We have developed unique and beautiful handmade London plane cards for the Savoy Hotel in London in collaboration with Rythms by Design as part of a hotel sustainability initiative.
The London Plane tree, this magnificent and much-loved icon of our streets and open spaces, accounts for over half of our city’s tree population. Majestically towering over most parks, it is very easy to identify by its massive trunk and smooth mottled bark, and huge maple-like leaves. However their lesser-known, internal treasure is the strikingly figured wood the milling of this timber reveals.
By nature a hybrid between a Maple and an oriental Plane, its urban popularity owes to its resistance to pollution. The best place to view the trees is perhaps Berkeley Square, where some 30 examples, planted in 1789, are counted among the oldest in London.
Saunders Seasonings’ love for London’s Plane trees will be well-known to anyone familiar with our vision and purpose. When Motti Essakow from Rythms by Design approached us with his idea of promoting sustainability in hotel rooms by creating a wooden, double-decker-bus shaped card to inform guests of linen change procedure, we didn’t need to think twice.
We soon established two key elements: the wood needed to be sourced from London, revealing its story and provenance, and the cards would need to be hand made, with no machine automation, to create unique artifacts as a counterpoint to most hotels’ disposable culture.
The London plane’s unique figuring and tight grain proved ideal for detailed printing, and the beautiful plane that was felled in St. James Gardens, Euston, was chosen for its historical location and proximity to the Savoy Hotel, London.