5 Minutes With...The Hari's Andrew Coney

Words by
Andy Morris

21st September 2022

To mark the Belgravia hotel's first Art Prize (worth £10,000), the general manager of The Hari reveals his favourite Battersea artwork, reading Stanley Tucci and the time he gave a guest a magic wand.

What excites you most about the new art prize?
It’s the first time we’ve done it and we’re looking forward to this being part of our annual art programme for years to come. Art is in our DNA and over the years we have been doing more and more to support emerging talent. The launch of The Hari Art Prize seemed a very natural next step and we are excited to see how the shortlisted artists and winners continue their careers from here.

What was the most surprising entry out of the 400 entries or which particularly impressed you?
It was mostly the sheer quantity of amazing talent. I’m not sure how the judges whittled the list down from 400 to 17; and I certainly don’t envy the task of getting 17 down to 3! We have been so impressed with the calibre of entries this year; it is too hard to say. I maybe have a few favourites but I’ll leave it up to the judges to make the hard decision – watch this space for 17th November when the winners are announced.

What do you wish more people knew about The Hari?
We aren’t afraid to have a bit of fun. We may sit within the luxury sphere but we have personality and our staff really enjoy getting to know our guests, it's how we tailor each and every experience. We recently had a young guest visit who loved Harry Potter and our Guest Relations team made sure there was a wand waiting for him on arrival with a magical spell book – it had all our staff
walking backwards, barking or making ridiculous faces for his whole stay.

Can you recommend a good book?
Having recently spent some time in Tuscany this summer, I really enjoyed reading Stanley Tucci’s new book Taste. Made me want to go back and try all of the places he visited!

Which London galleries have impressed you recently?
I have been particularly impressed by The Grove Collection in Battersea who also showcase and support emerging artists, we featured an exhibition by the gallery in our public spaces earlier this year.

What is your favourite London restaurant and what do you order?
I may be biased but I do love our Italian restaurant, il Pampero. There is no bad day that Chef’s Cacio e Pepe and a crisp cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc can’t fix.

What holiday destination would you recommend and why?
I have a very bad habit of promising trips abroad for birthday and Christmas presents – my son recently reminded me of the back log! In 2019, I took my wife to Giraffe Manor in Kenya, which was very special, but I have to say I am looking forward to seeing the Northern Lights in Tromsø.

What bottle never leaves your cocktail cabinet?
Unpopular opinion: Pimms is a year-round cocktail – fancy a bit of sunshine on a dark winter day? Pimms!

What does luxury mean to you?
Sustainability. We have recently appointed a Sustainability Executive, who is leading the charge – among many activations, Angela as completely reorganised our mini bar offering and
is looking at all of our suppliers to make sure they are the most sustainable options. We are proud to have published our Sustainability Management Plan on The Hari’s website and we have recently received our Bronze certification by Earth Check. We are excited to start on this journey and see where it takes us.