W.S. Gilbert – Stage Director

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Theatre sign

W.S. Gilbert wrote several plays and burlesques in his early years, especially whilst with the German Reed’s. It allowed him to develop his personal style and to control all aspects of production. However, it was in the following years that he honed his knowledge of stage direction, by following the likes of James Planché and Tom Robertson. James Planché A … Read More

Thespis – the first collaboration of Gilbert & Sullivan

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

inside an old theatre

Thespis was a Christmas entertainment operatic extravaganza, produced by John Hollingshead. He bought together W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan for their first collaboration. John Hollingshead has been the lessee of the Gaiety Theatre since 1868, successfully producing several musical burlesques and operettas. It was also the largest of five London theatres known to show the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, … Read More

The Gaiety Theatre

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Gaiety Theatre

The Gaiety Theatre was built in 1864, on the former site of the Lyceum Theatre. Originally established as the Strand Musick Hall, it took four years to become known as the Gaiety Theatre. John Hollingshead Under the management of John Hollingshead, the Gaiety Theatre was known for musical burlesque, pantomime and operetta performances. It was also synonymous with being a … Read More

W.S. Gilbert, writer of Victorian burlesque?

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian Lady

W.S. Gilbert’s first solo success came in 1866. It came about after his friend and mentor, Tom Robertson, was asked to write a pantomime but declined, due to the timescale – two weeks. He recommended Gilbert. The pantomime ‘Dulcamara, or the little duck and the great quack’ was the end result. The pantomime was a Victorian burlesque, based on Gaetano … Read More

W.S. Gilbert and ‘An Old Score’

Samantha PillingHistory

savoy operas

Following the success of his recent opera burlesques, W.S. Gilbert wrote his first full-length prose – ‘An Old Score’.  Described as a 3-act comedy-drama, it was based in part, on his previous 1967 short story, ‘Diamonds’ and on episodes in the lives of Irish engineer and railway contractor William Dargan, and banker John Sadlier. ‘An Old Score’ opened at the … Read More

What colour is your wedding dress?

Samantha PillingWeddings

Wedding Dress Shoes

When it comes to picking the colour of your wedding dress, you’re often driven by three main factors – personal preference, theme and the time of year. However, there is actually a fourth factor you may like to take notice of – the meaning behind the colour. Colours and the meaning behind them, was an important part of the Victorian … Read More

Honouring the natural seasons at Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingFood and Drink

Plums

Here at Grim’s Dyke we like to honour the traditional seasons. No, I’m not talking about the seasonal changes in the weather – but that of the humble but oh so important fruit and vegetable seasons! As any keen gardener will know, vegetables that are grown in your garden plots will have specific seasons. Traditionally, this inevitably led to a … Read More

How to get the most out of a Whisky or Wine festival

Samantha PillingFood and Drink

Corridor in winery

Going to your first whisky or wine festival can be a delightful experience, if you know what to expect and are organised. Initially, you’ll want to check the obvious things, such as knowing what time the tasting session are, what your ticket does and doesn’t cover etc. When it comes to enjoying the festival itself, you’ll want to know the … Read More

Harrow Wine Festival

Samantha PillingFood and Drink, Latest News

Harrow Wine Festival

Further to the success of our popular wine tasting evenings and the annual Harrow Whisky festival, the Grim’s Dyke Hotel is delighted to be bringing you our first full wine festival – the Harrow Wine Festival. We’re looking to provide you with a wide range of vineyards – both covering the world perspective and the main English/Welsh wine regions. UK … Read More

Harrow Whisky Festival

Samantha PillingFood and Drink

Harrow Whisky Festival

The Grim’s Dyke Hotel is delighted to bring you the annual Harrow Whisky Festival. The 2016 festival was an immense success and 2017 promises to be even better – with 50% more exhibitors, additional exhibitor space and many of your favourites – so make sure you snap up your ticket early, before the festival inevitably sells out! The Harrow Whisky … Read More