My dear friend and art teacher Kate Spencer is one of my favourite people to collaborate with. For the Capella Hanoi hotel, she painted wonderful portraits for all forty of our hotel characters, and shipped them to us from her side of the world! Originally a Yorkshire lass she lives between St Kitts in the Caribbean, and Italy where she trained in fine art.
Her artwork adorns both BENSLEY Collection hotels, Shinta Mani Wild & Shinta Mani Siem Reap, my own home, our studio and almost every project we do has a touch of Kate in it for I adore her work. We met over 10 years ago in St Kitts while I worked on the Belle Mont Farm there, and always kept in touch. Every year we spend the holidays painting and sketching together, and I think it may be time to have a shared exhibition, as she has taught me ever so much.
Capella Hanoi Tableware – Kate Spencer X BENSLEY Graphics
As a surprise, we decided to convert Kate’s gorgeous paintings and drawings of our 40 Capella Hanoi characters into tableware for the Capella Hanoi. We designed two sets, the first a colorful for Breakfast and Lunch set adorned with Kate’s work. Guests eating their morning cereal will get to the bottom of their bowl and find the phantom of the opera atop a phantom car – if they look closely they might recognise that the phantom is actually me and that one of my dogs Sammy is the driver! As guests wander the hotel they will regonise characters from the tableware on display in the lobby, corridors and may rooms at the Capella Hanoi, bringing delight to all. The same can be said for the second set, in a contrasting black white and gold used for dinner. It is covered in artwork by our talented Graphic designer Aubrey Kurlansky. The motifs he used were drawn from artwork he custom designed for each guestroom door, telling the story of the character it was named after. I can’t wait to dine out of these myself!