Ritzy greens

Freeze-dried Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms and peppers are all to be found on restaurant tables at The Ritz Hotel in London. However, they are not there for consumption but as part of the floral arrangements, writes Elaine Fogg.

The Ritz, which spends pounds 80,000 on floral design per year, has engaged the services of Ken Turner, an Irishman who describes himself as a 'floral inventor.

The decorations, which include an urn of flowers to transform the front entrance, Victorian hanging baskets for the exterior, a majestic trophy piece for the restaurant, and individual designs for each bedroom, are among the plans by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for the Ritz,where guests pay up to pounds 750 a night plus value-added tax. The group took over the hotel in May.

Mr Turner, whose credentials include floral design work for the Raffles hotel in Singapore, will change the arrangements every few weeks The main decorations in the restaurant and the reception area are of fresh flowers, but dried flowers and unconventional materials are used elsewhere.

'I want my designs to look chic not uninspired like the single roses you see in a jar, he said.

(Photograph omitted)