BOB BLUMER COOKS UP GLADSTONE HOTEL ROOM
TORONTO, November 5, 2013—In five minutes, the conversation swirls from art photography and collecting, to movies, choosing a kitchen knife and “belly button” wines.
Sitting in the freshly minted “Surreal Gourmet Room” at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel, artist, long-running Food Network Canada host, seven-time Guinness World Record holder, non-stop traveller and self-styled gastronaut Bob Blumer is satisfied with the fruit of his labour.
The Gladstone commissioned Blumer to design and hands-on create his ultimate art-meets-food sanctuary, one of 37 artist-designed rooms at the Toronto art hotel, after the globetrotter had already stayed in nearly half of the hotel’s one-of-a-kind accommodations.
Fittingly, this latest Gladstone artistic adventure was hatched over dinner, when Anne Larcade, President & CEO of Sequel Hotels and Resorts, the Gladstone’s management firm, spotted Blumer in their café.
“Visuals are a key component in everything I do,” Blumer confirms. “I create all the illustrations and objets d’art for my books and events, and now this Gladstone Hotel guest room. The plate is a blank canvas, as is an empty hotel room.”
“Bob truly understands the core of the Gladstone Hotel and its mission to celebrate art while helping create a vibrant Toronto community,” says Gladstone Founder Christina Zeidler.
The Surreal Gourmet room is playful and nostalgic. It blends retro, modern, interactive and personal elements in all these layers for Gladstone guests to explore and enjoy. Blumer collaborated on the room’s three feature images with fine art photographer Fausta Facciponte, after he acquired one of her “Doll Series” for his own collection, following a Queen St. West gallery stroll.
Other eye candy includes a Swiss cheese canopy over the bed, a Fruit Loops armoire, a caviar tin clock, and the original inspiration Blumer dreamt up for the Surreal Gourmet room, the marshmallow pillow.
Naturally, one wall of the Gladstone Surreal Gourmet Room is a tricked out kitchenette complete with a panini maker for late-night or breakfast sandwiches, and a set of Blumer’s favourite chef knives.
Fueled by his love of wine, Blumer also built a wine glass chandelier and hand-picked 9 wines, all of which are available to the room’s guests for a set price of $39 each.
Blumer “had a blast” designing and, in most cases, fabricating the pieces that bring the Surreal Gourmet Room to life, from scratch. That organic process enhanced his already strong respect for the crafts people, contributors and donors who helped transform his Gladstone room from sketch pad daydream to sleepover ready accommodation.
His travels, particularly to Asia, and countless hotel room stays worldwide, equipped Blumer to tackle the challenges of designing truly multi-functional space, tucking away the TV behind a slim customized cabinet featuring Facciponte’s photo of the Pillsbury Doughboy and ensuring practical places for stuff.
“Just ask anyone who has remodelled their bedroom,” Blumer jokes. “Fitting everything in, especially around a king size bed, is a bit tougher than it might look on TV.”
The Bob Blumer Surreal Gourmet Room (#403) at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel checks in officially November 12, with an introductory rate from $179. Bob’s latest hit show, “World’s Weirdest Restaurants,” currently airs Thursdays on Food Network Canada.