Hodgkinson’s Hotel – A Portal to the Victorian Era

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Admin under Derbyshire, The Life of a Derbyshire Photographer

Hodgkinson's Hotel 052The usual response from clients after you’ve shot photos for them is that they want the images straightaway.  Or preferably yesterday.  Sometimes it can be the other way round, and here’s a case in point: website pictures I took two and a half years ago have finally appeared online.

Hodgkinson's Hotel 050It’s a relief to finally see them there as they represent one of my most pleasurable commissions: to photograph a Victorian hotel, namely Hodgkinson’s Hotel in Matlock Bath.

The best way to proceed from here on is to quote a few lines from a Derbyshire Life article I wrote about the hotel…

‘Matlock Bath is renowned as a landlocked seaside town bedecked with bikers, ice cream parlours and amusement arcades.  However, if you gaze up at the hillside, dotted with charming period houses and then behold, beneath the limestone cliffs opposite, the iron bridge, bandstand, gardens and pleasure boats, you will sense the sonorous echoes of Matlock Bath’s past as a Victorian spa resort…

Hodgkinson's Hotel 035‘You don’t need a leap of the imagination if you step inside Hodgkinson’s Hotel, dating from 1770.  Here, a frock coat and bustle would absolutely blend in… On entering, your feet will step on a tessellated floor.  As you reach the reception area, your eye may be caught by Queen Victoria herself, framed in glass and looking typically unamused.  You, though, will be charmed by the original mahogany and glass bar, with further deep wood panelling around the cosy, elegant  restaurant.  Peep into the lounge and it’s classic William Morris wallpaper, Pear prints, leather sofa, aspidistra and roaring fire.

Hodgkinson's Hotel 042Upstairs there are eight individually designed and beautifully furnished rooms, all ringing with the same Victorian authenticity.  It’s all down to proprietor Dianne Carrieri who over 12 years has lovingly restored and refurbished the entire hotel, earning awards and guest accolades.  It’s certainly unique in this country.  Well, put it this way, do you know of any other hotel that has its own cave?’

The reason it’s taken two and a half years to see the hotel website refreshed with my pictures is because there was a change of ownership after the pictures were processed.  Initially, the aforementioned proprietor Dianne rather – to use a Victorian music hall lyric – dillied and dallied over the website though, to be fair, she was working constantly to keep her lovely hotel going.  Then, much to my surprise, I heard that she had sold up, though the new owners – Zoe and Chris Hipwell – have kept everything as it is.  Indeed, its Victorian aspect is almost certainly what drew them to the hotel.  Finally, they got round to refreshing the website.  They’ve done a grand job, too, as you’ll see.  http://www.hodgkinsons-hotel.co.uk/  However, before you click away, have a look at my gallery of images, though you will see virtually every one of them on the website.  Just click on any image to see it bigger.


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