Just one of a catalogue of hotels and other establishments patronised by the Bents during their twenty years of explorations to the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Africa, from 1880 to 1900 (see the interactive maps on this site for additional info!).
Next time you’re sailing via Sýros, stroll into Miaouli Square (Πλατεία Μιαούλη) in the centre of Ermoúpoli – just 100m up from the sea. There (turn left as you enter the square) you will find the splendid old edifice that was the Bents’ hotel of choice in the 1880s – The ‘Grand Hôtel d’Angleterre’.
It’s in a sorry state at the moment though, with just the street level occupied as cafés. But it takes no imagination at all, as the light fades on a warm evening, to see the Bents on a balcony, listening to the trombones and clarinets in the bandstand below, as white-aproned waiters serve spritzers to the fashionable. Raise your boaters to them if you wish, for they sail in the morning on their travels – they will nod back for sure.
Panagiotis Kouloumbis of Syros Today has written (2021) a fascinating extended online essay on this building and others.
The photo shows the ‘Grand Hôtel d’Angleterre’, Ermoúpoli (Sýros), a reproduction based on a contemporary postcard of the time (taken from ‘The Travel Chronicles of Mabel Bent‘, Vol. I (p. 358), (Archaeopress, Oxford, 2006).