The evidence: The concierge's work station
Saturday 01 May 1999
"Our main tool here is ourselves, our knowledge of London and the personal relationships we build up with guests. You have to know everything from the price of a registered letter to all the restaurants and clubs. I suppose we must hand out about 50 or 60 maps (1) of London a week, which are printed for the hotel. Most of them probably go in the bin outside the door, but the remainder find their way all over the world, which is a good advertisement. A lot of people like to get out of London at the weekends, so we also have maps of surrounding areas (2) and, of course, information about open- top bus tours (3) around London. We are only able to use the computer (4) to find out what rooms people are in - that's it, we can't enter any information, that's left up to the reservations desk. We get new copies of airline and rail timetables (5) every month in case people need to change their travel arrangements. My red book (6) contains all my really important numbers. I'm constantly on the telephone (7), either booking things or getting calls from all over the world. People will call in advance to say that they would like tickets for a particular show or to book a particular restaurant, reservations which I keep in my blue book (8). Everyone must read the same magazines in America as they all want to eat at The Ivy or Le Caprice."
Interview by Aoife O'Riordain
Photograph by Claudia Janke
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...