Inside the hotel on the northeast coast loved by Laurel and Hardy celebrating its 150th anniversary

Throughout two world wars, an economic depression and now a global pandemic, the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth has overlooked one of the northeast’s favorite beaches, Longsands.

Originally built as a summer residence for the Duchess of Northumberland in 1872 at a cost of just £10,000, the hotel has had many famous clients over the years, including Dame Vera Lynn, although the best known be Laurel and Hardy. In fact, the comedy duo’s fan club still meets at the hotel, though the room they often stay in has been converted into a kitchen.

More recently, the hotel hosted local superstar Sam Fender and singer Sam Smith. And on Sunday, August 28, the hotel will celebrate its 150th anniversary with afternoon tea in its Orchid Suite and drinks on its newly refurbished rooftop terrace.

Read more: Watch a music video of comedy giants Laurel and Hardy visiting Tynemouth 90 years ago

Gavin Taylor-Groombridge, General Manager of the Grand Hotel, said: “We need to do something to celebrate 150 years of grand old maid, because with everything going on in the world, 150 years is an absolute milestone. We are renowned for afternoon teas and weddings so we thought we would merge the two together to celebrate.

“We did an afternoon tea themed around local celebrations. Obviously I wasn’t here 150 years ago, but we touched on old English classics like the classic cucumber sandwiches and our manager of bar has come up with a cocktail that looks like a sparkling summer garden.”

The roof terrace of the Grand Hotel has been refurbished

In addition to its snacks, the Grand Hotel is renowned for its architecture. The classic beachfront hotel is a Grade II listed building and has a dome that houses the original staircase, the latter being one of the building’s most notable features.

General manager Gavin says the hotel itself is a reason many guests have booked since it started 18 months ago, with this busy summer as the staycation market has remained strong since the coronavirus pandemic. Covid. Gavin continued: “It’s huge, the demographics because of the history of the hotel – and there’s no other hotel in the area that has that view, it’s second to none.”

The staircase of the Grand Hotel
The staircase of the Grand Hotel

Ayesha Rateb, who works in the hotel’s marketing team, added: “We get guests from Australia and Germany, but when it comes to afternoon teas, we rely on a lot of people. ‘locals. And we always get people from Blyth or the city center staying.’

“People love the history of the hotel and they also love Longsands it’s an award winning beach. They also come for the village of Tynemouth which is a destination in itself and you have Whitley Bay, Cullercoats and even the center -city of Newcastle nearby.”

Gavin and Ayesha say the team working at the Grand Hotel is “tight”, with some team members having been there for over 20 years. Gavin continued: “There’s a good flow between everyone and there’s a lot of people who have been key to the development of others, there’s always someone to lean on and that’s important. “

A statue in the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth
A statue in the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth

With three places to eat and drink, including the lounge overlooking the beach, and hopes to make the Copperfields pub a much-loved local, the Grand Hotel looks set to take on the next 150 years.

For more information on the Grand Hotel, visit the website.

Have you stayed at the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth or visited for afternoon tea? Let us know!

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