Thursday, 12 April 2012


Once Warsaw's only modern, foreign, hotel, the Forum on Rondo Dmowskiego (now the Novotel Centrum) was originally light orangey-brown. Then after the hotel changed owners and names in 2002, it turned light grey. Now, in time for the flood of foreign football fans, the 40 year-old building is being returned to its original shades.

My first memory of the building from 1976 was of the money-changers standing outside. I was 18 years old at the time and in Warsaw visiting my family. I had a few hours to spare, so I swapped a one-pound note for 200 zlotys, then entered the Forum Hotel's restaurant to eat roast pheasant with Armagnac sorbet for afters and a cigar and brandy to go with. When I'd finished, I went back outside, changed another pound note, then enjoyed exactly the same meal all over again.

Not so much fun for the locals earning ten pounds a month, but for us Westerners, cheap holidays in other people's misery.

Above: it's a hard and repetitive job, covering each external panel with orange sticky tape. The only question I have to ask is - why this particular colour? Who chose it? The hotel's French owners or the city's listed buildings curator?

This time three years ago:
That's what I like about the North


Anonymous said...

Maybe a large advert in process? Perhaps for the brand 'orange'?


Michael Dembinski said...

Bob - you were right!