Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales on the Savoy site and Oscar Wilde feasted with panthers in a suite upstairs. I’m proud to be appointed the first ever Literary Ambassador at one of the world’s most storied hotels. Working with the Savoy team, lead by Emma Allam, I’m launching a full literary programme bringing authors and guests together to celebrate books. There are three key strands: Salons, reviving the famous Writer-in-Residence programme and introducing Book Butlers to oversee a seasonal library.
Salons: The glittering Lancaster Ballroom has been the Salon’s home since 2016. It’s where established and emerged stars share new stories and reveal their own personal tales. Maggie O’Farrell electrified with the premiere of This Must Be The Place, Susan Calman had everyone crying with her as she revealed her memoirs and Yaa Gyasi gripped the room with Homegoing, her novel of slavery and survival. Every Salon adds more stories.
Writers-in-Residence: Past Writers-in-Residence include Fay Weldon, Kathy Lette and Seamus Heaney. This revived program will bring unique voices to the hotel where they will take up residency for three weeks working on an exclusive story and appearing at events. The writers confirmed so far are Garth Greenwell, Sarah Perry and Aminatta Forna.
Book Butlers: Book Butlers will hurry to the rescue of any guest who has left home without packing something good to read (the horror!) Each of our specially trained Book Butlers will be available to cater to suite guests’ literary needs from the Savoy Library, edited by Damian Barr and featuring favourite titles from some of The Savoy team. The library, supplied by Heywood Hill, will be updated seasonally and available to all guests looking for a good read during their stay. Children’s in-room libraries will also be available for younger guests.