won a national competition to invent a new cocktail in the 1950’s, so we had to try one. It was one of those all shots and no mixer cocktails, and was delicious and very warming! I’m saying a big “cheers” to the T-Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!
Not forgetting our lovely afternoon tea served on beautiful fine china. We choose green tea to accompany the finger sandwiches with traditional fillings of ham and mustard, egg and cress and smoked salmon with cucumber, Victoria sponge, strawberry Eton Mess, chocolate delice, mini lemon tart and warm fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I’m sorry, but it looked and tasted so yummy that we tucked in before we remembered to take a photo.
Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.
Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:
- Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
- Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
- Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
- Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
- Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
- Crafter’s Companion Vintage Collection Acrylic Stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-PSENT)
- Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
- Aldi The Night Before Christmas Range (Printed Tissue)
- The Imperial Hotel history booklet, postcard and leaflets
- Fun Cut scissors
- UHU Stic
- The Range double-sided foam tape