I’m aware that a lot of the readers of this blog are not from Gloucestershire so from time to time it’s nice to brag about the fantastic town that I am lucky enough to live in. The setting of this post is the magnificent Queens Hotel (now part of the MGallery collection from Sofitel) which sits proudly in between two of the town’s most fashionable shopping, eating and drinking areas; The Promenade and Montpellier. To those non Gloucestershire dwellers; a perfect destination for a child free weekend away.
The discovery of Cheltenham’s spring waters in 1761 meant that it soon became a place of interest to travellers and nobility alike. It’s doors were opened in 1838 and it has remained a hotel ever since. The arches of the windows that line the leafy Imperial Gardens are carved with the letters VR; the name The Royal Victoria having been initially suggested but The Queens was eventually settled upon and The Queens it remains.
The hotel was overhauled in 2015 and I recall fondly my surprise baby shower shortly after it unveiled it’s new look almost exactly a year ago. An opulent afternoon tea with twenty colleagues and friends that I will never forget so the invitation to find out more about their latest unique initiative was warmly received.
Sensory Storytelling is the result of a collaboration between Sofitel and Lizzie Ostrom (otherwise known as Odette Toilette) who has used her knowledge of scent to create an olfactory adventure. With three signature scents created for each of the three hotels in the collection (The Francis in Bath, The Castle in Windsor and The Queens) Lizzie has taken snippets from the cultural history of each town to provide guests with a choice of in room aromas to compliment their stay.
The Queens’ signature fragrance was a grassy, natural scent made from a combination of Green Apple, Cedrat, Hyacinth and Cedar Wood; Eau d’Ange was a combination of Cardamom, Cedar and Cinnamon but my personal favourite was the Olympian Dew (named after Marie Antoinette’s signature perfume), a deliciously sweet but not overpowering cocktail of Cassis, Rose, Lychee and Vanilla.
Now currently the most common aroma in my home seems to be Lynx (blurgh) and stinking nappy, from time to time interrupted with eau de wet dog so you can imagine my excitement at spending a little bit of protected time in such a civilised and wonderfully fragrant (for all the right reasons) environment. But the fun did not end there.
The menu of scents has been cleverly matched to a delicious Eau d’Ange afternoon tea and this is something I recommend all CheltenhamMamans pop in to sample. Accompanied by the signature Rose Drop Cocktail (did someone say gin?) I can’t think of a better accompaniment to a day of christmas shopping.
In time we’ll tell all of you non Cheltenham folk the very many reasons why you must escape to our town but if you’re feeling a little wrung out and a weekend away is long overdue, put a flag in the sand and book your weekend’s accommodation. The detail can follow on. I can promise you it will be a weekend well spent; an opinion that was also recently backed up by The Independent’s Design Destination series.
(Sensory Storytelling will be available at the Queen’s Hotel from the 31st October onwards.)
Blog Post by CheltenhamMaman HQ