Michelin celebrates double UK centenary
Tuesday 18 January 2011
Michelin is celebrating this week the centenary of the opening of Michelin House in Chelsea. This year also marks the hundredth anniversary of the publication of the first Michelin Guide to the British Isles.
Michelin House was originally designed as a headquarters and depot building for the French tyre company's UK operations. Its extravagant architecture won it Grade II listing in 1969, and in 1985 it was sold to Sir Terence Conran and Paul Hamlyn who adapted it to its present uses as a restaurant, shop (The Conran Shop) and offices. Many of the building's original features, such as its distinctive mosaic floor, were retained, and copies were commissioned of the three large distinctive stained glass windows featuring Bibendum, the Michelin Man, which had adorned the building when it was opened. The originals were removed for safe-keeping at the beginning of the second world war but were subsequently lost.
The opening of Michelin House was celebrated with a dinner on 20th January 1911 for dignitaries such as the French ambassador and the president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders; the event will be repeated this week for the successors of many the original participants. In connection with the centenary, Michelin has also been trying to recover the building's original stained glass windows – an information campaign and a confidential amnesty hotline have produced a number of leads, one suggesting that the windows may have got as far as Australia. A broad selection of historic Michelin-branded items is currently on display at The Conran Shop at Michelin House; many of these objects, which are keenly sought by collectors, feature the figure of Bibendum, one of the most famous and longest-established corporate symbols in the world.
The first Michelin Guide to the British Isles was issued to customers without charge but the publication became a commercial venture in 1920. It fell into abeyance in the Thirties but was revived in 1974; the emphasis of the original guide on technical information for motorists gave way to the company's now famous system of restaurant recommendations, including the awarding of the first Michelin stars to UK establishments – 25 in the first year - by the company's demanding anonymous inspectors.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Life & Style blogs
Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
Fake goats’ cheese found in supermarkets
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
Uber France apologises for sexist promotion offering men free rides with 'incredibly hot chicks' as drivers
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...