5th December 2019
Joanna Lumley as an angel
Our first festive window is of the actress Joanna Lumley, of BBC’s Absolutely Fabulous, depicted as an angel. A little ironic, as Joanna’s character was far from an angel in the television series! A programme that has become a firm part of British heritage, one of our original pieces of artwork displayed at The Athenaeum is an image of Joanna in New York City, swigging from a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka. Not only does this add a bit of fun for those enjoying afternoon tea at The Athenaeum, Joanna herself is partial to enjoying a spot of afternoon tea with us too!
Take That as the Three (Five) Wise Men
Festive window number two at The Athenaeum is of the band members from Take That as five wise men. Take That famously announced their split from the Devonshire Suite of The Athenaeum in 1996. The band’s single at the time – a cover of the Bee Gees classic How Deep Is Your Love – went on to become number one in the charts, reaching Platinum status. The Samaritans also set up a helpline to counsel millions of fans as a result of the news.
Steven Spielberg as Santa
Our third festive window at The Athenaeum is of the legendary film director Steven Spielberg as Santa in a sleigh. Given all the gifts in the form of films he’s brought us over the years, this is wonderfully appropriate! What fewer people realise is that many of his films were actually completed at The Athenaeum. That’s right – he set up an editing suite in one of the hotel’s residences while he was working on E.T., Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Winston Churchill as Father Christmas
Our final festive window at The Athenaeum depicts the former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, with a Father Christmas hat atop his head. Best remembered for leading Great Britain to success during World War II, Winston was relocated to the old Down Street underground station – which he nicknamed ‘The Barn’ – for earlier parts of the war. According to the rumour mill, he would occasionally pop across the road for a glass of Pol Roger Champagne and a cigar!
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