Tag Archives: Mena House

A hospital in a palace

During World War I the British military command saw Egypt, its industries, businesses and people as resources to be drawn upon to assist the war effort. The tourist industry was not exempt. Hotels around the country were requisitioned, as military … Continue reading

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Filed under Hotels then and now, Travellers' tales

Dora dines in Cairo

A pingback linking to this site alerted me to a fascinating post over at the Sydney Living Museums website. It concerns a new book containing correspondence between Dora Sheller and her son Leslie Walford, one of the leading figures in … Continue reading

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Filed under Grand hotels, Memorabilia, Shepheard's, Travellers' tales

Cairo in the war

Not too much to say about the photo above except it depicts British officers (no non-ranked soldiers allowed) relaxing on the terrace at Shepheard’s in 1941 and it’s new to me. It was shot by British photojournalist George Rodger (1908–1995), … Continue reading

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Filed under Shepheard's

Graphics before graphic designers

Although the term was not coined until 1920s, graphic design existed long before there were any graphic designers. The art of combining text and pictures for a range of printed material has been at the heart of the printer’s craft … Continue reading

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Filed under Memorabilia

Mena House 1900(ish)

The images below come from a small advertising booklet issued by the Mena House some time soon after 1900, which was when the electric tram, mentioned on one of its pages, first starting running on Pyramids Road. Note, in addition … Continue reading


Filed under Memorabilia

It’s for you

A bunch of envelopes posted from the Mena House: the first is from 1891, just five years after the hotel opened, the second from 1894, then two from 1901 and the last is from 1939.

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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


Filed under Grand hotels, Lost Egypt, Shepheard's

I’ll have what he’s having

Back in the ’30s if a company marketing booze in the US wanted to imbue its product with a bit of glamour and sophistication then one way to do it was to suggest the drink was just the sort of … Continue reading

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Filed under Memorabilia

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 Shepheard's, Travellers' tales

Judging a book by its cover

So Grand Hotels of Egypt is out. We had the launch party last Sunday at the Windsor Hotel in Cairo and I’m sorry if you weren’t there because it was a terrific evening (thank you Neil, Trevor and Nabila at … Continue reading

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Filed under Art and artists, Book news, Memorabilia