EXACTLY 50 years ago this week, rock & roll history was made by one of the world’s most iconic bands in suitably flamboyant style... and in the most unlikely surroundings.

Having launched their classic album Beggar’s Banquet, The Rolling Stones held a party to celebrate, choosing Bar 190 at The Gore, in London’s Kensington.

It being The Stones, it turned into a rambunctious party, with the festivities escalating into a full-on food fight with custard pies tossed about the wood-panelled bar and raucous carousing lasting long into the night.

The Gore took it all in its stride. This grande dame among London hotels is no stranger to celebrity, and continues to attract the rich and famous alongside the rest of us.

This Wednesday, The Gore holds an anniversary party to celebrate its moment in the pages of rock history. Guests will enjoy a curated evening of culinary offerings, London guided bus tour organised by Music Heritage London and Rolling Stones inspired tribute concert to commemorate the bash.

Being a hug fans of the Stones, and not averse to a bit of luxury, I visited The Gore – not to match the exploits of Mick and Keith et al, but to see what had attracted them to this classical beauty, nestled among the foreign embassies and consulates, just round the corner from the Natural History Museum and a short hop from Hyde Park.

The hotel is a beauty. Established in 1892, it has played host not only to rock stars but the likes of Judy Garland, Andre Simon and Sir Malcolm Sargent – being within singing distance of The Royal Albert Hall.

It is an understated place – oak panels and fine art; sumptuously comfortable rather than stylishly minimal.


Rooms are themed after its famous guests – the Judy Garland suite contains a Wiazard of Oz-style ruby slipper (not the original, however, that being stolen some years ago by an overly keen fan of Dorothy’s).

My room, the elegant blue wallpapered Dame Edith Evans Suit, had an enormous bed – easily big enough to have accommodated a couple of the Stones and assorted guests. The room was huge, so much so that I considered asking Room Service for a telescope with which to watch TV from my bed. The mini bar was closer – and extraordinarily well-stocked.

An enormous bathroom was all polished granite and contained a gorgeous film star-sized bath and a shower more powerful than a tropical monsoon.

My friend's room – the Miss Fanny Suite – offered a four-poster bed, sumptuous claret drapes and carpets and an oak-panelled bathroom along with an elegant hardwood commode disguised as a wooden throne – complete with arm rests. Yup.

Channelling our inner rockers, we took up the hotel’s offer of a classic car tour of London’s Christmas lights – taking our seats in an open topped Rolls Royce called Gabriella, who was knocking 100 years old, and had herself starred in Downton Abbey.

Other cars include Lord Mountbatten’s classic Daimler Silver Baroness and the Queen Mother’s favourite Jaguar DS420 Daimler limousine.

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We swept up Cromwell Road, past Kensington’s museums and onto Knightsbridge, hopping out at Harrods – to the delight of passing tourists who couldn’t get enough of Gabriella’s vintage curves.

The journey continued through the West End, down Regent Street and back through Hyde Park, passing the bright lights and big wheel of its Winter Wonderland fairground – as we warmed ourselves in the back with cups of mulled wine.

Back at The Gore, it was time for dinner at its acclaimed restaurant 190 Queen’s Gate, where we were greeted by Michelin-Starred chef Daniel Galmiche.

We enjoyed plump scallops served with mussels and perfectly cooked monkfish tails topped with caviar, washed down with a fabulous bottle of Sancerre, in the intimate setting of the classically English dining room.

For after-dinner drinks there was really only one place to go – to the adjoining Bar 190, where we worked our way through the cocktail list while the Stones looked on, approvingly, I’d like to think, from the framed photos of their lively knees-up, on the wall.

Gins and tonics, whiskies, negronis and martinis came and went, but one concoction stood out. A blend of tequila, chilli-infused gin, Southern Comfort, grenadine and lime juice it hit the spot and kept the party going among the panelled walls, expensive looking antiques and pleasantly over-stuffed seats.

It’s name? Sympathy for the Devil. What else?

STAY: The Gore, 190 Queen’s Gate, Kensington London, SW7 5EX

Rates start at £195 per night, based on double occupancy.

Contact: The Gore London - Starhotels Collezion

EXPLORE IN STYLE: The Classic Car Christmas Lights Experience is available until December 31. Experience price starts at £375 per car.

Book by calling 020 7584 6601 or email: concierge.thegore@starhotels.com

ROCK OUT: Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beggars Banquet poarty at The Gore... Celebrations at The Gore will begin at 5pm on Wednesday, December 5, with a two-course pre-show dinner at the hotel’s 190 Queens Gate Restaurant – offering a fine-dining British menu designed by the restaurant’s Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche. Following dinner, guests are invited at 7.30pm to take part in a one-hour Swinging 60s London guided bus tour of Rolling Stones-related locations in West London in a vintage Routemaster organised by Music Heritage London. Returning to The Gore at 8.30pm – the concert will kick-off with the ‘Not the Rolling Stones’ tribute concert in the original location for the Beggars Banquet album launch.

Tickets Packages available at beggarsbanquettributeevent.eventbrite.co.uk

Dinner + Bus Tour + Concert (£79 + 6.76 fee)

Bus Tour + Concert (£49 + £4.42 fee)

Concert Only (£30 + £2.93 fee)

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