Grand Old House Centenary

Grand Old House marked a major milestone in its history last year when it celebrated its centenary.
 
The elegant mansion was built in 1908 on the Petra coconut plantation by Boston businessman William Henry Law.
 
When Mr. Law left Cayman, the Lambert family moved to oversee his business and run the house, using the stylish home as a venue for elegant dinners and parties. When they departed Cayman for Jamaica in 1925, they put the house in the care of long-time housekeeper Olive Hinds.
 
Throughout the years, the house has served as a Sunday school, a hurricane shelter and a hospital for wounded soldiers in World War II, and is now home to the Austrian Consulate.
 
In the 1950s, retired US army colonel Bruce Pirnie took over ownership of the house. Colonel Pirnie helped establish the first Rotary Club in Cayman, which was chartered at the house in the mid-60s.
 
It remained in the colonel’s possession until 1969 when it was bought by Bob and Jeanne Brendon and other partners. That year, it opened as a restaurant, and has been providing  fine dining to tourists and residents ever since.
 
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was managed by Friedman Paul Erhardt, a German chef known to viewers of American television as Chef Tell and is now owned by a group of Caymanian entrepreneurs.
 
Over the years, the house has become one of the most popular wedding venues in Cayman, with its waterfront location a prime site for wedding photography, nuptial ceremonies and wedding parties.
 
It hosts live jazz evenings, art exhibitions, corporate functions, cocktail parties, and champagne receptions.
 
As part of its centenary celebrations, an art exhibit titled 100 Years On featured work from 14 local artists, with themes including scenes and reflections of Cayman throughout history and depictions of Grand Old House itself.
 
Among some of its most recent accolades, was the two gold awards won by its chefs in the Cayman Culinary Competition in 2008. Its chefs also won 16 silver and 10 bronze awards in the competition.
 
Its wine collection is also award-winning, and it garnered an Award of Excellence 2008 from the Wine Spectator magazine. Grand Old House has won 19 awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine.

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