Excerpt from newspaper:
“£500,000 SPENT ON TWIN SUITES’ LUXURIOUS DECOR”
Five thousand lamps illuminate the Mecca banqueting suites, but there is no harsh electric glare. The lamps twinkle as stars in a blue ceiling and give prickles of light from balustrades ; they glow yellow against brass decorations and reflect orange against walls clad in beaten copper. The overall effect is subdued and impressive.
Decoration and fitting out has cost £ 500,000. Everywhere there is an atmosphere of luxury. Patrons enter through glazed swing doors into a hall that glows red from coloured lanterns.
A second set of doors opens into the main foyer. Here the scene is dominated by a main staircase with internally-lit brass balustrades. These lead eye up with thousands of pinpricks of light to an intermediate landing, backed by a giant pewter-coloured mirror, 30 ft long ad 10 ft deep. At this point the stairs divide and continue to the main floor.
The main foyer also gives access to cloakrooms and a women’s boudoir carpeted in a deep lilac and dominated by a free-standing octagon carrying six full-length mirrors. Ranged around the silk-hung walls are gilt-framed vanity mirrors.
At the head of the staircase one can either the Prince Charles or the Mayfair Suites; the two entrances, enriched by brass and padded black leather panels, are positioned to prevent any confusion if two functions should be running simultaneously.
Access to the Prince Charles Suite is through a richly carpeted reception lounge. This can be used for small functions and it has its own servery for people spending a quiet few minutes away from a function in a suite.
Walls have beaten copper vertically stripped with wood. Pewter mirrors are set over wall couches lining one side of the lounge. A committee room leads off and this is carpeted in fawn and partly panelled, though one wall is finished in olive-coloured fabric.
PLENTY OF ROOM
A long bar, decorated in hardwood is approached from the far end of the reception lounge and is so placed as to give plenty of room to drinkers without encroaching on the banqueting hall. One feature of the bar is the use of repeating brass star motifs which softly reflect red and royal blue lighting which gives a hard-to-define atmosphere of richness.
The banqueting hall has a red and gold plaster ceiling, elaborately coffered and the wall employ black kingfisher and red finishes. Dance areas have floors of sprung Canadian maple and the remainder of the floor area is carpeted in patterned deep pile in purple tinged with red and black.
the Prince Charles Suite is provided with its own stage _ it can be removed – flanked by a light refreshments bar, capable of serving coffee for 250, and a dispense for waitress service to tables.
Approaches to the Mayfair Suite and reception rooms are similar but on a larger scale. The reception area is flanked by another long bar with a marble-tilled apron immediately in front of the padded leather bar front. the ceiling is studded with a pattern of decorated light fittings.
A staircase, bounded by an ornamental balustrade, gives access to a gallery immediately over the reception area. this too, has a long bar sumptuously enveloped in black leather and copper panels.
The main stage of the banqueting hall is in the Mayfair Suite and is a focal point. It is surrounded by intricately pierced brass illuminated strips and a repeating flower motif, is richly curtained, and acts as a foil to the sparkle and richness of the main hall. Behind dthe stage is a bandroom and a dressing-room.
Overlooking the Mayfair Suite is a lighting control room. This houses the master equipment for controlling the whole of the banqueting area; but when the dividing partition is in place a second control room operates the lighting in the Prince Charles Suite.
Lighting is controlled to give atmosphere and suit the mood of dancers. Lighting colours will change to dull red for a tango and lighten to gayer colours for a waltz. the installation is described as full theatrical lighting, in the use of which Mecca has had much experience. Both control rooms can be used to house projectors for film shows in either suite. They also control microphones, the suites being fitted with comprehensive audio equipment.
Other equipment essential to comport is comprehensive air conditioning. Ducts feed ceiling grilles, the incoming air being filtered and heated or cooled by chilled water, depending on temperature requirements.
Thed architects were Kett and Neve of London and the contractor was John Laing Construction Ltd.
15 MILES OF LIGHTING CABLE
One of the largest specialist items undertaken in fitting out the Mecca banqueting suites was electrical work involving the laying of more than 15 miles of cable to supply 5,000 lamps. When all are burning the hourly bill will exceed £100.
Other impressive facts:
Decorators brushed their way through 3,000 gallons of expensive paint during the 41 weeks needed to prepare the suites.
If the carpeting was rolled out in a strip it would reach 1 3/4 miles.
The kitchens can make 100 gallons of soup at a time. In stock are 11,350 pieces of German bon china and 30,000 glasses ranging from handled bee mugs to delicate hock glasses with coloured items.