VBL On Demand: Puttin' on the Ritz - César Ritz, His Hotels and Coco Chanel

05/07/2020 07:00 PM - 12/31/2022 08:00 PM ET


History Society Event


  • $4.00




Virtual Britsburgh Live on Demand presents.... 

Puttin' on the Ritz - César Ritz, His Hotels and Coco Chanel


"Ritzy" has become synonymous in the English language with opulent elegance.  This program will explore fascinating aspects of several of the hotels founded or managed by the great Swiss hotelier including, in London, The Savoy, the Carlton (now defunct), and the London Ritz, as well as the original Hôtel Ritz in Paris.  We'll present an overview of Ritz's life and the history of some of his best known hotels, with special attention to his enduring influence and legacy; explore his collaboration with master French chef Auguste Escoffier, one of the first celebrity chefs and inventor of the famous Peach Melba dessert; examine Ritz's role in the advent and popularization of Grand Marnier liqueur; and disclose some of the most famous guests who have patronized these most luxurious of hotels, among them Coco Chanel, iconic fashion designer, who resided at the Paris Ritz for over 30 years, including, infamously, during the German occupation in World War II.


The program will consist of three parts:

  1. Kim Szczypinski of Britsburgh's History Society and Duquesne University will give a brief overview of the life of César Ritz, the history of his most famous hotels, his collaboration with Auguste Escoffier, and their lasting collective influence; Kim's slides
  2. Kim Szczypinski will demonstrate of how to make Escoffier's Peach Melba, which he originated at The Savoy, and how to prepare a London Ritz-style Buck's Fizz versus the Paris Ritz-style Mimosas; and,
  3. Deborah Popp Gilbert, Britsburgh member and Vice President of the Elizabeth Township Historical Society will give a talk and a slide presentation on the life, fashions and influences of Coco Chanel during the first half of the 20th century, the heydey of the hotels founded by César Ritz.  Her presentation will include her thoughts on the controversially alleged collaboration of Chanel with the Nazis, when the Paris Ritz, where she resided, was used as the headquarters of the Nazi Luftwaffe captained by Herman Goehring. 



This video was recorded on May 7, 2020. 



How to watch Virtual Britsburgh Live on demand?

  1. Register and we'll send you the link to the video - It's FREE for members! $4 for non-members; MEMBERS LOGIN FOR FREE REGISTRATION. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page

  2. Donate what you can. We suggest $10 per person.  Registered and forgot to donate? No worries click here. Thanks


Explore fascinating British-themed topics with the guidance of experts and enjoy the company and conversation of fellow enthusiasts as a member of one of Britsburgh Societies: Britsburgh Arts Society, the Britsburgh Beer Society, the Britsburgh History Society, the Britsburgh Literary Society and the Britsburgh Tea Society. If you are not already a member, I would like to invite you to consider becoming a Britsburgh Society member. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page.




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