Travel back in time to London, just before the turn of the 20th century. It’s the Belle Epoque, and World War I hasn’t happened yet. Women are gaining more independence, there’s a rising middle class, and Americans are traveling to Europe in greater numbers, flush with new money—industrial wealth.
The symbol of these rising fortunes is Savoy Hotel in London. Luke Barr tells the story of how Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier joined forces to create the world’s first luxury hotel in his book, “Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, The Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class.”