Harrods, Laduree, Basil Street Apartments and Walton Place

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I had my first taste of Harrods’ tea in 1994, after my colleague brought a tin to me from one of his visits.  Of course, nothing would do but that I hop off the tour bus when we passed the iconic department store and see it for myself.  Laduree (to the bottom right in the photo above) is the Harrods restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and weekend/holiday brunch.  Harrods was originally built with mansion flats on the four upper floors, 1901-1905 according to historicengland.org.uk.  Architect was C. W. Stephens.  The elevation to Basil Street was rebuilt 1929-1930 by architect Louis D. Blanc, and the elevation to Hans Crescent part rebuilt in 1939 by architect John L. Harvey.

Pinky-buff terracotta facings by Doultons. Flat roofs and mansard attics with copper sheeting of fish-scale pattern… Exuberant Baroque style with French Second Empire features, two lower storeys with large display windows, four storeys above, and attics at corners.

The flats were replaced by sales space during the years between 1912 and 1930s.  Laduree’s was originally the entrance to the service yard, and displays Ionic pilaster and column…and a central date plaque ‘1911.’

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Harrods

The Basil Street elevation was rebuilt 1929-30 by architect Louis D. Blanc.

Doulton’s brown terracotta and Hathernware faience facings chosen to harmonise with original building, above black granite-faced ground floor…Ground floor has bronze-framed display windows supplied by Frederick Sage Ltd. 

On the opposite side of the street are many of the apartment hotels and flats along Basil Street.  While I love the look of the architecture, I cannot imagine walking up and down stairs in the four and five storey homes.  The “outstanding houses in Basil Street…with long ranges of mullioned and transomed windows and tall gables (mutilated in the 1939-45 war)” are the 1900s work of architect Arnold Bidlake Mitchell.

The view of the white building with iron trim on the balcony ledge is Walton Place, a block of similar homes around the corner.  Architect for the

formal stucco terrace by George Besevi c.1830. Stucco. Four storeys, two windows each. Channelled stucco to ground floor. Projecting porches with square piers. First floor contains continuous cast iron balcony; dentil cornice above second floor and subsidiary cornice above. (British Listed Buildings)

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2 Responses to Harrods, Laduree, Basil Street Apartments and Walton Place

  1. Thanks for sharing this history! I didn’t know much about the history when I visited Harrod’s – would love to go back.

    Like

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