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Issue 76 www.gsmagazine.co.uk

Inspiring Hospitality Design


GS Spring 2016 Abbey.pdf 1 2016-07-15 20:47:17

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Issue No.76 www.gsmagazine.co.uk

editor’s note

Issue 76 www.gsmagazine.co.uk

Inspiring Hospitality Design

Editor Stirling Johnstone Mobile: 0788 402 1551 Tel : +44 (0)1462 742367 editor@gsmagazine.co.uk Design Miles Johnstone Tel : +44 (0)7888 998208 design@gsmagazine.co.uk Cover Image The lobby of The Mandrake Hotel, Fitzrovia, London W1. Photography James Bedford Marcus Peel Paul Riddle Richard Southall, Emphasis Photography Contributors Christopher Ash Caroline Collett Carrie Cook Fay Gristwood Jenna Osborne Cat Shaw Justin Turner Print MCP London - Cyan Design © STEVENSON PUBLICATIONS No part of GS MAGAZINE may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed in GS are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does he accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur. SUBSCRIPTIONS In the UK, GS costs just £16 per year or two years for £24.00. Overseas: £24 per year or two years for £36.00. You can also subscribe online ~ www.gsmagazine.co.uk Alternatively, please post us a cheque (payable to Stevenson Publications) with your full address details to: Subscriptions. GS Magazine. 19 Wharfdale Road, London N1 9SB.

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t the Sleep conference in November one of the seminar speakers related the story of an experiment that took place several years ago. Apparently two young couples who had only just met were selected to take part. The first couple were treated to ten romantic evenings in the same restaurant. The second couple were also treated to ten evenings, but they were sent to ten different restaurants. The purpose of the experiment was to ascertain which environments would bring the couples closer together; the familiarity of the same environment or the stimulus of different interiors. The pair who had been to ten separate restaurants became the closest; they’d learnt more about each other and were more intimate. Of course, one might argue that the number of venues is irrelevant, and some people will naturally get along better than others, although it was concluded that couples who share different experiences in different places are most likely to understand more about each other. Shared experiences bring people closer. This finding has influenced a lot of hotel designers. Knowing that people enjoy and relate positively to variety has driven them to design different spaces to provide a range of emotional experiences within the public areas of their hotels. Compare a typical hotel lobby of two decades ago to now. Before the lobby would consist of a reception desk for checking in and an open lounge. Now we find reading spaces, work spaces - often with internet connectivity and computers to use, restaurants, bars and even cafeterias and coffee lounges. These zones tend to be within an open plan environment, so guests can wander freely between them. Guests are therefore given more reasons to remain within the confines of the hotel. And if they stay they’re likely to spend more on site instead of elsewhere. Hotel chains are investing heavily to ensure that ‘international bland’ is a thing of the past. Hotels are now being given individual character, usually to reflect and embrace their locations. Once it was thought that guests preferred to stay within the same interior environment, no matter where in the world they travelled. Now it seems they want the opposite.

Stirling Johnstone Editor

GS Magazine supports the aims and objectives of ACID

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Creed Design have been creating exceptional spaces for hospitality and retail clients since 1996. With an extensive portfolio that includes UK and International projects; our experience and focus has resulted in long term relationships with multinational and independent clients. By applying a creative collaborative drive to all project briefs, we can achieve the perfect balance between design, function and budget. Creating spaces that engage and delight, whatever the constraints. Get in touch to find out how we can help develop the perfect environment for your business. To see more of our work, please visit www.creeddesign.co.uk 0116 2752592 info@creeddesign.co.uk


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CONTENTS 08

28 42

12 17

 MANDRAKE

20

 PIZZA EXPRESS

22

 DORSETT CITY

24

 APEX CITY OF BATH HOTEL

26

 WHITE HORSE, DORKING

28 30

 THE SWAN, SOUTHWOLD

34

 THE PRINCIPAL EDINBURGH, CHARLOTTE STREET

40 42

 MERCURE SWANSEA

48

 FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

52

 JURY’S INN

48

CHS Creative

The most enchanting city hotel in Britain

 THE ROYAL LANCASTER

The designer has taken full advantage of the space available and, where space was limited, has masterfully created the illusion of space Rushden Lakes. The transformation of an empty shell into a warm and inviting restaurant interior Sleek, modern interiors are given a hint of glamorous 1930s Shanghai, for a Chinese influence teamed with classic British style “We want people to know and recognise the Apex brand for its quality and attention to detail” Where Charles Dickens wrote his first novel. The White Horse has been inspired by its past as an 18th century coaching inn and re-interpreted for the modern-day traveller A fine example of subtle and tasteful modernisation

 ANGLIAN COUNTRY INNS

“For us, marketing starts with design and service. Get that right and your guests will do the marketing for you” London aside, Edinburgh must now have the best concentration of good hotels in Britain Why is this business park hotel so popular with the locals?

 THE HOTEL GARDEN

Blurring the boundaries. How do you create and manage a harmonious interior/exterior boundary that addresses divergence over time? “No other form of media is as effective in sparking the curiosity of our customers and the element of intrigue can act as a powerful pull for our business” A new design direction for this budget brand

REGULARS

08

 LAUNCH PAD

52

 EDITOR’S CHOICE

Including four of the most exciting new venues: The Hide, Lasan, Abd el Wahab and The Listing Products and services from home and abroad


LAUNCH PAD [ new openings + refits ]

HIDE T

his new restaurant may well prove to be the best and most successful to open in 2018. It has all the right ingredients: one of the country’s most revered chefs running the kitchen, a striking location on Piccadilly overlooking Green Park, a superb wine cellar, provided by owners Hedonism Wines, with immediate access to some of the best wines in the world, and beautifully curated interiors. The designer, Rose Murray of These White Walls studio has helped to imagine the concept, a storybook idea involving all aspects of the interior, upon which the design is based. This involves the theme of Dwelling. Hide is Home but to add intrigue to the story Hide is also Hidden. The ground floor, with its on-site bakery represents the Hearth; a homely space focused around the feature castiron baker’s oven and wood-fired stove. A heavy, oak-clad door hides all evidence of the interior and creates anticipation as guests arrive outside on the busy street of Piccadilly. As the door opens the reception is revealed; a welcoming and warm patina of antique oak, bronze mirrors and brass. A cage lift is positioned ahead so guests are immediately aware that the venue has additional floors to discover. On the ground floor rustic finishes, such as gnarly oak timbers, reclaimed iron doors

8 GS Magazine

and handmade tiles establish a sense of comfort and ‘fireside communality’. The first-floor restaurant is aptly named the Restaurant Above. Finishes are more refined here; oak is white oiled, the brass less tarnished, textures are sanded back. There’s an elegance and lightness in Above. Tables are set alongside glass walls that afford views of Piccadilly and Green Park beyond. Chef Ollie Dabbous’s show kitchen can be glimpsed through frosted glass where chefs can be seen, busily putting the finishing touches to the showcase menu available on this floor. This is a menu that includes flavours and textures that are as rare and inventive as their surroundings; destined to help deliver more Michelin stars for Dabbous. Concealed concepts are revealed within the site-specific artwork. London artist, Rachel Dein, was commissioned to create a series of hand-cast plaster panels within the private dining room, known as Hide and Seek. They capture the ephemeral beauty of London’s wild flowers but subtly hidden within the imagery are lost traces of the host’s history. The basement space, Below, is an expansion of the owners’ ample cellars and spirits collection, which are located nearby. According to Rose Murray “A walk down the wayward stair takes guests behind the amber glowing back bar and into


LAUNCH PAD [ new openings + refits ]

the unravelled distillery. The bar’s looped footprint represents a rewinding of the distillation process, from bottle back to source. Its momentum is manifest through the mechanical motion of the Rummager cabinet, nestled within the open core of the building and spot-lit from above.” Below has an extensive walk-through wine cellar which is backlit through blown glass windows. Beyond, three private dining rooms can be found, each a play upon the ideas of what might be hidden behind closed doors: The Broken Room, The Reading Room and The Shadow Room are designed meticulously to gradually reveal their stories. Guests will love the discovery of artefacts and design clues that help to piece together the mysteries of each vaulted space.

At the centre of Hide, spanning all three floors, is the magnificent wooden spiral staircase. Handmade in Poland, the stair was commissioned as the ‘wild organic element within an otherwise formal space’. The treads are stained in gradient shades, from the pale oak of Above to the rich fumed oak of Below. The transition is a nod to the distillation process referred to downstairs. Here, activated oak infuses alcohol, slowly transforming clear liquor into a rich amber fluid. Hide, with its storyline, fine design and exceptional food cannot fail to delight and we cannot recommend it highly enough. Hide, 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1. Tel: +44(0)20 7290 7877 www.hide.co.uk

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LAUNCH PAD [ new openings + refits ]

Abd el Wahab

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ome years ago, a restaurant called Palm occupied this site. Palm was an imported restaurant concept from America, where the brand still exists. It was an upmarket (in other words, very expensive) steak and seafood restaurant that had an unexceptional interior design, including some cartoon drawings on the wall that lowered the tone. The site is now occupied by another restaurant concept, this time imported from the Middle East. Abd el Wahab is the Middle East’s most acclaimed Lebanese restaurant, serving traditional dishes and wines from the Lebanon. This site represents the 46th restaurant in the Ghia Holdings Group and their first overseas venture. The interior space is bright and warm. To one side a living wall has been installed, which surrounds some impressively ornate stone carvings. Black and white pendant lighting is a feature throughout, banquet seating is installed around the perimeters and in most areas, modular tables and chairs are used to allow for a flexible set-up according to the size of dining parties: Lebanese dining is a social affair. The interiors here are far more welcoming than previously at Palm and Belgravia has a large Arab community so the restaurant should become a local favourite. And if service alone is anything to go by, Abd el Wahab will be a roaring success. They really couldn’t try any harder. Abd el Wahab, 2 Pont Street, Belgravia, London SW1. Tel: +44(0)20 7235 1100 www.ghiaholding.com

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The Listing

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arely an issue of GS Magazine goes by without news of another Drake & Morgan venue opening. So why do we still include them? Because in terms of their interiors, they are the real McCoy. Great concepts and spatial planning, strong design elements and the fit-outs are always first rate. If any young designer wants to understand what makes a bar and restaurant interior work, Drake & Morgan is a commendable place to visit. And whilst the casual dining market is taking a battering, Drake & Morgan continue to thrive. The Listing is in the heart of London’s Square Mile in the new Cannon Green development. First to draw the eye is The Listing’s dramatic double height glass windows, which allows natural light to flood the space. Inside, as we’d expect, it’s all luxe natural materials like marble, leather, rich walnut, oak and antique brass with tranquil, soothing colours; that element of Drake & Morgan rarely changes. The focal leather clad bar curves through the space with ‘infusion’ and ‘indulgence’ counters, dedicated to mixology, wine and food tastings whilst the restaurant area is dominated by the open kitchen and dining-counter. Sliding doors lead to a year-round al fresco terrace complete with planters, palm prints and botanical-inspired lighting. The Listing is well worth a visit, but you might take a walk around the Cannon Green development while you’re there. There’s some striking public art to enjoy. The Listing, Cannon Green, 27 Bush Lane, London EC4 Tel: +44(0)20 3948 9820 www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk


LAUNCH PAD [ new openings + refits ]

Lasan F

amously the winner of Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word in 2009, Indian restaurant Lasan has been delighting Birmingham diners since 2002 from its home in the historic Jewellery Quarter. Now, after an extensive makeover, Lasan has reopened its doors with a fresh and exciting new look. The agency responsible for this transformation, including a completely redesigned (and relocated) bar area, is Faber Design & Architecture. Led by creative director Tony Matters, a designer with almost 20 years’ experience, Faber has “completely reimagined what was a tired space lacking a clear identity, and created an elegant, stylish restaurant and bar, centred around the customer experience,” says Tony. A key part of this customer-focussed metamorphosis was a total rethink of the bar area. Originally located in the main dining room, the layout gave the impression it was for diners only. In its new position, the dramatic U-shape design with nostalgic brass detailing has become a real focal point. It’s one of the first things guests see as they enter the restaurant, cultivating a sleek, cocktail-bar feel as you walk in. This new layout has also enhanced the overall experience for diners by creating a more peaceful environment to enjoy dinner, away from the hustle and bustle of bar

traffic. Lasan may have had a complete refurb, but Instead of that shiny, pristine feel you usually get from a newly refitted venue, it somehow feels as though it has always been this way. “We wanted a timeless space which would appeal to all ages,” explains owner Jabbar Khan, “where you could be a youngster or a more mature person, but still feel you are in the right place. That comes with something that is designed to be timeless, not to fit in with a fad. That’s what good design should deliver.” This sense of authenticity and classic elegance is exactly what Faber was trying to achieve with the redesign. “We wanted to create a sense of history and a design that would really stand the test of time,” says Tony. “We achieved this by choosing classically inspired lighting and combining traditional hardwood flooring with deco-style geometric tiling. We also used luxurious but elegant materials such as marble, brass and wood to provide that sense of durability and opulence you associate with older buildings. Even the wall art tells a story and adds to that feeling of longevity.” Lasan, 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, Saint Paul’s Square, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. Tel: +44 (0)121 212 3664 www.lasan.co.uk GS Magazine 11


The Mandrake

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n London, 2017 was a vintage year for new hotel openings. Of note were Nobu, with its striking ‘unfinished’ exteriors; The Ned, with its cavernous restaurant halls and The Curtain, a funky hotel where fun and fashion are never far away. Add to this a hotel that deserves a lot more publicity than it’s had to date; The Mandrake. The Mandrake is an independent hotel, conceived and designed by a small group of likeminded individuals with a passion for mystic art and magical eroticism. The hotel can be found in Fitzrovia, north of Oxford Street, near to The Sanderson Hotel and The London EDITION. It occupies a RIBA award-winning building on Newman Street, originally designed for office use.

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andrake has the most discrete entrance. Were it not guarded by a uniformed doorman it would be easy to walk past without realising it’s there. Next to it, is the entrance to a new restaurant, called Serge et le Phoque, and it is only when you’re inside that you realise the restaurant and hotel are conjoined, partners in the same hospitality venture. Entering the hotel guests are immediately seduced by its mystery and charm; a dark, almost black, passageway filled with warming air, musical sounds and woodland aromas leads to the hotel’s lobby. This walkway

“It’s a perfect haven, beautifully created”

experience sets the tone for what lies ahead. It’s the beginning of a journey designed to stimulate all the senses. The lobby is pictured on the cover of this magazine. The art to the left of the image is a commissioned piece by German painter Jonas Burgert. One of two commissions in the hotel, Burgert’s work has a dreamlike quality, crowded with fantastical characters and creatures of differing proportions. It is sometimes difficult to find a narrative in his work, but the paintings are nevertheless full of emotion and theatre. The walls are textured; interesting but

deliberately plain so that they can act as gallery space as and when new artwork arrives. The effect is art in itself: a layer of concrete is applied and allowed to dry, and then the next layer and then the next until an uneven rippling effect is created and then polished. The reception is a small space seemingly cut into the concrete wall. It resembles a cloakroom desk or a ticket collection point, uncluttered. From the lobby, guests enter the Waeska bar, which is a continuation of the fantasy theme. Decorated in dark wood, printed flora and fauna chair fabrics with a long dark marble bar top, the back of bar wall displays several weird artefacts on shelves including small masks and headdresses, a statue of a Golem-like character and strange GS Magazine 13


looking art pieces in pottery, wood and fabric. As a centrepiece, mounted on a large mirror is Fable (pictured), a fairy tale creature created by artist Enrique Gomez de Molina, inspired by his father, a noted taxidermist at the Museum of Science in Florida. Fable is made from black buck horns and ears, a calf’s head, pheasant and peacock feathers and beetles wings. Stretching the length of the Waeska bar is a long glass wall with views into the courtyard bar. The building wraps around the open courtyard, so the rooms and bars on the upper floors have inward facing balconies and terraces. These are partly disguised by the hanging mandrake that, combined with passion flowers, cascades down from the roof. Some first-floor rooms open directly onto a residents-only wooden shack-style bar named Jurema. The bar area is sparsely furnished with cane seating, weathered floor boards and a few potted palms and grasses. The bar space looks across the central void to the jungle-like hanging mandrake, like a beach bar on the edge of a tropical jungle. It’s a perfect haven, beautifully created. The 30 rooms are individually designed to the highest specification, each has original art and its own colour scheme. The two suites, Mandrake and Penthouse offer contrasting interiors: Penthouse (main image, previous page) has a retro feel, designed in classic white leather and marble throughout it appears to pay homage to the room sets of 1960’s Bond movies. Mandrake (this page) is altogether sexier, like a beautiful French boudoir crammed with velvet drapes and curtains, feather boas and plush fabrics in deep purples and red. It may well be the sexiest hotel suite in London. The main events space can be found at basement level. The Theatre is a multifunctional space, perfect for private parties or product launches and it houses the hotel’s largest art piece. An eight-metre-long by twometre-high ink on canvas wall mural (below), created by Peter John de Villiers. This artwork is fascinating. It is called Mandrake and is a montage of intertwined roots and plants, faceless human forms coupling, night creatures, skulls and magical signs. Like a jungle underworld of pleasure and mystique. Also, in the Theatre, another large-scale

14 GS Magazine


installation has been created by ‘electronic artist’ Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. ‘Make Out’ comes from the artist’s Shadow Box series of interactive displays with a built-in computerised tracking system. This piece shows thousands of internet videos of couples looking at each other: as soon as someone stands in front of the display his or her silhouette is shown and all the couples within it begin to kiss. The hotel is a contemporary art lover’s paradise and promises to continue to feature new and exciting artists. Other artists whose work is currently on display include Thomas Hooper, Lee Gil-Rae, Francesco Clemente, Chiharu Shiota, Tim Tate and street art duo, Herakut. Atmospherics include scents and

aromas by Azzi Glasser and soundscapes from Pierre-Arnaud Alunni. Mandrake is not simply a hotel. It’s an experience that draws you in. Everything about it is designed to play with your senses. It’s fun. It’s surreal. And it provides a sanctuary from the outside world. We leave the final description to owner, Rami Fustok. “Inspirational, transformational, the breath of life, the touch of darkness, the thunder of the night…your spirit will transcend into The Mandrake.” The Mandrake, 20-21 Newman Street, London, W1. Tel: +44 (0)20 3146 7770 www.themandrake.com

“It may well have the sexiest hotel suite in London”

GS Magazine 15


GUESTROOM REFURBISHMENT SPECIALISTS

 MARRIOTT COUNTY HALL

THE BRISTOL, WARSAW

MARRIOTT MAIDA VALE

ROYAL LANCASTER

AMBA MARBLE ARCH

ACE SHOREDITCH

EXPECTATION, DEDICATION, REPUTATION 16 GS Magazine

HILTON DOUBLETREE


The Royal Lancaster London Luxury in a city hotel is all about space. For this project the designer has taken full advantage of the space available and, where space was limited, has masterfully created the illusion of space

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ondon-based interior design practice, Studio Proof, has been working on a complete re-brand and refurbishment of the Lancaster London hotel since 2013. The new look is being unveiled in two stages, starting with the hotel’s 411 bedrooms and suites that are now open. The ground floor public spaces, including new external landscaping will be completed in the summer. Originally conceived as an office and leisure development, the rectangular tower was converted into a hotel in 1967. The standard bedrooms, now renamed Classic View, have been changed dramatically to create more space without changing their relatively small footprint. Studio Proof’s redesign transforms them through masterful planning and sophisticated furnishing choices into rooms

full of light and a sense of space. The decision was made to remove most of the baths in the bathrooms of the 320 Classic View rooms and replace them with power showers, which have been enclosed in frameless glass to further open up the space. White carrara marble lines the walls and vanity surfaces, providing a contrast to the granite grey tiles in the shower area, whilst wooden drawers link back to the guestroom décor. These changes transform the bathrooms into modern, spacious and slick interiors that will delight returning guests. For the bedrooms the designers have taken inspiration from the external views, of the city in one direction and Hyde Park in the other, and a focus has been on framing these to create a guest experience memorable for its connection with London. Windowsills have been lowered and curtains replaced by two sets of blinds –

one blackout and one for privacy – to leave views unobstructed. Studio Proof also made the decision to resize the doors, widening them so that guests are immediately confronted with the spectacular vistas as the enter, creating a striking first impression and a sense of greater space. Design is used thoughtfully to support the guest experience in the bedroom corridors of this large hotel. Doors are grouped together in sets of four, with a pair facing another on the opposite side. Both the doors and the in-fill panels around them are finished in light oak, in contrast to the darker wall coverings between the sets. By highly illuminating these areas, the rooms are signposted as pause points, whilst the rest of the corridor remains dark, subconsciously encouraging people to talk more quietly, leaving guests undisturbed.

GS Magazine 17


“Design is used thoughtfully to support the guest experience”

At opposite ends of the tower are the 15 Park and five Spire Suites, facing Hyde Park and the city respectively. The beauty of their positioning means that they each benefit from dual or treble aspects as well as substantially more square meterage. Running from floor three to 17, the impressive Park Suites present guests with spectacular views. In each bedroom the scenery through the windows is reflected in a large sweeping mirror installed behind the bed, bringing the outside location into the space. Lime-washed pale oak panelling is prevalent in both the bedroom and separate living area. A contemporary Moooi chandelier suggests the branches of a tree, throwing dappled light across the metal and glass table below. This shimmer is echoed in the rich velvets of the two bespoke sofas. Beautiful modern metal and marble coffee and side tables complete the seated space, illuminated by tree-like brass framed lamps. Whilst the 47m2 Spire Suites – so called because ten church spires are visible from them – are equally notable for their sophisticated 18 GS Magazine

style, the scheme takes its cue from the “City Rooms” palette of mustards and dark yellows. Artwork is more metropolitan than in the Park Suites and this style is also reflected in the selection of the mathematically spherical ‘Raimond’ chandelier by Moooi. Situated on the top floor, the two expansive signature suites (Kensington and Serpentine) sit at each end of the tower. These are the jewels in the crown with huge windows along the three exterior walls. In both, dark American walnut panelling extends from floor-to-ceiling creating a rich backdrop for the teal velvet seating whilst objet d’art fill cabinetry recesses to give the spaces a high-end yet comfortably residential feel. Positioned near to the in-built desk in the Kensington Suite, mid-Century style Vitra tan leather chairs encircle a Knoll glass and metal table, illuminated by a Raimond light from Moooi. This arrangement creates a debonair office space within the sizeable living area. In the bedroom, a textured grey Holly Hunt fabric headboard with lacquered metal detailing

add further elegance, whilst panelled mirrors behind the headboard reflect the phenomenal panorama visible through the walls of windows. The Serpentine Suite is the larger of the two and is equally as highly appointed and plush. A mirror lines the wall next to the glass topped, bronze dining table, making the vast area appear even larger and reflecting the panorama visible out of the adjacent windows. The size, views and bespoke design cumulate to produce the hotel’s most luxurious accommodation. Hyde Park is the largest city park in the world and it is only when you are looking down and across from the upper floors of the Royal Lancaster that you realise how vast and beautiful they are. These views give the hotel an edge over its five-star competitors and Studio Proof have been wise to take full advantage of them in their designs. The Royal Lancaster, Lancaster Terrace, London W2. Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 6000 wwww.royallancaster.com


The Royal Lancaster London

Studio Suite

“In the bedroom the scenery through the windows is reflected in a large sweeping mirror installed behind the bed” All the hotel’s bedrooms and suites have been beautifully refurbished by specialists County Contractors Royal Suite Lounge

Classic View Bathroom

Classic View Room

GS Magazine 19


PIZZA EXPRESS Rushden Lakes

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izza Express is what other casual dining brands aspire to be. A multi-award-winning restaurant brand that has, since its inception, remained true to its values: great food, evocative music, distinctive design. It was the first to pay real attention to its restaurant interiors, developing a strong design-led identity within each of its restaurants, regardless of location (although most of their early sites were housed within period high street buildings of architectural interest). Open kitchens provided the theatre, kitchen staff wore distinctive hooped t-shirts, lighting was intimate and focused on the white marble table tops, which would always be adorned with the distinctive blue drinking glasses and red pepper mills. In that respect little has changed although many of their newer sites can be found in out of town retail parks, where there is no existing architectural heritage to work with. Creed Design Associates have been designing interiors for Pizza Express for some time, making changes and working on many of their most recent sites. As the Rushden Lakes branch opens we take the opportunity to talk 20 GS Magazine

to Creed’s Design Director, Andrew French, about creating fresh and modern design interiors for such an established, iconic brand. GS Did you develop a ‘sense of place’ in this project? AF All our projects, whoever the client may be, go through the initial research period where we dig into what we think we should be striving for. When we look at location we consider the circumstances: Is there another site nearby? What is it like? Who are our main competitors? Who are likely to be the customers? Is there a cinema or theatre nearby? All these inform the design process and, in this instance, have helped to generate an interior that is Rushden, rather than say Richmond, or even Abu Dhabi. Here we wanted to embrace the lake and make as much use as possible of the lake view, utilising a larger than usual terrace area. In the summer months the shopfront opens to the lake and the terrace needs to feel part of the restaurant, rather than just a few extra tables and umbrellas. GS You’ve designed several Pizza Express sites. What were the specific challenges

with this site? AF We have done a few over the years, in all sorts of buildings. The crucial part is pulling together the essential needs for the operation and the key elements that define a Pizza Express. Ensuring that pragmatic considerations are met is vital. Occasionally you might have a great idea for a project that ultimately will not work successfully in a particular site. This site underwent several iterations before we felt happy with it and presented it to the client. The width of the site was a help but balancing the brightness from the glazing was interesting though it meant, for example, stronger colours and textures were effective here. GS The Rushden unit was effectively an open, characterless square shell. How did you achieve interest and intimacy within it? AF As an out of town (primarily retail) destination there are several challenges, not least the blandness of the shell. Transforming this into a welcoming environment that feels unique is in some ways harder than taking


of a Pizza Express. A red pepper grinder and a Carrara marble table remain key identifiers when used together, but the table material often changes. The open kitchen, known as the pizzaiola, is perhaps the most important indicator. Here, as in all our projects, we try to enhance the presentation of this area, using various devices to focus attention and to try and ensure it is visible from the whole restaurant.

existing buildings and re-purposing them into something new. We also have an idea of who our immediate neighbours are likely to be and that is relevant, it gives us a sense of what we should avoid and how we can work the space into something as far from a blockwork shell as possible. We like to work with materials that age well. From the Carrara marble tops to the oak joinery, some materials just perform better. We also look to ensure the palette has a warmth and when combined with carefully selected lighting will work across the full days’ trade. With its glass facades, this project works well at night and will be superb on a warm summers’ evening with the doors to the terrace open. GS What makes the interior identifiable as Pizza Express? AF From the start with Pizza Express, we were encouraged by several people to challenge what we could do. There were many sites that had the same durable finishes but not much character. By the late 90’s this was an approach that we avoided. It is interesting how many of the elements present in typical sites could be removed and still retain the key characteristics

GS What influenced your choice of materials and the colour scheme? AF As mentioned earlier the relatively bright space with its high ceilings gave us the opportunity to look at a strong colour palette. Natural oak helps pull the various bright reds and intense greens together. The artwork was then generated by drawing on the colour scheme and carefully combining these colours.

Finishes and samples for Rushden Lakes project

GS Where did you source the art? AF Artwork probably suggests framed pieces on a wall, and it often is. We always endeavour to try and find a way of expressing ideas in various media. Whether textures made by materials such as the ribbed walls and metal screen over the kitchen, or large format wallpaper, it all forms part of the character of the interior. We will use creators we know about, or have researched, to provide content. Sometimes we will engage suppliers to produce artwork to our brief. With the work produced in house we have the chance to really knit the scheme together. GS What are you most pleased about with this project? AF The vision to the Lake from the front entrance is maintained, yet the restaurant is gently sub-divided into areas with subtly different characteristics. This was a key challenge we set ourselves and one we have met successfully in my view. The large-scale artworks also work well, visible from the terrace. They are engaging to

passers-by and customers alike. Having spent a lunchtime in the restaurant, I can report they do stimulate debate and conversation and provide an opportunity for interaction between the Pizza Express team and the customer. All sites of Pizza Express can be found at www.pizzaexpress.com For further information about Creed Design Associates visit www.creeddesign.co.uk GS Magazine 21


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Dorsett City

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he new Dorsett City hotel is a sleek and sensitively designed 13-storey building, formerly known as the Matrix, located in London’s prime business hub next to Aldgate tube station and the 18th Century St Botolph Church. Dorsett Hospitality International’s first hotel, Dorsett Shepherds Bush, opened in 2014 (previously reviewed in this magazine) and Dorsett City further underlines the company’s vision to expand its affordable hotel portfolio in selected strategic regions in the United Kingdom and Europe. The hotel houses 267 guestrooms and suites, alongside a 24-hour gym and 1,600 sq. ft. of meeting space for the business community. Interior design and creation was headed by Dorsett’s Vice President of Interior Design Wendy Chiu, sister of the company’s Executive Director and President Winnie Chiu. Created by Dorsett’s very own in-house design team, sleek, modern interiors are given a hint of glamorous 1930s Shanghai, for a Chinese influence teamed with classic British style. This is designed to reflect the key Dorsett brand concepts; modern, innovative, comfortable. Dorsett City also brings two immensely popular restaurant concepts from west to east London for the very first time, with the opening of Chinese restaurant Shikumen and VQ (Vingt-Quatre), with its unique 24-hour dining concept. Hotel guests and London locals alike can enjoy these two diverse dining options at Dorsett City, from breakfast through to dinner, with Shikumen offering innovative Asian inspired dishes and the vibrant VQ providing a city hot-spot for classic comfort cuisine and cocktails around the clock. In addition to the two restaurants Dorsett City plays host to a new contemporary roof top bar, Jin Bo Law, which enjoys stunning views over the London city skyline. As well as enhancing the East London restaurant scene, the hotel claims to be solving the slumber conundrum with the launch of its new Simba Suite. Providing affordable style in central London, the hotel has partnered with British brand, Simba, to deliver a one of a kind super-luxe suite. The new Simba Suite with floor to ceiling windows overlooking London’s iconic skyline features the Simba Hybrid® mattress, engineered for optimum sleep. Using innovative sleep technology, the Simba Hybrid® mattress is the first dual spring and memory foam mattress of its kind in the UK market. Its cutting-edge innovative technology offers premium comfort and support. The hotel is within walking distance of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Leadenhall Market, Tate Modern, Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, Borough Market and Columbia Road Flower Market.

Dorsett City Hotel, 9 Aldgate High Street, London EC3 Tel: +44 (0)20 3805 1000 www.dorsetthotels.com GS Magazine 23


Apex City of Bath Hotel

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SA, formerly known as Ian Springford Architects, have enjoyed a strong business relationship with Apex hotels since the beginning. Their most recent collaboration was on the purpose-built Apex City of Bath Hotel, Apex Hotel’s first opening in England outside of London. This is a major milestone for Edinburgh’s most renowned hotel group which now takes their portfolio to 10 hotels across the UK. Having just been awarded New Business of The Year at the annual Bath Life Awards after only a few months’ trading the hotel is on a high. The Apex City of Bath Hotel is the largest in Bath with 177 bedrooms, a bar, restaurant, 400 capacity conference space, meeting rooms and leisure facilities including a swimming pool and gym. The hotel is situated on the corner of James Street West and Charles Street in the centre of historic Bath. The full height glazed windows to the perimeter of the building 24 GS Magazine

allowing natural light to flood the public spaces on the ground floor and the street facing bedrooms above. The overall concept for the public spaces was determined by the continuous L-shaped circulation route around the front face of the building. This maximised the use of natural daylight and allowed for free-flowing movement between the lounge bar, reception, business library and restaurant. A light polished plaster wall forms the backdrop, with black marble counters protruding from dark timber reveals in the restaurant, reception and lounge bars. A changing colour spectrum in patterned tiling runs across the counter faces, linking furniture and accessories to each differing zone and visible by guests and passers-by as they navigate through the building. ISA’s Head of Interior Design Emma Franks has worked with the practice for over

10 years and approaches each brief for an Apex Hotel with individuality, while ensuring that they incorporate the well-known design details that guests have come to recognise within the Apex brand. “It’s important that the style makes guests feel like they could comfortably use all the hotels, and that’s why there are continuous design elements that are familiar across all of them, whilst retaining their own identity. We do want people to know and recognise the Apex brand for its quality and attention to detail, whilst still offering them different experiences at each hotel. However, the Bath hotel is a bit quirkier than the other Apex Hotels. It’s a little more playful, with brighter and bolder finishes and furniture” The interior design of the project incorporates bold furniture with sculptural and playful elements, upholstered in block colours and soft textures which reflect the accent


scheme of each zone. The lounge bar uses long sofas and angled banquettes in teal, midnight blue and jade green to divide the space, with feature glass pendants adding punctuation to the lighting. In the restaurant, oak and brass tables are complimented by contemporary neutral dining chairs with splashes of reds and oranges in the furniture and oversized pendant light fittings. Bedrooms have a contemporary Scandinavian feel with light oaks, greys and mustards and a cosy headboard recess in a deep charcoal colour. Textured and patterned linens add softness to the room schemes and light

fittings in black add subtle accents. ISA have been responsible for the designs of all Apex Hotels including Edinburgh’s Apex Waterloo Place, Apex City of London, Apex London Wall and Apex Temple Court among others. They are currently involved in the refurbishment of the original Apex Grassmarket Hotel, Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa and a new extension of 21 luxury rooms at the Apex Temple Court Hotel off Fleet Street in the City of London. Apex City of Bath Hotel, James Street West, Bath, Somerset. Tel: +44 (0)1225 418500 www.apexhotels.co.uk GS Magazine 25


The White Horse, Dorking

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deally situated just over an hour from central London by train, this historic 18th century coaching inn has just finished an impressive £4 million refurbishment, bringing a stylish destination hotel, restaurant and deli to Dorking for the first time. Works have encompassed the property’s accommodation, ground floor restaurant, bar and events spaces, including a comprehensive remodelling and addition of 16 new bedrooms, beautifully enhanced to breathe new life into this historic hotel. Stylish modern interiors combine with rustic country charm, and each room pays tribute to the building’s unique role in 26 GS Magazine

Dorking’s history, having once played host to Charles Dickens, who took up residence at the White Horse while writing his first novel the Pickwick Papers. Interior design for The White Horse was undertaken by leading interior design firm Squid Inc, aiming to emphasise the property’s history, inspired by its past as an 18th century coaching inn and re-interpreted for the modern-day traveller. The building’s character has been retained with its sloping ceilings and beams, which is complimented by a new pared-down minimalist aesthetic. The bar and lounge areas are characterised by dark blue walls, distressed wooden furniture, and

a combination of leather and velvet chairs in deep jewel tones, filled with cosy corners and roaring open fires. Quirky prints adorn the walls, many with an equestrian theme about the hotels’ history and name. In the guest rooms, a muted palette combined with leather headboards and wood panelled walls gives an elegant simplicity, while features such as roll-top baths, plush velvet reading chairs and marble-topped tables add a sense of luxury. As a nod to the Dickens’ association there are also historic prints and volumes of his works found in each bedroom, alongside homely touches such Green & Spring toiletries and freshly baked cookies designed


to make a stay extra special. The White Horse also offers a range of rooms by accessible design specialists Motionspot, previous winners of the Bespoke Access Awards, a design competition to make the hotel experience more joyful and inclusive for disabled guests. Fully accessible from street level, these rooms are indistinguishable in terms of quality and design from all the other rooms and are uniquely placed to offer disabled guests an elevated experience, that is unfortunately unavailable at most hotels. Befitting its rich history and lively tradition, the new White Horse hotel features extensive dining facilities, alongside a delicatessen

and refurbished bar, serving local ales and a selection of regional wines, as well as cocktails inspired by the local Surrey countryside. The bar is framed by a statement wall in navy blue decorated with lines of silver cutlery, while unique bar stools made from vintage saddles acknowledge the hotel’s coaching inn history and equestrian themes. Known as “The Dozen”, The White Horse’s versatile destination restaurant offers an all-day dining space with capacity for up to 100 diners and serves a menu of traditional British and modern European cuisine, from Pork Belly and Lemon Sole to Braised Game Pie and Steamed Mussels, as well as a range of steaks from the ‘Kopa’ charcoal

oven. The White Horse also boasts its very own ‘The Dozen Deli’ stocked with a wide range of Dorking and Surrey produce supplied by local partners. The deli, located to the front of the building, provides pastries, freshly baked sourdough bread and coffee made from regionally-roasted beans. In addition, the deli offers locally made Debbie’s Chutney, wine from Denbies and Greyfriars, Gutsy Monkey Gin and The White Horse’s very own sausages. The White Horse, High Street, Dorking, Surrey. Tel: +44 (0)1306 881138 www.bespokehotels.com/dorking-white-horse GS Magazine 27


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outhwold is an unspoiled seaside town that, in many people’s minds, represents much that is good in England. It’s a gentle, enchanting and tranquil place perfect for retired folk, dog walkers, young families and those desperate to get away from the bustle of city life. Over the years locals have fought hard to retain its Victorian charm, keeping property developers at arm’s length and successfully campaigning against the intrusion of major supermarkets and casual dining brands. Because of these efforts, Southwold now is much the same as it was seventy years ago. At its core is The Swan Hotel, as much a part of the history of the town as the famous lighthouse or the Adnams brewery. The Swan had needed refurbishment for some time but in a town determined to keep one foot firmly in the past how would locals react to any form of modernity? 28 GS Magazine

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roject Orange was approached for the refurbishment of The Swan Hotel in late 2014 by Adnams, its brewery owner. The project was to include the alteration and extension of the Grade II listed building, its gardens and garden bedrooms and the creation of a new visitor centre for the brewery which shares its site with the hotel in the centre of the town. The brief was for a redesign of the hotel that respected the building’s heritage whilst updating it with a fresh contemporary edge that reflected the core values of the Adnams brand and embodied the quintessence of Southwold and the Suffolk coast. Project Orange pitched for the job in competition. Christopher Ash, Director of Project Orange, continues with the story. “We prepared an initial concept that related the stories of future imagined visitors to the

renovated Swan, describing in both words and imagery what they would see, touch experience and how the culture (and products!) of Adnams would permeate this experience. “Our concept placed themes of brewing and distilling, Suffolk and the seaside at its core. We were also mindful to respect the heritage of The Swan and therefore proposed designs that mixed the old with the new, retaining and celebrating much of the original antique furniture and art and combining these with new quirky bespoke pieces. These included four poster beds with signature bright pink tipped posts, colourful rugs inspired by stacked bottles and a tallboy in every bedroom that made a central display of a welcoming drinks tray of Adnams products. The tallboy also conceals the otherwise intrusive but necessary TV. “Bathrooms eschew tiles to the walls and instead are lined with waterproof tongue and groove boarding in seaside pastel shades. These


“The Still Room, grander and more formal owes its inspiration to fabulous copper stills of the distillery, hence the centre piece copper bar, copper-light glazing and bespoke bottle feature lights. Significantly a new street entrance was created through the historic bow window to the façade, allowing desire-line access to the restaurant where previously diners had been obliged to meander their way through the hotel and a network of historic passages and corridors. This entrance is on axis with the new feature copper bar and is linked visually by the new central island banquette. “More visual links are created in the formation of new door openings from the adjacent drawing room, in-filled with glazed copper-light panels. A personal favourite in the hotel, the drawing room is delightfully representative of the project. Whilst no major architectural changes were made, it has been utterly transformed from dowdy lounge to a bright, fresh and quirky room that is both modern and traditional, formal yet utterly relaxed. Walls are lined in part in bright white tongue and groove boarding which contrasts with dramatic blue and white Cole & Sons geometric wallpaper. Furnishings are again eclectic mixing old and new, antiques with Ercol, emerald green velvet and natural linen. “We, and the client are thrilled with the outcome. Adnams were a pleasure to work with and good clients are fundamental to the

creation of good projects. We feel the finished hotel strikes a perfect balance of the traditional and contemporary, quietly celebrates its role as the Adnams flagship and elevates the charm and quirkiness of its Suffolk seaside location.” This work was completed at the end of 2017 so the local townsfolk have had a chance to react to the changes that have been made. A quick look at TripAdvisor tells all we need to know. The Swan’s new interiors have been given broad approval and rightly so. As Christopher says, the new look is very much in keeping with the style of Southwold. Quirky and charming but above all, respectful of its heritage. The Swan Hotel, Market Place, Southwold, Suffolk. Tel: +44 (0)1502 722186 www.theswansouthwold.co.uk

Project Orange is an award-winning architect and design practice based in London. www.projectorange.com

contrast with dark grey encaustic cement tiles to the floor in dark grey with a cheery star design to the centre. “The two restaurants were named The Tap Room and The Still Room to reflect the brewing and distilling traditions of the client respectively. The former, informal and pub like, contains nooks and crannies stuffed with quirky brick a brac and the paraphernalia of brewing and is decked out in deep blue and white. The space transforms from a lounge area close to the reception through to a soaring new extension to the rear. This replaces a utilitarian brick store room and opens the Tap Room to the new brewery courtyard and visitors’ centre beyond. The extension’s rough timber frame is left exposed internally and in-filled with handmade white tiles, many of which carry water colour designs of local icons including the Southwold Lighthouse and Adnams Jack, the Brewery’s very own emblem. GS Magazine 29


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nglian Country Inns (ACI), an award-winning portfolio of eleven venues including six charming village pubs in Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, has an interesting background story. Founded by Cliff Nye, already a successful businessman, who took over The White Horse in Brancaster when it came on the market in 1996. Brancaster, on the north Norfolk coast, was a place where Cliff had spent most of his holidays as a young boy, he knew the pub well. Having just sold an unrelated business he had available cash so decided to buy it, partly for fun and partly because he wanted to see good, freshly cooked, locally sourced food served well in an area that he loved. At no point did he intend to develop a hospitality business but, having made a huge success of The White Horse, other opportunities came his way and before too long he was running pubs in his home county of Hertfordshire too. The growth of the business, at least in the early days, was opportunistic and not planned. However, with his two sons, James and Howard, working alongside him, the family business slowly began to grow. Cherry picking pubs for sale that they knew,

“for four years running we hosted the Top 50 Gastro Pub Awards”

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refurbishing them, adding a quality restaurant and accommodation wherever practicable, they were onto a winning formula. The catalyst came when oldest son James, who is now the company’s MD, noticed that an old music venue was up for sale in the town centre of Hitchin. By comparison this would be a risk and a huge investment; the property was cavernous, in need of restoration and in the quieter part of the town where many of the shops were empty. But undaunted the team developed plans to create a 150-cover restaurant with an open theatre kitchen and a modern cocktail bar. The risk paid off handsomely. Within a few weeks of opening the venue was thriving, regularly turning away customers by night and doing a good lunchtime trade. Even now, seven years on, it’s hard to get a table at weekends without booking well in advance and the bar is regularly full, unlike many of the bars and casual dining brands in the town that are struggling. So, why is the Hermitage Road venue bucking the trend? “Well firstly it’s a beautiful venue and there’s a vibe unlike anything else in Hitchin.” Explains James. “Even in the early evening when it’s quiet the kitchen staff are busy working away and everyone can see them, and

behind the bar we’ll have bartenders getting ready to do their magic. So, the atmosphere is there from the start. Also, it’s a great events space, which means we can utilise it during the day for weddings and private functions. For example, for four years running we hosted the Top 50 Gastro Pub Awards. They take place on a Monday lunchtime in January, so it doesn’t really interfere with anything but brings in additional revenue and great publicity. It’s important to fully utilise a venue and to try to be as versatile as possible so you can provide a variety of events, day and night.” Being versatile will help AC Inns weather many storms. James believes that many casual dining chains suffer because their business models are too linear. “If a restaurant specialises in burgers and burgers suddenly become less popular then of course they’re going to suffer. For us, it would simply be a case of taking them off the menu and replacing them with something else.” James continues “Most of the chains are suffering because their identities are manufactured and then rolled-out. That’s why it’s important to allow the character of a building to shine through and to make sure we give our GM’s plenty of freedom to run their venues how they want to.


“The growth of the business, at least in the early days, was opportunistic and not planned” It’s what makes each site a different customer experience.” Younger son Howard and his wife, Ellené, ran the Hermitage Road site for the first few years. Ellené now concentrates on the interior design of all sites while Howard oversees operations. She is not a trained designer, having gained her degree in hospitality, but she certainly has a flair for design and a great sense of style. The venues in the ACI portfolio are inherited businesses, most with an existing customer base. And although each new venue undergoes refurbishment and actively looks for new customers it’s considered important to engage positively with existing clientele and not to alienate them. For this reason, the interiors are styled but not radically overhauled. In most cases the buildings are old with plenty of original features and the design intention is to expose the original charm and character and then to add a few modern touches here and there. James Nye uses the term “evolution, not revolution” and when their new venues re-open he talks of “a new chapter” in the life of the building as well as the business. Ellené’s approach to design is determined by the brief more than anything else. “I am always

looking at trends and new styles. I attend trade shows regularly and visit as many other hotels, bars and pubs as I can to see what’s going on” says Ellené. “So, to a degree, I am influenced by others but with our properties the interiors need to be comfortable and timeless. We’re not in London where anything goes so we do need to exercise restraint to appeal to our local audience.” Several months ago, ACI took over a muchloved small country hotel on the outskirts of Hitchin. The Redcoats Hotel was housed in a 15th Century farmhouse. It was converted into a hotel during the 1970’s by the family who lived there, and they continued to run the business up until they sold it last year. This is by far the most ambitious project to date for ACI. At the time of purchasing the hotel, they also bought two large barns in the grounds that had stood empty for decades. These are being converted into more bedrooms and suites with space for conferencing and events, catering for up to 150 people at a time. The converted barns are due to open in May this year. “The hotel had and still has a huge amount of historical goodwill and we were determined not to lose that.” says James. The Redcoats had a large and loyal following of ageing clients, many of whom

Hermitage Road restaurant and open plan kitchen

The Farmhouse at Redcoats

The Conservatory at The Farmhouse at Redcoats

View from the Conservatory restaurant at The White Horse

Room at The Fox

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Top room for magnificent views of the harbour (inset) and across the marshes

On Marketing... “For us, marketing starts with design and service. Get that right and your guests will do the marketing for you” says James Nye. But what of those who haven’t been to your venues, how do you draw them in? “We use social media more and more to engage with our existing and potential clients. As we’re refurbishing we post images of work in progress on Instagram. People get to see what we’re doing: a floor being sanded, new furniture arriving, lights being hung. They’re engaging with the re-birth of the business and become curious to see the end result. And when we do open we tend to have a period offering 50% off whilst we settle in. At the same time, we invite lots of secretaries and PA’s so we’re targeting the right people”.

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“the interiors are styled but not radically overhauled”

Room At The Top at The White Horse

were very set in their ways and against the idea of change. “This was a big concern” agrees James, “as some changes were necessary. But we felt that, so long as we were making changes for the right reasons and we could get that message across, we’d get those people on our side.” The evolution that James talks about will take up to five years although early changes have already been implemented. Firstly, the hotel has been given a name change and is now known as The Farmhouse at Redcoats. The ground floor spaces of the hotel have been redecorated with a welcome touch of modernity. The menu has been changed and there are subtle changes in the style of service. “We need to firmly establish the food and beverage trade here and recreate a proper destination restaurant, attracting a new generation of customer as well as the existing. We need to finish the build outside in the barns and re-landscape the gardens. And then establish a first-class events business to complement the hotel. We also want to improve and refurbish all of the existing bedrooms so it’s quite an undertaking.” On top of this, the evolution continues in the company’s other venues and they are still open to new acquisitions. Most recently they have bought a pub on the boundary of the Knebworth estate called The Lytton Arms, which is currently being refurbished with a view to re-open in May. To date, ACI own and run the following: The White Horse and the Jolly Sailors in Brancaster Staithe, The Fox at Willian, near Letchworth, The hermitage rd. bar and restaurant in Hitchin, on the ground floor is a coffee shop

Dining at The Farmhouse

and a charming homeware and accessories store, The Cricketers in Weston, near Stevenage, The Lytton Arms in Knebworth, The Water Lane bar and kitchen in Bishop’s Stortford, The Kings Head in Letheringsett near Holt, The Farmhouse at Redcoats and The Brancaster Brewery, supplier of quality ales. It’s a good business and they obviously take great pride in what they do; running country inns and pubs just how they should be run. As it says on their website; “We are a family run business rooted in a love of good food and proper old-fashioned hospitality. Everything from the service our staff provide, through to the outstanding quality of our suppliers and ambiance of our pubs, builds towards making the ordinary extraordinary. The same attention to detail is put into every element of our business from the big to the small. So, if our chefs are preparing a fresh lobster or rolling pizza dough, or our bar staff are shaking an espresso martini or pouring a pint of ale; everything gets done with a sense of pride and care, because we believe it makes all the difference.” www.acinns.co.uk

The Old Kitchen at Farmhouse at Redcoats

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The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

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hat Principal Hotels are particularly good at is making their new city hotels feel like they have been a part of the fabric of the area for a long time. Credit for this is largely due to their choice of buildings but the designers play a not insignificant part in the process. In this instance, at the Grade II* - listed The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, designers Goddard Littlefair have respectfully reinterpreted the property’s Townhouse origins to the front; including the lobby, reception and lounges, but have added degrees of modernity to the heart of the hotel that will surprise guests. Namely a beautifully inspired courtyard ‘Garden’ space and a new bar and restaurant, known as BABA. The property had long been a hotel, previously trading as The Roxburghe and before that as the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh. It is made up of seven classic Georgian townhouses, originally designed by leading 18th century architect Robert Adam. > 34 GS Magazine


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The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

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Guests enter the hotel via a classic original arched entranceway, refurbished with a smart, black-painted door set into a white-painted, glazed arch. The sense of being welcomed into a grand old Georgian townhouse prevails. Once inside, a spacious, glazed vestibule provides an area to wait or lounge in, with, to the right, an antique bench and bent-wood hat-stand and multiple hooks for hats and bags. Vintage walking sticks, hats, bags and suitcases immediately de-formalise the space and reinforce the subliminal sense of entering a private residence. Will Hutchings, Senior Designer at Goddard Littlefair explains. ‘To underline the sense of arriving at a hotel that communicates an instantly relaxed, pre-established feel, we chose to include a few great vintage items in the scheme, with newer items often finished with an antique look or treatment, such as deliberately worn wood, so that the furnishings tell a unified story”. The art around the seating area opposite the reception desks is a case in point. Curated by leading art consultants ARTIQ, a broad range of prints and original art suggests the collection of a well-travelled individual who has returned home to Edinburgh after many years away and relays, through a vintage lens, a narrative about global travel and Edinburgh itself. The lobby area features a ‘salon hang’ treatment, made up of vintage etchings, 18th century political illustration, original abstract paintings and drawings, contemporary prints and sketches. Frames are also a deliberately eclectic mix, from slim contemporary mouldings and roughened wood to genuine vintage guilt and carved frames. A strong visual axis has been created to ensure that the new ‘Garden’ space is immediately visible from the moment you enter the hotel. Located in a space previously used for pre-function drinks or as a breakout area, The Garden serves as a destination all-day food and beverage space creating an GS Magazine 37


The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

oasis for local Edinburgh residents, as well as hosting breakfast service for hotel guests. Originally open to the elements, the central courtyard space has now been reclaimed as part of the hotel’s interior space with the addition of a new glazed roof. the light-filled space provides the hotel with a much-needed heart and allows comfortable all-year-round usage. The introduction of timber-clad columns and surrounding bulkhead both encloses and compartmentalises the space, providing a few intimate nooks and cosy corners. Cantilevered mirrors have been added to the bulkhead to maximise the sense of light and space and to encourage glimpsed views and people-watching. The design for the space was inspired by the great hothouses, orangeries and nurseries of grand, historic country estates. A bar area features a riveted zinc counter, overhanging pergola and vines and provides a 38 GS Magazine

visual focus at one end of the space, enlivened by sounds from its own water fountain. In the evening, the space takes on a magical feel, thanks to the ambient lighting scheme, which includes periphery walls lights, with an intimate, candle-lit feel, whilst the extensive use of wicker shades reinforces the sense of being in an indoor-outdoor space and casts playful patterns across the walls and floor. Pretty glassjar lights with metal floral fittings, multiplestring ‘festoon’ lighting and antiqued metal chandeliers all add to a garden-party vibe. BABA, the new restaurant and cocktail bar, offers a boldly unconventional menu of simple, fresh, tasty small plate mezze dining and the restaurant’s unique twist is the flavour of ‘Levantine escapism’, infusing everything from its personality and design to the bold eastern Mediterranean mezze food offer. Goddard Littlefair was asked to provide a step change in terms of the look and feel of these spaces and this change in approach is immediately apparent. ‘To give these hospitality spaces a strong and unique personality, but at the same time ensure they linked well to the rest

of the hotel, we incorporated several period elements that paid respect to the building such as Georgian-era tiling designs, as well as architectural salvage elements that linked other key spaces’ explains Will Hutchings. ‘We then alluded to the Levantine-influenced food offer with, for example, a series of rugs fitted to the walls like tapestry artworks and via the richness of the colour scheme, which includes aubergine, teal and peacock leather armchairs, with the whole concept overlaid with a bold and contemporary freshness.’ Guests move from the bar to the restaurant via a glazed platform, which allows views over the space before stepping down into it. At the base of the steps is the restaurant’s show kitchen and dining counter, which is the first of a series of dining spaces, also including The Map Room, The Salon and The Library, each with a different emphasis, in addition to the main restaurant space. No two bedrooms are the same in this collection of 199 rooms, which includes 18 suites. The bedrooms are spread across three locations – the old block; the new wing and the


‘wee hoose’. The design treatment for all centres on comfort, colour and character, with fun and eclectic ‘salon hang’ artwork in each room, for example, ranging from the contemporary and abstract to cultural illustrations and highland animals, treated with a touch of irreverent wit. Art consultancy ARTIQ also sourced accessories for the rooms, from cocktail shakers to small succulents. For the corridors, vintage drink and advertising posters sit alongside animal prints and maps. The old block guestrooms make the most of period details, such as refurbished listed detailing and cornicing. The overall design treatment is a balance between tradition and a more youthful, contemporary feel. Carpeting throughout is a white and grey dogtooth design from Newhey. The beds feature upholstered headboards, with saddlery and buckle details in a deep blue/grey leather, plus freestanding items of cabinetry finished in a combination of deep ebony and soft, contemporary grey stained oak. Deliberately de-constructed wing chairs feature in some rooms, where exposed rear framing and webbing adds to the authentic,

established, residential feel. The cabinetry carries details from trunks and suitcases from the golden age of travel and exploration, whilst tweeds, tartans and velvets provide warmth and a sense of place. The bathrooms in this block feature a contemporary treatment with highquality sanitary-ware, bespoke lighting and mirrors. The old block linking corridors are painted in a green-grey tone, with pools of light outside each guest room. All the bespoke freestanding furniture and guestroom lighting were designed in-house by Goddard Littlefair and produced by Thomas Johnstone, Ozo/Living Area and Heathfield Lighting respectively. The ‘wee house’, which is like a mini hotel-within-a-hotel spread over four storeys, has bedrooms with a similar feel, but with a unique bathroom treatment, featuring roll-top baths, marble washstands and tiles, as well as Victorian-style, chequerboard floor tiling in a herringbone pattern from Fired Earth, along with timber skirting and a dado rail. By respecting the key elements of the original property, the designers have done

an exceptional job. This part of Edinburgh is a delight to visit. The buildings have been beautifully preserved externally; they have an ageless quality and a great sense of period. But on the inside, they have been allowed to evolve to provide modern day comforts. And hotels don’t come with much more comfort than this. The Principal Edinburgh, Charlotte Square, is typical of the brand. Principal is a growing collection of city-centre hotels based in exceptional locations across the United Kingdom. The distinctive heritage and resulting relationship between the properties and their surroundings are the cornerstones of the brand. It was hoped that in this issue we would also be able to review the new Principal London, based in Russell Square. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, some parts of the hotel are still not finished so we must wait until they’re ready for a photo shoot. From what we’ve managed to see so far, it’ll certainly be worth the wait. The Principal Edinburgh, 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Tel: +44 (0)131 240 5500 www.phcompany.com GS Magazine 39


The Mercure Swansea

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he Mercure Swansea is a purpose built two storey business hotel located near to the city’s industrial centre and business parks that has recently been renovated. Not a particularly interesting building, it would have been something of a challenge for designer Helen Hooper to create an intimate or design led interior as the inner space is so vast and architecturally nondescript. As you enter there’s a reception space to the left; directly ahead is a huge void, broken here and there by support columns, which leads past a bar on the right and into a large open restaurant at the rear of the property. Hooper has divided the space into

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carpeted zones for guests to relax in, adding focus lighting to each and plenty of colourful artwork around the walls. By doing this the area is broken down into smaller, more obvious areas: the lobby, the bar and the television lounge. The remaining uncarpeted central space that leads to the restaurant becomes the natural pathway that passes through the hotel linking the routes to the gym and the bedrooms to one side and the conference space and meeting rooms to the other. During my visit I had the chance to talk to the duty manager, who proudly showed me around the building, and to the receptionist and other members of staff. Whilst the hotel hasn’t been under the Mercure brand


for too long, it has been serving the people of Swansea for many years. The receptionist tells of the days when, as a child, she would regularly visit the hotel to see her father who also worked there. The duty manager said that he had worked there since leaving school. They spoke of the hotel with great affection. Uniquely, for a city hotel, many of the staff have worked there for a long time and most of them were born and bred in Swansea. All the more surprising, given that this is predominantly a business hotel stuck in a business park, it has a sizeable clientele of regular customers: locals who frequent the hotel for lunches, afternoon teas, early evening drinks and dinner. This is a secondary income that few business park hotels benefit from. In fact, the restaurant is rarely busier than on a Sunday lunch, when it’s full of local families. Helen Hooper has obviously tapped into this local loyalty by revealing a locally inspired new look. The contemporary new design pays homage to Swansea’s industrial heritage and to the famous Welsh poet and writer, Dylan Thomas, a local who spent his childhood nearby. The renovation includes a transformation of 55 bedrooms and the public spaces. Hooper of HH Interiors, who has previously worked with Jupiter Hotels on renovation projects across the UK, explained, “With Swansea, we wanted to create a sense of warmth and entertainment in a modern contemporary setting which marries and reflects the local contrast between city and countryside. We used a mixture of finishes, polished brass, faux marble and grey oak all creating levels of texture and we have positioned bespoke artwork throughout the hotel to tell the local story of Swansea and the surrounding area.” Additional locally inspired design features, which acknowledge Swansea’s industrial heritage, include a range of materials such as ornamental copper gilded oyster shells, a quadriptych printed onto aluminium in the restaurant and vintage silver cutlery items

stamped in the Welsh language and hung in wooden frames in the public areas. Other key design features that reference the local scenery and culture include artwork of Dylan Thomas, bespoke local imagery printed onto the headboards and framed model sheep in the lounge space.

Those who work at the hotel are proud to reveal the new look, as if they were showing off their own homes. They’ll happily share past stories of events surrounding the hotel and its guests. The fun, the incidents, the indiscretions (sparing guests’ identities, of course). And by doing so they’re sharing the life of the hotel and of those who work in it. Whereas the character in many hotels can be found within the fabric of the property itself, the character here comes from the people who work there. Friendly, approachable and genuine people. It quickly becomes apparent that locals are attracted to the hotel for that very reason. The Mercure Swansea, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea. Tel: 0844 815 9081 www.mercureswansea.co.uk GS Magazine 41


by Justin Turner

The Blurring of Boundaries “The quality of a man’s land is in its borders” Humphry Repton reputedly argued, a reference not to the beds and borders of the late Georgian period pleasure gardens, but the areas between distinct spaces. How the juxtaposition of interior and exterior space relate to one another as part of the whole is as relevant today as it was two centuries ago. 42 GS Magazine

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ery often indoor and the outdoor spaces are separately conceived and even when they are not, over time and during inter-renewal periods between refurbishment, this distinction can increase so that they diverge and ultimately conflict. Managing this divergence when the outdoor space evolves, matures and decays whilst the indoor space remains static is key to a long term successful and harmonious location, especially so in hospitality where arrival experience and first impressions are often a key factor.

De Vere (The Principal Hotel Company’s country estate hotel brand) is currently undergoing a £50 million investment project and my role is to improve the look and feel of our historic properties in line with our brand aspirations and customer expectations. My background in botanic garden management and historic landscape restoration has allowed me to examine how the (often) rarely overlapping magisterium’s of gardens and buildings can better serve each other. I am responsible for the direction and management of The Greater Outdoors, a brand pillar newly created to serve De Vere’s focus


Atrium at De Vere Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire

on providing creative and innovative outdoor spaces. I also consider myself the sole caretaker of the border/boundary space. Coming into a rapidly growing company whose focus is to redefine what a country estate hotel experience should be, was and still is, a great privilege and challenge. How to embellish and reinvigorate the arrival and curtilage of properties ranging from the Grade 1 listed ‘De Vere Wotton House’, Dorking, Surrey (former home of 17th Century Diarist, author and landscape gardener John Evelyn) to the contemporary eco-hotel De Vere Cotswold Water Park, Cirencester, would on the face of it provide separate challenges to GS Magazine 43


Adding a few pots to the exterior of a mansion house hotel is not enough

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Remarkable blurred boundary office lounge on a 32nd floor in Dubai

Winter Garden, De Vere Latimer Estate, Chesham

blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. The brief and therefore solution is the same however; reduce, eliminate and then reverse the divergence that occurs at the boundary. My own process for dealing with restoration or enhancement broadly follows these lines: Cleansing If I have been recommended or have accepted a commission then it is to walk into a garden landscape that is tired, over mature, in decline or otherwise in need of care and direction. Like a painting that has accumulated years of dirt I find it best to strip back to the original ideas (if any exist) to examine, judge and use as a basis for future developments. There will often be years of ‘trend’ or design fashion to bypass or clear before the House and Gardens show itself and the way forward. I have removed more 1970’s conifer plantings than most and can date a patch of planting as well as any dendrochronologist without the need to examine tree and shrub growth rings, a history of RHS Flower Show Gardens is all you need. A heavily themed garden attached to a historic building dates very quickly if not conceived at the same time i.e. divergence increases at a steeper rate.

The Clocktower Courtyard at De Vere Latimer Estate, Chesham

Reaction How would any restorative or new design and planting react and interplay with the building and the all-important boundary space? The question also relies on an understanding of the context of the work. In a privately owned stately home setting, the area surrounding the house is an extension of the design of the house, usually designed in a complimentary style rather than a GS Magazine 45


Restored Rose Garden at De Vere Tortworth Court maintains the balance between building and gardens

contrasting one. In a commercial setting these can often be reversed and depends on the final internal space and its styling to suggest a continuation of style in the immediate outdoor area. What this means in practice for a De Vere hotel could be the continuation of furniture and planting style through bi-fold or enlarged glass windows so that the boundary does not dictate how the space can be used. We use division at De Vere not to dictate how space is used but only to delineate it. Renewal This can be renewal of concept, role or simply planting. It is important to consider how new features, embellishments and schemes react to the existing building, its grounds and more importantly its ‘borders’ in which they will be defined. Adding a few pots to the exterior of a mansion house hotel is not enough; one must carefully consider scale and style, whilst having 46 GS Magazine

a clear projection of what these say about your brand and the clear impression you wish to leave your customers with. At De Vere Tortworth Court we have chosen to create an atrium rather than a courtyard garden between buildings. We have blurred the boundaries further by using preserved green walls, botanical imagery and our own unique take on the cosy and comfortable ‘Hygge’ in the immediate building areas to extend the concept. There is no defined ‘end’ point to this amazing space, it builds anticipation and expectation during arrival and continues the experience on leaving. How do you create and manage a harmonious interior/exterior boundary that addresses divergence over time? You will perhaps be familiar with the concept of ‘Bringing the outdoors, inside” and this is often a simplistic term for adding green elements to an interior space. The label we assign a space

should not rigidly dictate its full purpose in the boundary area. My point, therefore, is that considering the vagaries of the British weather and the need for security, the indoor-outdoor space boundary should not be regarded as a rigid line on an architect’s drawing, but an impressionist landscape watercolour in which the horizon is difficult to pinpoint. We recognise that sensory experiences go a long way in relieving tension of colleagues and guests. Many of our hotel and Smart Space meeting rooms expand through large terraces and decks, ensuring nature is brought inside in every possible way. Lush greenery, decorative stone and wood elements, bark and willow panelling and the use of specially designed scents keep our boundary space as blurred and ethereal as possible. What the outdoors is master of is the sensory experience and I embrace simple mass ‘sensory plantings’ giving people something impactful to remember,


We recognise that sensory experiences go a long way in relieving tension of colleagues and guests

an experience they will want to repeat. Our lobby and lounge areas are designed to include natural white noise using waterfalls, background music that changes depending on the time of day and function, and green ambience to aid in concentration and focus. What I have hoped to highlight is the importance in the consideration of the threshold between interior and exterior space in order not to determine its potential use but simply to delineate it for a variety of purpose. This should be a harmonious and evolving threshold that seeks to reduce divergence over time and between refurbishments to limit the need for dramatic change, the quality of a building’s threshold being key to its overall success. We are grateful to Justin Turner for this article. Justin is a garden writer, lecturer and Head of Estates Management for De Vere.

Atrium Restaurant, Principal York

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Five Star Food Photography

CHS Creative

CHS Creative. Decadent Black Forest Cake


Viktor Kery. Sussex Goats Cheese

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ow important is food photography to your business? Here we share some of our favourite images from the shortlisted entries for the 2018 Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, the world’s leading awards for food photography and film. The winners will be announced at the end of April and a magnificent Winners’ Exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries, London, from Wednesday 25th - Sunday 29th April from 10-5pm (closing at 3pm on the final day). Admission is free and the exhibition will showcase more than 150 photographs and films from talented photographers around the world. In 2017 a new category, sponsored by the InterContinental London Park Lane, was created to focus on Food at the Table. The hotel invests heavily in high quality food photography, so we asked Stephen Moran, Director of Marketing, to explain why this is so important to the company and how they source the best photographers.     GS How do you choose a photographer? SM When it comes to food, we seek out those who know how to maximise the presentation of a dish through the lens. A photographer

can be introduced to us in a variety of ways; they may have come recommended by one of our media contacts, or the photographer may have been commissioned by a third party for a publication. However, perhaps the most rewarding way to discover a great photographer is to have come across their work spontaneously and to then have sought them out. Naturally, we have a well-established ‘black book’ detailing photographers that we like to work with, however, we are always open to collaborating with new people. In this industry, out new talent is a great way of injecting energy into our marketing campaigns. When looking through a photographer’s portfolio, we will try to get a feel for their personal style. While most professional photographers will tell you that they approach each shoot differently, they will often have an identifiable style or perhaps prior experience in a niche sector of the industry. We will then ask ourselves whether this style compliments one of our restaurants and the demand of the shoot. We have a distinct brand manifesto and therefore know what look will work well for our business. Like any industry, you build trust with those you work with and photographers

Stacy Grant. Jelly plate

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Andrew Goodfellow.Dirty Burger

Stephen Perez. Making It Happen 50 GS Magazine


are no different. We need to trust that the photographer will share honest feedback and give suggestions to the chef in order to achieve the best presentation of the dish. If a photographer shoots whatever you put in front of them without moving the dish, asking the chef to amend details or adjusting their equipment then warning signs flash and I get nervous - it shows that they are not interested in improving the shot based on their perspective through the lens. GS Isn’t it expensive? SM As with any other conventional project, the final element in selecting a photographer will inevitably be the cost. Fortunately, we have a General Manager, Mr Rey, who values photography and believes in having high quality imagery to match our premium offering, so cost tends to be less of a deciding factor. Nevertheless, expensive copyright licenses can certainly be off-putting.   GS How frequently does new food photography need to be commissioned and refreshed throughout your hotel? SM The need for new imagery is seemingly never ending! We are constantly refreshing our photography as there are so many channels that we need to keep current. Social media for example, requires a new, relevant image almost every day. Luckily, with the high quality of camera phones now available, it is becoming much easier. In addition, we do professional shoots for our social media channels one a month or so depending. For hero photography that we use on the Theo Randall and Ella Canta websites, we tend to update these seasonally to reflect the menu changes. However, the importance of imagery and good photography can never be underestimated, so if we do ever need to do extra shoots for specific initiatives we always do.    GS How do you get the most out of great shots? SM The way that we use imagery has never been more versatile. A photographer will ask whether we need portrait or landscape images to which I answer “both!” By default, we will work on securing the right angle depending on how the dish is best presented. Our responsive websites work best with landscape shots; however, portrait imagery is absolutely crucial to mobile campaigns. Image versatility can be seen in how media channels share imagery. For example, Instagram have foregone their trademark square image in favour of a more dynamic option that caters to different image formats. Ideally, a photoshoot will end with a mixture of sizes and angles from which we can choose depending on the media. Moreover, this has to be achieved with consistency and each of the images demonstrating a similar style.

Ryan Linnegar. Rose Beetroot Apple

Natasha Alipour-Faridani. CreamTeam

Some images also crop well to suit different formats; however, this is entirely dependent on the dish. In the case where we need an image for a specific purpose e.g. a brochure cover, we will know the exact size and communicate this so that we can view the crop during the photoshoot. GS Photography or Video. What is the preferred media? SM In essence, visual content is used to show our product in the most attractive way and to entice customers into our business. Photography is undoubtedly the most versatile

visual content that we can develop because it can be used across all digital and print platforms. Video content can sometimes be more engaging, but it cannot be printed, and consumers will not always invest the time to look at video content irrespective of how short the clip is. While we continue to integrate and work with both forms of media, at this point in time, photography is the most widely used in our business. Personally, I feel that no other form of media is as effective in sparking the curiosity of our customers and the element of intrigue can act as a powerful pull for our business. GS Magazine 51


New design direction for Jurys Inn

Jurys Inn, Liverpool

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entral Design Studio was approached by Jurys Inn and Amaris Hospitality to refurbish two hotels in their portfolio, as part of a new design direction for the brand. The two properties are both very different; Cardiff being a Grade II listed building and Liverpool being a contemporary glass and steel structure, and so each has its own unique challenges and approach. The design for Liverpool is inspired by the quay-side location and proximity to the famous Albert Dock, with a subtle and non-literal play on the vertical repetition found in the surrounding architecture. A relaxed and informal space, with a modern curated feel, the design will appeal to the urban traveller lifestyle. Jurys Inn Cardiff is housed in the historic Park Hotel dating back to 1863. A subtle narrative is woven through the design, focusing on restoring a grand 52 GS Magazine

dame to her former glory, with inspiration taken from Welsh artists from different fields, from contemporary landscape painters to the musician John Cale. To find out a little more about this new design direction we put the following questions to Ian Haigh, Creative Director of Central Design Studios. GS How and why did you get the project? IH We’d worked with Amaris Hospitality, the owners, before on the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. That project was very successful, and I know John Brennan (CEO of Amaris) is a fan of what we do and our approach. GS What was your understanding about what Jurys are looking to achieve across the estate? IH They were very keen for Jurys Inn to be seen

a bit differently. Whilst the brand had carved a niche for itself in the mid-scale market, primarily price-driven, it lacked any real value design-wise and had simply become dated. Amaris were keen to change this and change people’s perception of the brand. GS Do you know why they selected you? IH Our approach tends to be a bit different to a


Jurys Inn, Cardiff

lot of other design companies. We focus on how a space feels rather than just how it looks and have a very creative and collaborative attitude. They were working with more run-of-the-mill hotel designers, who might specify a nice wallcovering here and a nice wall light there, but they felt they lacked any kind of real inspiration. Which is why they came to us. GS What was the brief? IH The brief was to do something different. To push things forward, and appeal to a new generation of traveller for Jurys Inn. Budget was key, they still wanted to occupy that price bracket, but they wanted their guests to have a connection with the brand. GS Did you approach the two jobs as totally separate projects or did you try to create similarities to “tie” their identities together? IH Because the buildings and locations are so different, so was our approach – as with every project we do, really. We started by looking at the context of each building, developing inspiration and a subtle narrative around them, and went from there. We were keen to explore what the Jurys Inn brand could mean in each location. It’s quite a youthful, playful brand, and what was interesting was seeing how this developed and manifested itself in each building. GS Did the Liverpool project have fewer restrictions, being an open-plan space? IH Each building had its challenges. Liverpool, because it was very new and has a lot of glass, felt very cold and soulless. We had to work hard to change this. Cardiff, on the other hand, is an old historic building with plenty of potential, however at some point in the past all the character had been ripped out of it. With Cardiff this was more a case of sensitively restoring that character, and then adding subtle layers onto it.

Cardiff

GS What dictated your choice of colour and furnishings? IH For Liverpool it was the glass curtain walling. One side of the ground floor is all glass, and so to counter-act this we went for a very eclectic and bold choice of colour and materials. An enormous palette for one design scheme, especially in the bar, but the space really needed this to make it feel more natural and curated. Cardiff was all about making it feel homely and familiar, and to appeal to locals as well as hotel guests. Lots of natural materials, worn leathers and patinated metals that would sit well in that type of historic building. GS For both projects there are shelves for displays. Why, and where do you source the collections? IH Shelving and having collections on display I think instantly makes people feel at home. It gives a space a point of interest and a personality. We source pieces from all over. Depending on the project, it could be flea markets, modern homeware stores, art galleries or Etsy, or a mix from all these places. We also have an illustrator as part of our team, who creates some of the artwork we provide. This always gives our interiors a personal touch, rather than have some generic ‘hotel art’ on display.

Cardiff

GS What’s the most satisfying aspect regarding these two projects? IH I think, for both of us, it’s the feedback from either guests or people in the industry. Whenever I show the photos to other clients of ours, the response is usually “Wow! That’s a Jurys Inn?” Jurys Inn Liverpool, 1 Keel Wharf, Liverpool. Jurys Inn Cardiff, Park Place, Cardiff www.jurysinns.com

For more information about Central Design Studio visit www.centraldesignstudio.com GS Magazine 53


New fabrics from Woven Image

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ewly released to the ranges of upholstery fabrics at Woven Image are Spin and Candy, two new easy-care indoor/ outdoor upholstery textiles. Responding to the growing demand and popularity for multi-function, durable fabrics this collection provides an addition of texture and on-trend design attributes. Made from solution dyed polyolefin, Spin and Candy have excellent performance characteristics. This dying method occurs while the fibre is in a liquid state, prior to being extruded into yarn, therefore providing easy-care textiles with outstanding colourfastness to light, chlorinated water, and bleach solution. From an environmental stance, solution dyed yarns are considered to be optimal as this production method allows for reduced water usage and reduced emissions compared to conventional dyeing processes. Spin is a tonal textured upholstery fabric that combines two colours of yarn in varying thicknesses to create a sophisticated organic appearance. The 9 available colourways reflect trend driven combinations of marine blue, highlights of sunshine and salt & pepper neutrals. Suitable for poolside furniture, banquet seating, lounges, cushions and ottomans Spin reflects a subtle contemporary look. Candy instils a playfulness in colour and design. A re-interpretation of a classic circular design by Woven Image called Bonbon, Candy breathes new life into the concept by exploring an adjustment of scale, texture and colour. A series of rings and circles create a pop-art colour blocking style with a three dimensional embossed effect occurring by the juxtaposition of thick and thin yarn combinations. Candy combines 4 different yarn colours within each colourway available in 9 combinations of intrigue and delight from fresh popsicle accents to textural functional neutrals. www.wovenimage.com For detailed technical information contact Jane@informare.co.uk

The Henley Fan Company Ceiling fans that are powerful, reliable, stylish and silent

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he UK’s leading supplier of designer ceiling fans has launched its own design called the Zephyr, taken from the Greek god Zephuros - god of the west wind and spring breezes. It can move a huge amount of air (17,000 m3/h) but with a very gentle and comfortable stirring action of just 65-170 rpm.  It deploys the latest, most efficient EMC motors available using just 24 w of power. The Zephyr is perfect for restaurants, bars, halls, large rooms or common areas where a wide coverage is needed. It is silent with no airflow noise and so perfect for large bedrooms that suffer from noisy or dry air conditioning. There are no annoying buzzes, hums or wobbles. Styled on a biplane propeller the Zephyr looks stunning and brings real style to any room. Tel: +44(0)1256 636509 www.henleyfan.com

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Image of Olympic Studios Private Members Club


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