London celebrations

The incredible story of The Savoy hotel in London

When I moved in, my Art Deco suite was so lavish that I never got up until noon. Would you when you were served breakfast in bed every morning by taut-muscled Adonis in pristine white jackets?

The view proved equally inspiring. Fairy lights twinkled across the inky waters of the Thames from the fluted Houses of Parliament to the Globe Theatre. The square windows of passing boats, lit from within, made them look like illuminated harmonicas. I kept demanding that my friends call me to ask me the time. “Okaaay… What time is it Kath?” they asked, perplexed.

“Not sure,” I would reply jubilantly. “Just let me look out the window at BIG BEN!”

So, how was the most pampered residence in the world born? Well, the Savoy was keen to rekindle its literary ties. Not only was the hotel built on the financial backs of the Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, but it also housed a literary minestrone of famous writers – Noel Coward, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, Mark Twain, Somerset Maugham, Hilaire Belloc, F Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Fielding, Rudyard Kipling… Kathy Lette: A natural sequel, I thought to myself.

Months of fun and frivolity followed. The Minogues were partying in the Art Deco pool. John Mortimer, Stephen Fry, Richard E Grant and Salman Rushdie have joined me to co-host literary dinners. Friends stayed for sleepovers where we dialed our fingers to order room service.

Mel Brooks had the suite next to mine; Graham Norton was working out at the gym and the American Bar was so full of Hollywood stars that I contracted A-Listeria. The head bartender even invited me to concoct a tailor-made cocktail, which we called “Kathy Cassis” (many hours of research went into this one, you can imagine). Is it any wonder that I spent my residency smiling as blissfully as a cat full of canaries? Although I don’t write much – mostly checks for more champagne.

When my term ended, I found it unbearably difficult to return to real-life domestic chores. Because that’s the only problem with being the Savoy’s writer-in-residence – the separation is such a heartbreak.

Kathy Lette is the author of 20 books and a Telegraph Travel columnist