On 29 April 2011, to coincide with the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William to Kate Middleton, The Langham, London will re-open the eponymous named Middleton Rose Garden as a rare al fresco wedding venue in London.
The south-facing Middleton Rose Garden is one of the oldest private garden sites in the West End, dating back to the mid-eighteenth century and thus listed building consent has been granted to upgrade the garden. Since 1961, it has been known as The Middleton Garden, when the BBC, the then occupier of The Langham Hotel, dedicated the garden to its pioneering former gardening presenter Cecil Henry Middleton, who died in 1945.
This courtyard garden will now form a unique outdoor reception venue for up to 250 guests for use in conjunction with the hotel’s historic Grand Ballroom. Measuring 420 square metres, it has been specifically designed to give the impression of an English rose garden whilst also being a flexible venue for weddings and special events. Located at the rear of the hotel, it is accessed directly from the Grand Ballroom. Grand piers and elegant railings will create enticing views, and within the garden, a series of intimate spaces will be created by moveable planters and benches.
Standard bay trees create a structure of evergreen planting giving all season interest while the under planting of roses and other seasonal plants will give considerable colour, fragrance and charm. The side walls will be planted with free-standing decorative obelisks to clothe climbing roses and jasmines.
The York stone paving will be replaced throughout and a scheme of low voltage lighting will be installed in the planting beds to create subtle mood lighting. Although there is limited scope to create a bio-diverse environment in an urban setting for wildlife, some beds will be planted with some evergreens to provide shelter for insects and birds.
Originally the hotel’s dining room, the Grand Ballroom is an expansive room and has been at the cornerstone of The Langham since it first opened in 1865 as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’. It soon established itself as a legendary venue for lavish celebrations when it was tradition to lay a bridal red carpet across Langham Place from All Souls’ Church to hotel’s doorstep.
As part of the recently completed £80 million refurbishment of the hotel, the listed Grand Ballroom has been lovingly restored with subtle touches, enhancing the delicate period details that echo its past. Authentic elements have been preserved from the dramatic renaissance pillars to the sparkling chandeliers and the fine hand-painted decorative detailing.