Category Archives: Shepheard’s

Stories about the hotel that saw it all

Strange tales from Shepheard’s part 1

From the Yorkshire Evening Post of Saturday 4 June 1892: There are strange chambermaids at Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo. A lady declares that the one who waited on her room and attended to all the duties of the calling, even … Continue reading

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Ann Lees, former guest at Shepheard’s

My cousin Anthony, who lives on Alderney, called me recently to say that he’d lent his copy of Grand Hotels of Egypt to a friend of his on the island and that this person wanted to talk to me. I … Continue reading

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On Shepheard’s balcony

Old timers may get tired of Shepheard’s Hotel, and find more repose and quieter pleasures at the Savoy, the Semiramis, or the latest architectural wonder, The Heliopolis, but it still remains the most popular hotel in the country. No tourist … Continue reading

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Hollywood royalty in Egypt

My last post mentioned in passing the fact that Hollywood golden couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford had added their signatures to the Winter Palace Golden Book in November 1929. At the time they were just about two of the … Continue reading

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It’s called adaptive reuse

Some years back, well before the calamity that has befallen the country, I stayed at the Zenobia hotel at Palmyra in Syria. It has the most extraordinary location, away from the modern town and right on the edge of the … Continue reading

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Heliopolis, the Clapham Junction of the African skies

By coincidence, shortly after I posted the pic of the flying boat in front of the Winter Palace (see the post before last), a piece appeared on the BBC News website by Gerald Butt, titled Frank McClean: Forgotten pioneer of the … Continue reading

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Now that’s what I call a bill!

Two beautiful bills from Shepheard’s hotel, the first from the 1890s, the second from the 1900s. Receiving something like this on checking out would almost take the pain away of having to open your wallet.  

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Seeing in the New Year at Shepheard’s

New Year’s Eve was always the biggest party of the year at Shepheard’s. We have this description from The Egyptian Gazette of what that particular night was like in 1921, when 1,200 revellers were gathered in the grand dining room: … Continue reading

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Topless women and Hoovers

In the early years of the 20th century, several of Egypt’s leading hotels produced promotional booklets. I have a few of them, all of which must have been produced by the same company as they all follow the same format, … Continue reading

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Waugh in Egypt

Recognise the picture on this book jacket? It’s the same pic that headed my last post. Not that you can make much out with the type obscuring most of the image (the designer also chose to flip the photo). It’s … Continue reading

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Filed under Mad dogs and Englishmen, Shepheard's