Meet You at Paddington – London, England (English)

Meet You at Paddington – London, England (English)

Andreas Augustin





Leather-bound edition







245 x 235 mm, 680 g

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Allow me to take you back in time, when a man had a dream: to travel from New York to the heart of London. Sounds odd? Well, not if you’ve heard of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


Isambard Kingdom Brunel, England’s most famous railway engineer, had a dream: passengers would travel from all over the world to the heart of London and alight at Paddington Station, the terminus of the Great Western Railway. And there the finest hotel on their journey, the Great Western Royal Hotel, would be waiting to become their home away from home. And so it was that in 1854 the world’s first palatial terminus hotel opened for business.

Almost 150 years of history have made it a legend. This is the story of the Great Western Royal Hotel: from the first Royal visit, to Agatha Christie’s 4.50 from Paddington and Paddington, the famous bear. From the Great Western Royal Hotel in 1854 to the Hilton London Paddington.

Allow me to take you back in time, when a man had a dream: to travel from New York to the heart of London. Sounds odd? Well, not if you’ve heard of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

In March 1833, 27-year old Brunel was appointed chief engineer of the Great Western Railway. He was born into one of the most exciting periods of history. His father was an engineer and young Isambard choose to follow in his footsteps. He was 19 when, on 27 September 1825, large crowds saw George Stephenson at the controls of his steaming Locomotion as it pulled 36 carriages along the Stockton & Darlington railroad. Modern railway travel had been invented.

Brunel knew he wanted to be involved in building everything related to it. The aim of the Great Western Railway was to create a link between London and Bristol, England’s innovative city on the western coast of the island. From here, its charismatic chief engineer Brunel imagined, they would take the railway passengers on Great Western Railway ships across the Atlantic to America. And bring American passengers back to London, where they would be greeted by the open arms of Paddington Station, the terminus of the Great Western Railway.

Here, Brunel foresaw, the finest hotel of their journey would be waiting to become their home away from home. The Great Western Royal. What used to be most pratical - a hotel right at Paddington Station - is even better today: a hotel at the beginning of each journey via Heathrow. The Express departs right at the hotel and takes you to the airport in 15 minutes. The hotel itself has kept its ancient facade, the traditional staircase, but the rest is new.

Meet You at Paddington
The story of the first palatial terminus hotel
The Great Western Royal Hotel — The Hilton London Paddington

© Andreas Augustin - Famous Hotels

Florian Augustin for resaerching London’s history during the blitz in World War II

Editor: Carola Eleonore Augustin and Francesca Brizi

Design: Ramazotti Michelangelo

Photographs: Famous Hotels Archives, Great western Paddington Hotel collection, Hilton Iternational Science and Society Picture llibrary, the European Railway Picture Library.

Publisher's recommendations

Dear wonderful Readers; 

Days like this lead to endless hours at home, time for books, time to read and to prepare our next journeys. 

I recommend the new edition of HOTEL METROPOLE HANOI.

The first copies of THE HALF MOON TREASURY are being released – exclusively to our readers (and before its official launching date). 

We have released a reprint of our successful book THE WESTIN EXCLESIOR ROME, the most famous hotel on Via Veneto. 

The new edition of THE STRAND (Yangon,Myanmar) receives wonderful readers' feedback — thank you for your notes and mails. 

There is a hotel in Seefeld, Tyrol, Austria, which stands for all the fables and legends this little olympic village has to tell. It is called ASTORIA, and run by legendary hotelier Elisabeth Gürtler. Our new book SEEFELDER MINIATUREN - ASTORIA - A STORY - A LEGEND is available now – in this store. It is in German, only (for the time being).

Upon request, we dispatch all our books personally autographed (as you know).

Have a save journey!

Andreas Augustin

aa at famoushotels dot org

"To travel is to possess the world.”

Burton Holmes

(1870, Chicago–1958, Los Angeles)

American traveler, photographer and filmmaker, who coined the term "travelogue"

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