By Ruth Doherty published
A majestic London apartment that inspired the design of the Titanic’s grand first-class dining room is now available to rent.
The apartment is located in Covent Garden’s Gatti House, a magnificent Grade II-listed building originally built in 1886-87 and designed by architect Spencer Chadwick, the leading Victorian theatre architect whose work includes the adjacent Adelphi Theatre.
The 1,818 sq ft first floor apartment was formerly the main private dining room and servery of the Adelphi Theatre Restaurant Building, a fine-dining haunt frequented by Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward. It’s now known as Gatti House, located on London’s famous Strand, with the apartment boasting a 227 sq ft terrace and 80 sq ft of ornamental balconies.
The Adelphi Theatre Restaurant was owned by brothers Agostino (1842-1897) and Stefano Gatti (1845-1906), a wealthy Italian-Swiss dynasty who, like a Victorian era version of Sir Cameron Mackintosh/Richard Caring, owned a portfolio of London Theatres and restaurants, including the Adelphi (purchased in 1880) and the Vaudeville (purchased in 1892).
Located adjacent to the Adelphi Theatre, the restaurant at 410 Strand was 'The Ivy of its day' with the main restaurant on the ground floor, opulent private dining rooms on the first and second floors and catering facilities on the upper floors.
The Adelphi Theatre and restaurant was sold by Jack Gatti (one of the next generation of the family) in 1955 and the restaurant building was converted in 2010-2013 intoGatti House, a boutique scheme of ultra-luxury apartments, with the former restaurant’s beautiful interiors restored and skilfully converted into residential living spaces.
The first floor apartment has a grand main reception room with a four-metre high ceiling, ornate plasterwork and Versailles style oak flooring and was formerly the principal private dining room of the restaurant.
The room hosted numerous famous diners including Actress Dame Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, French film actress Sarah Bernhardt, Noel Coward, J. Bruce Ismay, the Chairman of the White Star Line, and Thomas Andrews, the naval architect of the White Star ocean liner RMS Titanic.
When the main reception room served as a VIP dining room it was managed by Agostino’s eldest son John Gatti (1872-1926) whilst a cousin, Gaspare “Luigi” Gatti (1875-1912), served as the manager and head chef for private dining. In 1908 J. Bruce Ismay, a frequent user of the first floor dining room and Chairman of the White Star Line, gave the Gatti family the contract to operate the à la carte restaurants on his new ocean liners the RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic.
Ismay liked the Covent Garden first floor room so much that he commissioned Thomas Andrews to create a larger replica for the à la carte first class dining room of RMS Titanic, alongside copying the menu and table place settings. On 10thApril 1912 Gaspare Gatti and 35 of his staff, most previous employees of the Adelphi Theatre Restaurant, sailed on the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic. On the 15 April 1912 RMS Titanic sank, taking with it Gaspare Gatti and most of his staff – part of the worst disaster in maritime history.
Fast forward to the current day and the celebrity diners and RMS Titanic history are long gone, replaced by a beautiful, totally unique, bespoke design luxury apartment with elaborate interiors boasting ornate plasterwork, walls and joinery and carved door cases, some with feature cat’s heads (Gatti means cats in Italian).
With ceilings up to four metres high, the apartment’s main reception has a feature fireplace and three full-height glass double-doors, opening onto a trio of ornamental balconies.
Once the original Victorian servery, the separate designer kitchen/breakfast room has a central island with a four-seat breakfast bar and diamond pattern marble flooring.
There are two luxurious bedroom suites, both with ensuite facilities, and a 202 sq ft outside terrace.
The state-of-the-art specification includes underfloor heating, air conditioning, advanced home entertainment and security systems, bespoke design and joinery, fully fitted kitchen and marble bathrooms and luxurious finishes in the finest marble, stone and wood.
Lazarus Demetriou, Director at Dexters (Fitzrovia)says: 'With its grand interiors, celebrity history and RMS Titanic links this magnificent first floor apartment in Gatti House is the most luxurious residential letting on the Strand and arguably the best letting opportunity in Covent Garden. With its balance of outside space, in the form of the terrace and ornamental balcony, and the large voluminous interiors, this is the perfect central London apartment for a discerning resident wanting an abundance of private space to live, entertain and relax.'
On London’s famous Strand, close to Trafalgar Square and the River Thames, Gatti House is a stone's throw from Covent Garden, Whitehall, the West End and the City of London. The vicinity in and around the Strand is home to some of London’s best five-star hotels including The Savoy, ME London Hotel, The Corinthia and the Waldorf Hilton, as well as top restaurants like The Ivy and J Sheekey.
The Gatti House apartment is available to let via Dexters for £3,500 per week.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
How to paint a house exterior
Discover how to paint a house exterior for a professional, authentic finish with long-lasting results
By Douglas Kent • Published
Best Instant Pot 2022: our top 6 multi-cookers
Find the best Instant Pot for your kitchen with our top picks for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and even air frying
By Millie Fender • Published