Category Archives: IRA bombing

The London Hilton

The London Hilton on Park Lane

The London Hilton on Park Lane was not a hotel we ever lived in.  But we did spend a fair amount of time there for two reasons: Mother’s best new friend in London, Mary Broomfield, was the hotel’s upper class consierge and Trader Vic’s was in the basement.

The hotel was built in 1963 in the swanky Mayfair section of London and towers over Hyde Park (it remains the tallest hotel in London).  In 1967 the Beatles met the Mararishi Mahesh Yogi there and in 1975 the IRA bombed the place killing two and injuring 63 including Mary who lost hearing in one ear.  Trader Vic’s was the faux Polynesian bar chain (which originated in San Francisco, I believe) whose big, colorful, fruit-garnished drinks and Tiki mugs were an irresistible draw for teen expat wanna be grown-ups like me and Robbie and our crew from ASL (The American School in London).

London Ladies Who Lunch — Chanel Bonfire

Here’s to the ladies who lunch!

Marian Montgomery in the headscarf, next to Mary Broomfield in pale yellow with hands clasped. Cigarettes, cold white wine and maybe a chicken salad for those who were hungry…

Behind that wall, the IRA bomb went off.  Mother wrote songs with Marian who recorded them and sang one of them “The Summerhouse” on the BBC.  I’ll post a digital version when I can find it.