This week’s Monday inspiration comes from Philip Hammond, the Designer Florist behind those gorgeous creations at The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane. From The Chelsea Flower Show and Wimbledon, to the festive Christmas displays with The Dorchester Collection, Phil shares what it’s like to work in his (very creative) shoes…
Hi Phil. How long you have been leading the floristry team at The Dorchester?
I joined The Dorchester in 2010 as florist team leader, then became designer florist for The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in 2012.
Was it clear from an early age that you wanted to be a florist?
I have always loved flowers from a young age, it’s our family profession. My grandfather was a florist and a greengrocer for over 40 years, so I was inspired to apply for a Saturday job at the age of 14 and the rest as they say is history!
How did you get your job at the Dorchester?
With lots of hard work, creativity and determination.
What is a typical day in the life of Philip Hammond like?
Every day is completely different, one day I can be preparing flowers for a wedding in The Ballroom, the next I can be designing the famous displays for The Promenade or creating flowers for an arrival of one of our guests.
How long does it take to create a floral display at The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane?
We are most famous for our large urns in The Promenade, of which there are two, which take three hours to create by three wonderful florists from my team at 3.30am on a Wednesday morning.
What is your favourite time of year in your job?
Every season has different highlights, I love Christmas because of the festive atmosphere within the hotel but I also love the summer season. The British social calendar with Chelsea Flower Show, British Flowers Week, Ascot and Wimbledon give me a chance to put my creative hat on.
Tell us about the other floristry work you do outside of the hotel…
We create beautiful arrangements for clients all over London for private residences, weddings, events and luxury retail. We are known for our attention to detail and always making things happen, even at very short notice.
What’s the next big project coming up for you and how long will it take to plan and create from start to finish?
I have just finished Chelsea Flower Show, where for the first time, The Dorchester had a pop-up Afternoon Tea restaurant based on The Promenade at The Dorchester. I have also been involved in British Flowers Week as one of their five feature florists. This allowed me to create designs made entirely of British Flowers. Now my team are already beginning to prepare for the Christmas period at The Dorchester, as it takes a lot of creativity and man-power to create the magic of traditional Christmas in the hotel.
Are you allowed to talk about celebrities? Tell about your most extravagant and ambitious celebrity displays…
All our guests value our discretion, but I do get some wonderful commissions working here. I once worked with my team to decorate the inside of a private jet for one of our guests which was very exciting.
What do you love the most about your job?
Flowers , if you don’t love the product you are working with, it’s not the job for you!
What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?
Early mornings and late evenings, the days can be long but completely worth it. I am even beginning to appreciate the early mornings.
What kind of skills have you developed from being in this industry?
Working in an iconic luxury hotel has helped nurture my skill to create beautiful floral displays. In this industry everything has to be elegant and to the highest standard.
Are you big on social media? What’s your favourite platform?
Which other florists do you most admire?
I do admire the style of Paul Thomas as he is known for his bold and impressive designs.
If you weren’t a florist, what do you think your career would be?
It would have to be something visual and creative. I have an eye for detail and desire to create beautiful things, I don’t think I would last a minute in the office.
What 3 tips would you give someone who wants to become a professional florist?
Go to college and get your qualifications. Gain as much work experience as you can. Watch and take in as much information as possible.
Thank you to Philip Hammond for taking part in this week’s Monday career inspiration piece. For more information, visit DorchesterCollection.com, follow them on instagram, twitter and Facebook. #DCMoments