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Part 01: Minoli London, George Street, W1
This week sees the start of a series of articles focusing on our facilities. Many of our clients will have visited our Oxford headquarters, our London showrooms or the Minoli Outlet store, but there are back-stories about these buildings and their role in delivering the Minoli experience, that we’d like to share. Let’s start with our central London studio and offices.
Called ‘The Surface Within’, our London showrooms are located on George Street, nestled between Baker Street and Gloucester Place, just north of Portman Square and Oxford Street and ideally placed for ease of access from Mayfair, Marylebone and Marble Arch.
Opened in 2013 to better serve professional and residential clients across the Capital and South-East, ‘The Surface Within’ brings to life Minoli’s then new brand positioning in physical form and purposefully sets out a new premium, contemporary design direction for the firm’s facilities.
The row of buildings in which our showroom resides was erected around 1800 and is associated with the Portman Estate, Gloucester Place development. The buildings were originally constructed as terraced housing, the shop fronts being added later in the mid-19th Century.
Grade 2 listed and with English Heritage certification, having only been cosmetically refurbished since construction, the façade of No 71 still retains ornamental stone carvings depicting four lions along the frontage, perhaps the mark of the builder or owner of the development at the time.
Aside from being our clients’ ‘London home’ for Minoli, George Street has some other interesting claims to fame.
- London’s very first Indian restaurant, ‘The Hindoostane Coffee House’, was established opposite at 102 George Street in 1810 by Mr Sake Dean Mahomed, a charismatic Bengali traveller, surgeon, entrepreneur and captain in the British East India Company. It’s commonly assumed that Indian restaurants were initially set up by Bangladeshi immigrants in the 1960s and ‘70s, but this one started serving over 200 hundred years ago.
2. The celebrated Irish poet, Thomas Moore, lived a few doors down at 85 George Street in the early 1,800s. A writer of verse and lyricist, he is best known for his Irish Melodies. In 1953, his tenancy was commemorated with the notable English Heritage blue plaque installed by London County Council. Moore was a close friend of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, and a popular hero among the Irish nationalists, who he supported.
3. Lastly, our road was party to arguably the most significant royal scandal in history. It was in her luxury apartment in Bryanston Court, on the corner of George Street and Seymore Place, that the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson first ‘entertained’ Edward VIII in 1933, prior to his abdication in 1936. George Street took its name from George III and ironically, when Edward abdicated, his brother Albert ascended the throne and took the name of George, becoming King George VI.
The London operation has become a valuable extension to our established Oxford-based headquarters, warehousing and distributions hub, and having the showroom, meeting spaces and resource centre in Marylebone, W1, means we can offer the same excellent levels of customer service in the very heart of London as well.
Minoli’s London facilities, The Surface Within at 71-73 George Street, W1U 8AQ, are open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 6:00pm, and on Saturdays by appointment from 10:00am – 2:00pm. To arrange a time to visit please call the team on 020 7474 2934 or email us at email@example.com
Image credits 3rd parties: