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DEN NORSKE KLUB FURNITURE

One of the trickiest aspects of the St Mary’s Inn project is getting the right choice of old and new furniture to furnish the public areas and our bedrooms. If we get this right, the place will have real character from the outset. If we get it wrong, we’ll end up with a mish mash of random objects that offends the eye.

However, there are occasions when you just can’t say no to a golden opportunity. This happened recently to my colleague Tony when he had the chance to buy some furniture from a private seller in London. We’re now the proud owners of some original oak pieces – a settle and five chairs – from Den Norske Klub (DNK). DNK was founded in 1887 on 17th May, Norway’s Constitution Day. It’s the oldest club of its kind in the UK and is still an important meeting place for the Norwegian community in London.

In 1924, the Klub moved into ‘Norway House’ off Trafalgar Square, occupying the top three floors. This building came to play an important role during World War II, when many Norwegian institutions and government bodies were housed there. King Haakon VII and the members of his Norwegian government-in-exile became regular visitors to the Klub.

He also became the Klub’s first patron. His son, King Olav V, was honorary president from 1957 until his death in 1991. His son again, the present King Harald V, is today an honorary member. In 1997, ‘Norway House’ was sold and turned into luxury flats. The furniture comes from the sale of all its assets and has been in private hands since then.

The sister business of St Mary’s Inn, Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has a strong Norwegian connection. There are many examples of Norwegian art – both paintings and sculpture -that can be found around the property and King Harald V stayed there when he visited Newcastle in 2008 to receive the Honorary Freedom of the City.

We still haven’t decided where these pieces of furniture will be placed in the property but, wherever they end up, our customers who use them will be able to say that they’ve shared their seat with a King!

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TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF ST MARY’S INN, 22/03/2020

Dear Family and Friends of St. Mary’s Inn,

We are absolutely committed to the well-being, health and safety of our guests and staff.

The COVID-19 virus is rapidly spreading throughout the world and each Government is following their own strategy to minimise the impact on their people.

The UK Government have advised most recently that people should avoid pubs, theatres, clubs, and by implication, restaurants, though businesses are left to make their own operational choices based on their unique circumstances.

This is a rapidly changing situation and in order to ensure we put our guests and staff at the front of our considerations we have made the decision to temporarily close the Inn effective from 19:00hrs, Sunday, 22nd March 2020.

We will keep everyone advised as the situation changes and look forward to welcoming you all back at the earliest possible time and in accordance with future Government and WHO advice.

We wish the people of the village of Stannington, our guests who travel so far to see us, and our loyal staff and your families well through this difficult time.

The St. Mary’s Inn team