our story

The Townhouse

A magical setting steeped in heritage

Acquired in the 1920s, Searcys developed 30 Pavilion Road as a venue for society weddings, private parties, dinner dances and receptions. The remodelling included traditional pine panelling in the library and two stunning marble fireplaces, taking care that all key features were in keeping with the original Georgian décor and style. Even now, the Library Room still holds the original Account Ledger Books dating back to 1847 – the founding year of Searcys.

Our first event took place in 1963 and 30 Pavilion Road took off as the perfect party venue. We have hosted royalty and celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Our gem of a Georgian townhouse has morphed its way through a multitude of guises before settling on its current – and ever so glamorous – status as an exclusive-use boutique party venue with 11 bedrooms. From electrical power generating station, warehouse space, ice yard and bakehouse, to water pumping station and transport office, it’s chameleonic, never resting on its laurels, forever reinventing itself.

A Stately Home

The Lady Magazine, 1975

30 Pavilion Road in Knightsbridge is famed for its elegant eighteenth-century charm and décor. We have recently discovered an article from The Lady magazine from 1975 which brings to life the illustrious history of this stately home. The piece quotes David Mather, a previous Searcys Director, saying that “there isn’t…one member of the Royal Family who hasn’t attended a friend’s party in the house”.

John Searcy

A Brief History

1837 marked the year Princess Victoria ascended to the throne. It was also the year the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland employed a new confectioner and pastry chef at their home in Alnwick Castle – John Searcy. Catering for the Duke and Duchess required skill and artistry few people possessed. High society and royalty made up this prestigious party crowd, who consistently expected the best.

Realising how sought after he really was, John spoke with the Duke and Duchess about starting up his very own catering company. After 10 years of service, he wanted his skills and confections to be enjoyed by others outside of Alnwick Castle. The Duke and Duchess both agreed and even loaned him money to help start him off. And John Searcy & Sons, the company, was founded in 1847.

He quickly gained esteemed clientele from London and the surrounding area and was asked to cater to weddings as well as parties, from the cake to the wedding breakfast.