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A word with the West End: Katie Thomas talks looking to the future

Culture

In the wake of a challenging period for London’s West End, Brown’s Hotel once again welcomes guests to this historic district. We spoke with Katie Thomas, esteemed Associate Director for Bond Street & Mayfair and long-standing friend of the hotel, to get her thoughts on the past few months and what the future holds.

 

Please could you introduce yourself and your role?

As Associate Director at New West End Company, I represent over 600 businesses across the West End anchored by Bond Street, Oxford Street, and Regent Street.  I’ve also been a Director of the Jermyn Street Association for the past 15 years.

 

How have you found the last few months?

An absolute rollercoaster. From working together with businesses to close down the entire West End to managing the lockdown period, to assisting with re-opening safely and securely, it’s been completely unprecedented.

 

How did the brands you work with help combat COVID?

Many brands were quick to act decisively and many brought their expertise to aid in the fight, such as Burberry repurposing its factories to create non-surgical PPE, Ralph Lauren helping to fund specialist Cancer Care for patients at The Royal Marsden Hospital and many West End restaurants creating meals for frontline workers.

 

What exciting events do businesses now have planned?

Although many events have had to be postponed or cancelled, you can guarantee that Bond Street’s revered brands will be busy creating new stylish experiences. Right now, art-lovers should look out for the Royal Academy of Arts’ new Gauguin and the Impressionists exhibition, Weds–Sun each week, 11am–5pm.

 

What is your relationship with Brown's Hotel?

I love Brown’s Hotel and have been a visitor for many years. On one occasion, years ago, I was styling an as-yet unknown performer for a photoshoot and her record label was keen that she enjoy a great experience in London. I called Brown’s Hotel and booked a suite, so I could easily bring clothes from Bond Street, knowing the young singer would be looked after while we worked. I have to say, she loved the hotel and the whole experience, and yes RIHANNA did go on to be quite a star.

 

What are you looking forward to when things return to normality?

I am so looking forward to heading to Brown’s after work on a Thursday evening, meeting friends at the Donovan Bar for a G&T and just having a giggle. Suddenly you appreciate the things we took for granted.

 

If you could describe Bond Street in three words, what would they be?

Historic, stylish, and fabulous.

 

What does the future hold for Bond Street?

For over three centuries, Bond Street has been the destination for fashion, fine jewellery and art — a vibrant and stylish thoroughfare that has survived many challenges. I think we will adapt and thrive for many years to come.

 

Book your stay at Brown’s Hotel and discover all the West End has to offer by emailing reservations.browns@roccofortehotels.com

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