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Perfection in detail — that is what A XO R stands for. Such are the exclusive surfaces. Finishes that add to the mixer’s natural radiance. And give individuality free rein. A perfect example: A XO R Uno in Polished Brass.

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FOREWORD THE COVER In this 80cm x 80cm original wooden mosaic work, designer and artist Mark McClure takes inspiration and shapes from architecture and the surrounding city landscape. Mark McClure Studio embraces bespoke surface design alongside public art, sculpture and gallery works, all in a bold, geometric style. Mark has exhibited widely in the UK and Internationally. With a background in visual design and working with wood, paint and other materials, Mark collaborates with interior designers, architects and public bodies to bring the bold, geometric works to both private and public spaces. The resulting works both stimulate and complement through their use of materials, colour and composition – often reflecting the structural nature of the spaces they inhabit. The original wooden artwork is available at:

This is the first issue of three Impression supplements this year, our third since launching last year. Our aim is to shine the spotlight on the world of hospitality interior design across the UK. Like our sister publication, Mix Interiors, we appreciate designers don’t work in isolation and therefore our approach is to take views and opinions from across the hospitality industry. We hope our approach will give you a broad view and perhaps even a little inspiration for the months ahead. Despite the political uncertainty, the hospitality industry continues to thrive; this issue of Impression will unearth the factors that are influencing its success. We have engaged with a vast array of those involved in the hospitality design sector. Comments from global property, real estate and construction companies give us an insight into the sector, followed by views from leading designers, architects, hospitality professionals, associations and institutions. We hope our eclectic mix of Impression

supporters will help you in gaining a clearer picture of sector trends, performance and predictions, giving you a slightly different view of the most pressing opportunities and challenges for the sector. Following a delightful chat with the enigmatic Kit Kemp, an inspiration to many, we ask a group of the magazine’s supporters who has inspired them. Also, from the most admired to the hidden gems, we’ve covered the great work being done across the UK, with case studies from as far afield as Devon to Edinburgh, London to Belfast, Suffolk to Cornwall, Birmingham to Cumbria. The British Hospitality Association and the British Institute of Interior Design give us their views, but we also wanted to know about what is hot from a design perspective from the hotel operators. We have a feeling that when we create our first 2019 Impression, we will be looking back on a significant 2018. Do get in touch if this looks like a good year for you.




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Sector Report

07 PERFECT HOTEL The Businessperson



12 COAST TO COAST Hidden Gems


99 Problems... (But a pitch ain’t one)


Future Feasts (for the eyes)





Ed Thomas, Head of Community Experience, The Collective


Most admired in hospitality design…

22 AIM HIGH Kit Kemp

26 ASK THE DESIGNERS The Design Panel

27 ASK THE OPERATORS The Operator Panel


Greater Expectations


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30 PLACES 30

Hari, London

32 Duchess of Cornwall, Dorset

34 The Mason Arms, Lincolnshire


36 Low Wood Bay, Lake District

38 The Alchemist, Manchester


Paschoe House, Devon


Rail House Cafe, London




Marcie Incarico

+44 161 946 6262

David Smalley



Mick Jordan

Our partners

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Jo Sutherland

Rebecca Sabato Gary Williams CONTACT





ADDRESS Unit 2 Abito, 85 Greengate Manchester, M3 7NA



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Guess Where?



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n order to keep the attention of discerning hotel guests, and socially conscious millennials in particular, operators need to understand the ins and outs of the shifting hospitality landscape – as do the designers, architects and construction professionals working in the sector. Brexit has brought with it a great deal of uncertainty across many industries, certainly not least of which is the UK’s hospitality sector. Despite looming concerns, hotels in London, the world’s second most popular destination, saw a positive end to 2017. Having engaged with experts representing multiple

realms of the ‘property food chain’, it seems the sector is set to continue its steady position for 2018. To mark the first Impression of the year, we spoke to divisional representatives from global property and real estate companies, Lambert Smith Hampton and Cushman and Wakefield, construction services company, ISG, and the British Hospitality Association, to gauge a further understanding of the performance of the sector, as well as the trends that are influencing its ongoing evolution. We also asked the key question – ‘what’s next?’ – in order to find out where the sector is heading and how operators and their design teams can make the most of the opportunities available.

Performance xx

‘Despite looming concerns for London’s hospitality sector within a Brexit climate, hotels in the world’s second most popular destination saw a positive end to 2017 with RevPAR (revenue per available room), occupancy and ADR (average daily room rate) all increased. Performance in London (up 5% in RevPAR terms) outstripped the overall regional UK market, albeit cities such as Edinburgh performed particularly well, up nearly 13% on the same metric, again largely on the back of strong ADR growth. Investment activity recorded another strong year with UK sales volumes over £5bn, recognising the continuing attraction of the UK market to both domestic and international buyers.’ JONATHAN HUBBARD, HEAD OF HOSPITALITY EMEA, CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD ‘The outlook for hotel performance overall is very healthy and experiencing something of a boom as a result of the weak pound. Visitors from overseas are keen to take advantage of the situation while it lasts, and Brits are keen to make the most of their money by taking staycations.’ ALISTAIR GREENHALGH AND SIMON STEVENS, DIRECTORS, LAMBERT SMITH HAMPTON’S SPECIALIST HOTELS DIVISION ‘Our visibility suggests the three sector strands that we target, namely fit-out of new buildings (hotel being a small element of a larger scheme), refurbishment of existing buildings (usually city centres) and new builds (standalone new hotel buildings) are all performing very well, but there does appear to be a slight slowing in the rate of opportunities coming to tender. The reasons remain varied, as you’d expect, but there appears to be a determination amongst our clients that their projects will be developed.’ STEVEN MCGEE, DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR, UK HOSPITALITY DIVISION, ISG

As of Aug YTD 2017, RevPAR grew

7.8% year-on-year, supported mainly by average rate up 5.9% to £146 RevPAR (revenue per available room)

Occupancy also recorded a 1.8% uplift to 81.1%

The latest PwC forecast reveals that RevPAR for full year 2017 will finish at £120, which is 6% up on the same time last year

Source: JLL’s Hotel Intelligence Hub, Cushman & Wakefield

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‘With every new generation comes new ideas. Customers’ tastes are constantly evolving and keeping up with trends can be difficult. The hospitality industry is seen as a leader when it comes to innovation in interior design, with many looking at the sector for inspiration. Millennials are inherently very digitally-minded as well as sociallyconscious, and this is no doubt coming through in how things will be run in future. ‘Environmental sustainability is also taking centre stage in many businesses, with our members constantly looking for innovative ways to cut waste and their carbon footprint. One such example is the work of Mitchells and Butlers, who have implemented a ‘no straw with drinks’ policy across their sites. We will no doubt be seeing more game changing ideas like this in the future.’ VERNON HUNTE, BRITISH HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATIONS GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DIRECTOR

RevPAR growth is expected to continue in 2018 but at a slower rate of 2.4%

Hotel investment volumes in London reached nearly £1.9 billion in the first eight months of 2017


‘We will continue to see the hotel sector being recognised as a core property investment sector, alongside retail, offices and logistics. The positive global tourism trends will underpin the development of the sector and hotels will benefit from a diversified global investor mix. The impact of disruptors, influenced by developments in technology, will keep challenging traditional hotel models but the industry will meet this challenge and satisfy an increasingly demanding customer base.’ JONATHAN HUBBARD, HEAD OF HOSPITALITY EMEA, CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD ‘We believe the sector has huge potential and we are excited by the emergence of new brands targeting the UK, which is a great vote of confidence in both the hospitality sector as well as ISG. This enthusiasm is spread across budget, mid-scale and luxury sectors. The entry of new brands can only be seen as a positive indicator for the sector in the short and medium terms.’ STEVEN MCGEE, DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR, UK HOSPITALITY DIVISION, ISG

Performance in London (up 5% in RevPAR terms) outstripped the overall regional UK market

Cities such as Edinburgh performed particularly well, up nearly 13% in RevPAR terms


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he most recent Office for National Statistics Travel Trends report states that there was a record number of visits to the UK in 2016 – 37.6 million to be precise, 4% more than in 2015. Between them, our overseas guests spent £22.5 billion while on their holidays. And a big chunk of this cash is being spent in hotels and restaurants: The Statistics Portal reveals that the hotel industry generates an approximate turnover of £18.4 billion. A case in point that nothing short of excellent will do.


In the last issue we explored how and why perceptions of perfection vary depending on the guest profile. For the first Impression of 2018, we’re concentrating on two out of the seven personalities: THE BUSINESSPERSON and the PARENT. For jet-setting professionals, it’s all about a quick and efficient experience, including seamless virtual and technological infrastructures, plus the creature comforts – a decent bed, shower and blackout blinds will make their jolt into different time zones that little bit smoother. And for those on the go, with kids in toe, a safe, comfortable, fun place, complete with robust, practical furniture, is just what the family needs on their getaway – ensuring mum and dad can break away from all the play.

‘For those away on business, quick and efficient but personalised check-in is one of the key considerations when designing a hotel. Guests must feel that the service is customised to their particular needs, preferences and wishes, and the space must create a sense of location as well as a feeling of excitement. They need clear and simple information about how things work, ie. shower controls, TV and any other technology, and good connectivity for Wi-Fi. It’s also important to consider international sockets for charging and to create a comfortable workspace with controllable lighting.’ CHARLES LEON, PRESIDENT, THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF INTERIOR DESIGN

i The Warehouse Hotel uses modern industrial materials such as concrete and metal, which with the additional light from open plan setting creates a warm and welcoming interior. Add a good bed and an AXOR shower designed by Front you have the perfect setting for the business person.

‘This is my fourth trip this month. I’m currently living on a diet of black coffee, Lucozade energy tablets and grab and go lunches from an assortment of conference rooms across the country. The inside of my hotel room is a welcome departure from looking at the same four walls of the exhibition hall.’

‘Comfort is key in the design of business hotels. Business guests often have gruelling travel and meeting schedules, giving them very little time to relax and recuperate. On top of that they are far from home and often travelling alone. Aim to provide business guests with a good night’s rest in a really comfortable bed – along with a great shower, as they often don’t have the time for a long bath, welcoming public areas with good F&B provision and space to work, exercise and relax.’ UNA BARAC, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARTELIOR ‘Business travellers require a good quality bed and a varied choice of pillow type for a comfortable night’s sleep, good blackout windows are also beneficial for those who may be overcoming jetlag. For those that need to work from their hotel room, a sufficient desk space with a comfortable chair and good lighting is important, as well as well-placed and easy to reach sockets, preferably with USB outlets. For when a business traveller wants to take a break from their laptop, a well-stocked minibar and hot drink facilities are a must, as well as a good size TV to enjoy. In the bathroom, a well-lit mirror with a de-mister is invaluable when they are running late for that important 9am meeting. RICHARD MORTON, DIRECTOR OF INTERIOR DESIGN, ALEXANDER JAMES INTERNATIONAL



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‘We’re taking the kids on this one, so want to make sure that everyone has a good time and that we don’t have to worry about them getting bored in the hotel room. It’s got to be a place we can treat as our own, whilst trying to remain as far away from our actual home.’

‘A lot of hotels still get it wrong when it comes to the family market. A roll-out or Z-bed option for kids is just too downmarket for anything but the budget sector. If this is a serious target demographic for the operator, then clever design – and resorts do this especially well – means a wellmanaged footprint at x1.5 normal size, with a good quality daybed converting into a bed at night or, ideally, a smaller connected room that still permits adult autonomy.’ MARTIN GODDARD, DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER, GODDARD LITTLEFAIR

‘The one thing parents with young children want is somewhere safe and comfortable for them to crash in. Families with young children are often working around nap times to plan their days away and so will tend to have a lot of evenings in. The perfect hotel room will have a small area where parents can escape to whilst the little ones sleep. Have well-resourced kitchenettes and bedding – the last thing parents want is to have to call services every five minutes!’ NATASHA GUPTA, FOUNDER, BLUE FEATHER DESIGN STUDIO

‘Kids, especially younger ones, will use a room quite differently from adults and need more robust materials, versatile storage and a colour scheme that’s less muted than the currently-prevalent sophisticated shades. Families will often have the greatest number of users of technology and so free WiFi and a good number of power ports are important to minimise stress, as well as comfy chairs and flat surfaces for play and tablet use.’ CHRIS GWYTHER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PHOENIX WHARF

‘A key factor is the entertainment and leisure activity either in the hotel or in the local area, where families can spend time together and kids have something to do, like a good games area with cafe. There should be sufficient space for opening luggage, as well as connecting rooms, in-room entertainment and easy connectivity to WiFi, preferably free. Parents and families must feel that someone cares about who they are and about their needs.’ CHARLES LEON, PRESIDENT, THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF INTERIOR DESIGN f Sufficient space, robust materials and a colour scheme seen here at the Abode Hotel in Glasgow

i Guests can choose from distinct types of rooms at the Abode Hotel


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THE GREEN LIGHT For anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Blue Planet – or opened a newspaper, come to that – the fact that our world is in need of some TLC shouldn’t come as a surprise. While climate change continues to devastate and even wipe out entire species, the impact of pollution can be seen at the bottom of the deepest ocean, with traces of manmade fibres and plastics winding up in the stomachs of all sorts of marine life. In addition, we’ve seen an increase in adverse weather conditions – fires, floods and mudslides impacting communities across the globe. No part of the world or ocean remains untouched by humans; and a global issue needs a global solution. According to Green Tourism, the UK’s sustainable tourism sector is a world leader in cutting carbon emissions, clearly demonstrating that operators and their design teams recognise the part they play in safeguarding the future. With sustainability assessment systems such as LEED and BREEAM leading the way, there are numerous green initiatives out there that deserve both praise and attention. But what does ‘sustainability’ actually mean to those on the ground, and what does ‘environmentally conscious design’ look like in practice? ig As an associate member of the Healthy Seas programme, modulyss has designed the Handcraft collection using high-grade ECONYL nylon yarn derived from recovered fishing nets and other waste materials. The Handcraft collection not only celebrates nature, but is also a little kinder to it.

hg Sustainable and fast-growing, cork is in renaissance and as a material it is incredibly versatile, that is being embraced by Granorte, with an extraordinary collection of cork products.

h Recyclable ceramic waste at Johnson Tiles’ factory in Stoke-on-Trent

h Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile where solar panels provide nearly half of the lodge’s electricity. With water conservation of particular concern in the dry climate, the lodge uses recycled wastewater to irrigate the gardens.

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‘It means taking responsibility for the health of the planet – this includes the environment and animals, as well as people. Until now, design has been able to extract material from the earth and make cities, buildings and objects, as well as to burn fossil fuel. Now we know that, on a global scale, the rate of extraction and subsequent solution is having a disastrous effect on our climate, our air quality and people’s lives. It is destructive, poisonous and cannot go on. We need to value our resources more highly and turn towards policies, strategies and investment that does not cost the earth… which is why designers have such an important role to play.’ JAMES SOANE, DIRECTOR, PROJECT ORANGE

‘97.1% of all materials that go into our UK manufactured tiles are not only natural but are sourced and supplied from within the UK, including all of our own ceramic manufacturing waste’ DARREN CLANFORD, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, JOHNSON TILES

‘I prefer to refer to ‘responsibility’ rather than ‘sustainability’, which is a term mostly used in reference to the environment, which is just one of the areas it covers. For us, being responsible has meant being conscious of our impact on our surroundings, not only in the physical sense, but also in the social arena. This impact has become one of the factors we take into account during our daily operational decision making. It’s a long road and we’re doing our best to continue advancing in the right direction, through initiatives like the use of renewable energy, the protection of natural resources, thorough handling of residues and the constant participation with the local communities, but there is still a lot more to be done.’ MIGUEL PURCELL LA BRECQUE, GENERAL MANAGER, TIERRA ATACAMA - THE FIRST COMPLETELY SOLAR POWERED HOTEL IN SOUTH AMERICA ‘Sustainability, for us, follows the ethos of ‘Give a person a fish, and they’ll eat. Teach a person to fish, and they’ll eat for life’. It conveys the message of looking to yourself, or your business, for how you can make, maintain and improve your service or offering without excessively drawing on polluting resources and reducing waste wherever possible.’ ABIGAIL ROSE, GENERAL MANAGER, THE BLACK BOY PUB AND HOTEL, OXFORD

‘Many ethical and sustainable practices are found in areas with the least resources that continue to use vernacular architecture to aid cooling (without air conditioners), collect and store rainwater or to harness the energy of the sun. In the West, we favour technological solutions such as solar panels, wind farms and thermal insulation. However, one of the biggest innovations for the next 10 years will be the electric car. Of course, we still need to push to produce green power, but the reduction in CO² as well as pollutants and noise will make a significant difference.’ JAMES SOANE, DIRECTOR, PROJECT ORANGE ‘Our most important achievement in the environmental arena is having our own solar energy plant in Tierra Atacama. The use of renewable energy in the middle of the Atacama Desert is a great challenge, which today has led to the use of more than 500 solar panels, which enable us to power 100% of hotel operations through ‘green’ technology, which is also highly efficient.’ MIGUEL PURCELL LA BRECQUE, GENERAL MANAGER, TIERRA ATACAMA ‘From South Indian company, Malai, creating a new material from coconut water – to KIZIS Studio planting seeds of change with its thistle-based furniture – brands across the globe are continuing to push for greater sustainability.’ RICHARD BASKERVILLE, STUDIO MANAGER, MATERIAL LAB

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ccording to Visit England statistics, ‘staycation’ (holiday in the UK), bookings within the UK increased by almost a quarter in 2017, and it’s not looking likely to slow down any time soon. Recently, there has been a 23.8% rise in UK holiday makers planning to stay in Britain for their holiday; with seaside B&B’s noting a 19.2 % increase in bookings since the Brexit vote. So, for those who are planning a coastal getaway, here are a few hidden gems that perfectly capture the British seaside charm…



The Headland Hotel and Spa is one of only 50 hotels in the UK to be awarded 4 Silver Stars by The AA and is a member of the prestigious ‘Pride of Britain’ hotel group. Stylish, elegant and unique, The Headland is a luxury hotel with private cottages set on an exclusive clifftop overlooking Fistral Bay. It offers the perfect blend of discreet English ambience and decadent four-star hospitality. Individually designed luxury hotel rooms and suites with ocean views, rosette-worthy dining from Executive Chef Christopher Archambault, and indulgent pampering and wellness at The Headland Spa. All brought together by a team dedicated to ensuring a comfortable stay.



Belfast’s newest luxury hotel, Titanic Hotel Belfast, has opened its doors to the public. After almost two years of restoration, construction and preservation of the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices and headquarters, the £28m hotel is ready to show the world the amazing history behind Queen’s Island and the shipbuilding industry in Northern Ireland. The entire building exudes the legacy of Belfast’s industrial heritage and all authentic spaces have been retained, including the Telephone Exchange, which received the first communication of the Titanic hitting the iceberg.



Church Lodge sits at the heart of Birdham village in West Sussex, in the idyllic Manhood Peninsular, South of Chichester. Located next to Birdham’s beautiful 14th century church and overlooking the village cricket green, Church Lodge offers its guests contemporary New England style luxury accommodation. With footpaths offering stunning inland or coastal walks, Church Lodge offers a base for those who want to just chill or those who may want to enjoy an exercise retreat with a twist.

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The Headland Hotel & Spa, Cornwall



The Swan Hotel has occupied its current site in the renowned Suffolk coastal town since the 17th century. Ale has also been brewed on site for over 650 years and is now the heart of Adnams’ coastal campus brewery and distillery. Project Orange was commissioned to act as both architect and interior designer in order to reinvent the venerable Swan Hotel in Southwold. The brief was to recreate The Swan as the jewel in the Adnams crown, as the gateway to the brewery complex and as a premium coastal hotel with a vibrant food and drink offer. Alterations and extensions to the listed buildings and fresh new interiors celebrate the history of the site, promising a revitalised hotel centred on a reimagined brewery yard and hop garden. The Swan reopened in October 2017.



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You and your team have been invited to pitch for the most exciting design project of your career to date

You’ve digested the brief

You’ve had the brainstorm

You’re ready to present your ideas

You’ve got your foot through the door and as you inch further into the boardroom to breathe life into your amazing vision, what do you need to do to convince your prospective client that you’re the best choice for them? We asked five hotel operators how designers and architects can ‘wow’ them during a pitch and what advice they have when it comes to winning the biz. ‘You can ‘wow’ me with a pitch simply by giving the impression that you understand the brand even better than we do. We’re just renovating our rooms now and we had a couple of companies come in to pitch for the business; one stood out from the rest, because of the way they presented their ideas. They created a story around our hotel, taking in the elements that our brand stands for. That said, it takes two. Operators have to provide a thorough brief. The better the brief, the better designers can pitch for the work. ‘In order to impress, how you come across is particularly important; we want to see your knowledge come through in your portfolio. Tell us what you’ve worked on but demonstrate how flexible you are to work with too. You should have a real connection with your architects and your designer; the pitch offers the chance to demonstrate you’ll be a good fit. The pitch is one thing – but when it comes to delivering results, you have to be able to translate your pitch into a workable design.’ Otto Steenbeek, General Manager, The Andaz, Liverpool Street ‘I think that if I were to be ‘wowed’ during a pitch, it would be an obvious meeting of minds – a connection - and I would like to know that we were all on the same page, without too much effort to get to that point. I would like designers or architects to have better ideas than me and I would like to be able to instantly trust their judgement. You don’t want empty promises about sticking to budgets and you don’t want someone who gets carried away and goes completely off brief.’ Tabitha Amador-Christie, General Manager, Paschoe House, Devon

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‘The ‘wow’ factor should be at the heart of any pitch. It’s what you remember and what influences a positive client response. Creating this is not easy and may not always reflect a design response to a brief. It could be the style and content of presentation, for example. One well-known architect used to take a paint box and easel to a pitch, where he would then create a painting he felt captured the design spirit needed! ‘Research is also fundamental and designers must try and uncover what is not in the brief. What’s been missed may be as important as what’s included. If research uncovers something that deserves a response, this can show diligence and creativity, also leaving a lasting impression.’ Martin Winch, Owner, Church Lodge, Birdham ‘During a pitch, a designer or architect must demonstrate an excellent understanding of our brief and deliver it in such a way that encompasses the whole process, from concept through to completion. Operationally, projects usually have a small ‘window of opportunity’, therefore we must have confidence they are able to meet our deadlines and complete both design and site work to schedule. ‘The ability to communicate clearly and concisely is really important. Designers need to be able to work with the team throughout the project to ensure everything goes to plan and is completed on time. Finally, it’s always good to bear in mind that we are the ones that are going to work with their designs, and for the guests to be kept happy too!’ Adam Dyke, General Manager, The Duchess of Devonshire ‘I have two pieces of advice. The first is to really nail space utilisation and create that ‘wow’ feeling when you walk in. This is as much as the best use of space as it is about the quality of the design. The second is to understand our brand approach, we are all about creating a boutique, 4* standard but this can’t be achieved in a ‘ colour by number’ way. The design needs to reflect the consistent elements of our brand, as well as the vibe of city location where the product is based. A good designer will have an eye on the consumer and how they will be drawn to something which captures the essence and character of neighbourhood where the building is located.’ Guy Nixon, Founder and CEO, Go Native



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espite soaring living costs and tighter budgets, Britons all over the country are still choosing to eat out regularly. A 2017 study found that UK diners spent almost £55bn on eating out in one year alone – and the market shows no signs of slowing down. In line with the appetite out there, restaurants are having to do more than ever to fight fierce competition as we charge into 2018. John Nugent, Chief Executive at Green and Fortune, believes that a key challenge following an opening or brand refresh is ‘to maintain that momentum after opening, making sure that your business remains exciting and relevant.’ Here’s a selection of new restaurants that are doing just that…



Described as a ‘tequila soaked, mezcal dripping journey into the hottest fiesta this side of Tijuana’, Diablo Loco is designed to be a party bar with great drinks and Mexican eats. The design is fun and vibrant, featuring sombreros as light shades, spin wheels mounted on the wall and bright piñatas hanging from the ceiling. Downstairs there is a party den available for hire, which can hold up to 70 guests.



Mowgli Street Food opened its doors in Birmingham’s Grand Central in Autumn 2017. Founder and food writer, Nisha Katona, gave up her career as a barrister to build Mowgli three years ago. She wished to create an Indian home kitchen that was based upon the dishes of her ancestors. Mowgli is about how Indians eat in their homes and on the street, pared back and unplugged. Rather than a quiet or intimate dining experience, Mowgli is about the ‘smash and grab’ taste adventure.



Dirty Bones’ new venue, designed by Macaulay Sinclair, is the largest yet. Reclaimed and retro design from 1970’s Brooklyn is mixed with modern features and finishes, to create an original and classic setting. To cater for Dirty Bones’ all day offering of comfort food and cocktails, the bar and restaurant areas were kept separate. The restaurant offers a drinking den lined with reclaimed mahogany wall panelling and mid-century bookshelves with retro lamps and vases. The restaurant’s small intimate pockets are kept separate from the bar lounge, creating private areas for drinking, dining and everything inbetween.

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Duddell’s has now opened the first international outpost of the celebrated Hong Kong brand in the historic St Thomas Church in London Bridge. Designed by Michaelis Boyd (Soho Farmhouse, Soho House Berlin), the restoration of the space aims to maximise the daylight and heritage elements of the Grade II listed building, which remains one of the most distinguished examples of Queen Anne architecture in London.



After nine months of renovation, the listed pub dates from the early 16th century and had been closed for three years but has now been lovingly restored and expanded with vision to create a very modern country pub. The Weeping Willow is owned by Paula Pryke OBE, a renowned florist, and architect Peter Romaniuk. The Willow holds many special memories for a lot of locals and with over 500 years as an inn it has become a loved asset to the community of Barrow and the environs.



18 | Impression Nº3•February 2018

MEET THE COLLECTIVE: ED THOMAS Impression had a chat to the Head of Community Experience to discuss one of the many new trends to hit the world of hospitality

Please tell us a bit more about The Collective and the coliving / co-working scene? The Collective has been around since 2010 and has evolved according to the changing needs of the people that we serve. We now design, build and operate co-living spaces. Prior to that, we were a website at one point, helping students to find places to live in London. We then explored serviced living, and now do co–living and that’s based on our learning from previous offerings. Co-living comes in many different forms – but it’s essentially a shared living experience that tries to bring the idea of ‘community’ back into the heart of home. The co-working scene is targeting people who work by providing spaces for people to come together around shared interests. By doing so, a community is formed. And that community provides wellbeing, entertainment and opportunities for networking and shared learning. It’s our fundamental belief that we need to exist within a community to be happy and that’s why we offer a hybrid of the two.

“ THERE’S A REALLY INTERESTING STATISTIC WHICH IS THAT 60% OF PEOPLE THAT ARE AGED BETWEEN 18 TO 35 REPORT FEELING LONELY SOMETIMES OR OFTEN” What prompted this exploration into a relatively new market? If you look at the millennial generation, the macro level trends are forcing their behaviours to change. For instance, it takes a Londoner an average of 68 years to save for a deposit, so the likelihood of owning a home in this city is small. Then there are other societal changes at play, including the proliferation of technology – which means we’re plugged in all the time – as such, we’re becoming more and more individualistic. Loneliness is at record levels. There’s a really interesting statistics’ which is that 60% of people that are aged between 18 to 35 report feeling lonely sometimes or often. And that’s significantly higher than the previous generation. And loneliness kills people; it’s the psychological state most associated with suicide. So we want to try and tackle these challenges that are facing young people today by providing not just somewhere to live, but somewhere to become alive.

How is the emerging co-living / co-working market impacting the hospitality sector? People are recognising that community is needed and that the millennial generation is now taking up a bigger proportion of the global population, and that their needs and wants are massively different. A great example is the rise of Airbnb – it owns no rooms but it’s the most popular hospitality company in the world. The way that people interact is different to the traditional models offered within the hospitality sphere, so the hotel industry is having to respond to the fact that people are willing to share, and they’re willing to share because they’ll get more for their money. People are more interested in the experience that comes with sharing… so we’re starting to see hotels evolve and offer more suitable services to their potential guests. But you’re also seeing some of them exploring co-living as well, so it’s an interesting time for hotels.

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ED THOMAS Head of Community Experience, The Collective

In light of that, what are some of the hard truths and immediate opportunities for the sector? The hard truth of co-living is that it’s a completely new product; we’re trying to innovate in a very undisrupted market. Real estate has not really changed at all so we’re the only people doing it on this scale in the UK. We’ve had to work very hard to innovate within the sector, which traditionally shies away from innovation. It’s been tough; we’ve had to work closely with the local government to show that it’s not just a fad and it’s the way people will live in the future. That said, the opportunities are huge. At the moment, we primarily target a young audience but community is not just needed for that demographic. Elderly generations need to have community; they need that support – families, too, they need support – so I think in the future the biggest opportunities will be targeting the different demographics. What have been some of the biggest disrupters this year? Airbnb, for me, is probably the biggest disrupter – it shows the power of bringing together groups of people who want to offer services and experiences. It’s forcing companies to completely re-write their business models through the power of technology. Technology democratises and that’s a very powerful thing. Is there still an appetite from investors to the hotel sector? Yes, hotels will never go altogether. I think they will be forced to respond to the changing ways that people want to engage with hospitality. But I think we’ll see them evolve – maybe they’ll offer some co-living within their spaces, alongside shorter stays. They’ll still be in demand. What are you looking for with the designers and architects that you engage with? We’re looking for an openness and a willingness to take risks. We are learning how to build the best co-living spaces and we need to take risks on that journey in order to build the best places for our members; the best places for communities to thrive. We need to work with architects and designers that are aligned with that vision, and who are also willing to take risks – and work with us to breathe life into a community.



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mpression seeks to share the seminal work of designers and architects across the globe in order to offer food for thought to those working in the industry. To excite and delight the guests of tomorrow, we have to learn from the exciting, delightful work of the designers of today. But who is the most admired? We asked our readers to submit names of their most loved role models…

Tina Norden, Director, Conran and Partners ‘Tony Chi is still one of my heroes and the author of many design features we now take for granted. Could also add Patricia Urquiola to the list for her incredible creativity and wonderful eye.’



James Soane, Director, Project Orange ‘If you want a nomination for hospitality, I would suggest Priya Paul (The Park Hotels India).’ Chris Gwyther, Managing Director, Phoenix Wharf ‘We’re looking towards Australia at the moment as a source of innovation and inspiration. Some of the hospitality design work out there is top notch currently. Agencies such as Biasol are doing great stuff; drawing inspiration from international cultures, being playful with the spaces they design and the materials they use and adding little details that make their designs their own. Just as in retail, UK hospitality design can be a little too safe at times, with brands too often replicating a successful model, rather than seeking to innovate.’ Una Barac, Founder and Executive Director of Artelior ‘Ian Schrager – because he keeps bringing innovation to the world of hospitality and shapes the industry with a highly creative approach to design, operations, entertainment and F&B.’ Martin Goddard, Director & Co-founder, Goddard Littlefair ‘The late, wonderful Conrad Smith of Reardon Smith. He was always personable and charming and one of the last true gentlemen in the industry. I will always have great admiration for his skills and his unique way of unlocking a scheme with one killer move.’



And another name graced the lips of many and emerged as a key player from our conversations with the design community; and that’s none other than our next guest…




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Above going clockwise: Kit Kemp, The Whitby hotel in New York and Ham Yard Hotel

You’ve forged an international reputation as one of the world’s top interior designers; can you give us a quick, whistle-stop tour of your career to date? I work with my husband because Firmdale Hotels belongs to him and to myself. We worked on our first hotel, which was Dorset Square Hotel, in 1985 – and I’d been working a couple of years before that. At that stage in my career, Dorset Square was one of the first country house hotels in London. My husband and I never used to like staying in hotels because we felt they offered rather vacuumpacked, sterile experiences, so we set out to create a smaller boutique hotel, with a more personalised and more intimate feel. So that’s how it started. And from then until now, we’ve got 10 hotels, seven of which are new builds. One of those is Ham Yard Hotel, which is the biggest over here in London. It has 91 rooms, 24 one, two and three bedroom apartments, 13 shops, a cinema, a restaurant, a bar, a bowling alley etc. So I’ve been designing in all that time, from 1983 onwards. And I love it!

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We understand you’re a passionate champion of British art, craft and sculpture – how does this feed into your design? And can you give us any examples? Craft has always been the very little brother to art. And, in fact, craft was rather derided by purists in the art field, which I’ve never understood because craft is all about handiwork. So our design does champion British art, craft and sculpture. In The Whitby hotel in New York, we have 57 baskets hanging up on the bar, which are all from the British Isles. These baskets are collectors’ items now and we thought it would be very interesting to put a whole collection together. We’ve commissioned artists and craftspeople, including Martha Freud, Daniel Reynolds and Catherine Cuthbert, on pottery and craft design projects – so a lot of the designs our guests are seeing are one of a kind. In Ham Yard hotel, we’ve got a sculpture by Sir Tony Cragg, who won the Turner prize in the 70’s; it’s about 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide. There are so few contemporary sculptures in London – there are lots of generals riding horses but hardly any contemporary ones – so we were thrilled when he agreed to work with us. And that’s what I try to do with all our hotels and all our spaces; put something in there, which is unique and that captures the imagination. As the creative force behind the Firmdale Hotels portfolio, can you talk us through some of your latest techniques? Well, we love colour and we love fabric. The Wilton Carpets Collection was a fantastic collaboration where we got to explore the subtleties of gradations of colour to make the designs look hand loomed or hand blocked. The things that catch your imagination are usually the things that are handmade, or things that you can’t buy anywhere – they just look quite unique.



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What were the inspirations behind the ‘Hospitality, Travel and Home’ Wilton Carpets Collection at the Soho Hotel? The main inspirations were folklore, architecture and botanical motifs. The folklore really came through with the design called Open Plan, and that was loosely based on Turkish carpet designs that would be made on looms at home, rather than on factory looms. An example of bringing it back to the home. The botanical inspiration can be seen in the leaf cut, flower and leaf design. As for the architectural influence, well, I wanted a more masculine feel and we worked to ensure the design was neat and tight – so architects would look at the designs and think ‘well, this is the kind of floor that I would want to put into my new build’. Another architecture influence is the Squiggle – which I think looks very, very smart and I can see it working on a wonderful staircase or in an American home. The Domino is another great, large design but when you look at it closely, it’s got wonderful detail – when you look at a large amount of it, you can see a much larger pattern emerging. I like the excitement of doing that! I try to think of all the different areas I want to include and work around it.

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Above Left: The folklore really came through with the design called Open Plan Left: Wilton Carpets Collection at the Soho Hotel

How important is it to interpret scale and usability? In every room that I design, I love colour and I love pattern as well – I don’t just use plain fabrics. But you can’t have more than one large scale pattern within the room because every space should feel calm, and the pieces shouldn’t be fighting with one another. To be able to interpret scale and usability is what design is all about, actually. It’s really how to create an interesting space by playing with scale and design – and by doing that you can really cause excitement in the room. At the same time, you want to ensure people want to stay in it for a long, long time – rather than people thinking ‘whoa’ and wanting to escape through the door! You are known for your use of colour; can you talk us through one example of where colour has been used to create a particular kind of guest experience? If I’m doing an enfilade of rooms, it’s nice to possibly think of a colour scheme that, if used in different ways for different spaces, will take you on a little adventure. And even if I haven’t got a large area to play with, even if the rooms are small, you can still use colour in a way that can make a space feel bigger. By creating different experiences with different spaces, you feel like you’ve gone further. That’s what I try to do – especially when you’re in a large city and you don’t often have large rooms to work with. What are the key considerations when designing for both impact and resilience? That is such a good question. It’s all very well to design a room that looks good for five minutes. The interesting thing is that, because I’m designing hotels, I have to live with them through every season. I’m seeing them spring, summer, autumn, winter; I’m seeing them in bright sunlight and on cloudy, dull days – you learn so much about the resilience of fabrics. You can’t put thin silk on a sofa because you know it’s only going to last five minutes. And I want my rooms to be looking good for at least a couple of years – by using the right fabrics in the right places. It’s important to use strong fabrics that keep their colour and integrity over time. So the impact also has to work against the functionality and the resilience of all the fabrics; and that is just as important as scale and colour. The guest experience should be that, when they arrive in that room, it should look like nobody’s stayed there before.



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In order to ramp Impression up a gear this year, we decided it would be fitting to get both the A&D and the operator community to pose and answer a series of key questions. We asked operators what is was that they most wanted to know about the way design projects unfold to help them further understand the process. Three key questions emerged. Impression will address each question, one at a time, across the 2018 issues by asking a panel of designers to share their thoughts.





KRISTINA O’NEAL, PRINCIPAL, AVROKO ‘Fortunately, we’ve been doing this for quite a few years, and so we have a great network of design ninjas we can call on when needed. We assemble teams based on considerations pertaining to region, comprehension of our concepts and desired complexities and quality, passion and, ultimately, the pride they take in their work, of course. Being a team player may sound like a cliché (ok, it’s a major cliché), but it’s also so important to be able to leave ego aside and just get the job done well. Everyone benefits when all engines are well-oiled and working together seamlessly to create something special.’ MIKE SINCLAIR & JOHN MACAULAY, DIRECTORS, MACAULAY SINCLAIR ‘Initially, it depends on the scale, complexity and commercial parameters of the project. We appoint a senior lead project designer and then develop the wider team depending on the relevant experience and skills required. The lead designer, alongside a director, will structure and programme the design process, be client facing and manage the wider team. We try and keep the team together during the full duration of the design and build process to ensure continuity. Beyond the Macaulay Sinclair team, there is usually a client appointed project manager, quantity surveyor and various other external technical consultants. We prefer to work with consultants we have worked with before and often bring in people we know.’



HARRY MOLYNEUX, CEO & FOUNDER, THE BUILDUPP NETWORK ‘On most projects, at a high level, you need a fairly similar team in place; an architect or project manager, structural engineer and services engineer at the very least. On more complex projects, however, there are hundreds of different consultants and surveyors that may be required, depending on the scale, complexity and location of the project; many of which are very hard to come by, especially if you haven’t worked with such a specialist before. The process of searching, vetting and assembling those specialists is a skill in itself. That’s why networking (online or in person), showcasing projects and sharing success stories is so important – not only to connect you to the specialists you might need one day, but also to spur innovation.’ KATIE EDGAR, ASSOCIATE, LEISURE TEAM, SPACEINVADER ‘We have a dedicated hospitality team, who have over a decade of direct experience working with both private and leading brand operators. Our role as designers requires satisfying both the client, with high design aspirations, and the operator’s functional needs. We can design the most beautiful environment – but if it doesn’t work operationally, it’s an immediate fail.’




SIMON WILLIS, BRAND DIRECTOR, PRINCIPAL ‘I remember walking around what would become The Principal Manchester with Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group – we were midrefurbishment, and he said the restoration project was all about ‘enhancing the English[ness]’ and creating a UK hospitality brand with heritage at its heart. That starts with a portfolio of incredible buildings that are rich in history and our job, collectively, is to breathe new life into them. For the design teams, that’s about combining original features (many of them listed) with all of the comforts and conveniences that guests expect in a modern hotel, and about bringing a modern sensibility to bear so that the interiors feel relevant and appealing. We have a small, brilliant internal design team, who mould and manage the design process with the external interior designers and architects with whom they work.’ ADAM DYKE, GENERAL MANAGER, THE DEVONSHIRE ARMS HOTEL & SPA ‘Forging a good working relationship is important. The design team must be able to understand the vision too, and then creatively bring that vision to reality in a way that reflects the personality of both the Duchess and the Devonshire corporate brand. The Devonshire portfolio of property is diverse; therefore,



designers should have the ability to interpret and deliver the brief in such a way that applies our brand ethos, yet retains the individuality of each property.’ GUY NIXON, FOUNDER AND CEO, GO NATIVE ‘It’s important to be really clear on red lines in the inevitable value engineering meeting, where everyone sits down with a costed version of design proposals for the first time. The mark of a good design team is that they know what red lines must be adhered to in order to hit the right level of design standards and brand authenticity.’ MARTIN WINCH, OWNER, CHURCH LODGE, BIRDHAM ‘My advice would be to not be afraid to take risks. A brand image is dynamic and evolves over time. As a designer, your ideas should reflect the core values and personality of a brand, but create the experience which sets it apart for guests. An interior has to deliver a sense of place. That intangible feeling, which sets it apart from the rest. Hotels must also reflect locality. Ensuring the functionality and efficiency of space may be part of the brand experience, but not at the expense of an interior that could be anywhere on the planet. From the warmth of the welcome to the colours and materials selected, the brand experience must be as emotional as it is expected to be efficient.’

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n the quest for perfection, the architecture and design community has to recognise that, in addition to a booming online marketplace, technological advancements and a widening guest pool spanning across five generations, client expectations are shifting – upwards – and guests are becoming more savvy, demanding and vocal about their experiences. Customers want an increasingly interactive, in-control experience; whether they’re staying for a one night stop-over, or a month-long business trip – people want and expect more for less. From leading high-end brands such as Hilton and Marriott, all the way

DAVID JUDGE JUDGEXD ‘I do think that a lot of hotels get things very, very wrong – because they concentrate on being ostentatious at the highend and then... well, they don’t concentrate on anything at the


to Premier Inn’s new brand ‘Hub’, technology is overtaking the hotel experience from the moment the guest steps through the door. From pre-setting a preferred temperature and lighting scheme, to contacting reception via the hotel app, the hotel guest can fully control every aspect of their stay. To look ahead by reflecting on the past, we invited a selection of leading professionals from the hospitality sector to dig deeper into the current trends, issues and challenges shaping the future of the hotel…

low-end! They just think about how cheaply they can do it. My two favourite hotels in London are the Hoxton and Citizen M. The new Citizen M at Tower Hill, in particular, manages to sacrifice space in such a brilliant way – you don’t feel as though you are sleeping in a showroom! It really is small but perfectly formed and the attention to detail is simply amazing...What Citizen M has got really right as a brand is their conversational capability – a bit like Ikea, they almost give you a consumer challenge. They allow you to almost shape your own space.’

‘What is interesting is that the two London hotels David told us he really likes are both about driving people to the public spaces – and I think they both work really well. You need to look at it holistically – it’s not just about the hotel room, it’s about the entire hotel. People are actually spending their time in the public spaces and the room is just to sleep in.’

PAUL DAVIS AECOM ‘I think, for every project, you have to look at who the end user is. You can tick the boxes for certain people, but you’re not going to tick the boxes for everybody. That’s how we usually start the process – by looking at the user profile.’

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‘Most hotel owners will have a pretty good idea of which direction they want to go in. From our point of view, at IHG, we have very varied brands and we also have to consider when we put hotels into areas... we wouldn’t, for example, put two InterContinentals into the same town – because they have an exclusivity. You want to create exclusivity with a luxury hotel – whereas with a brand such as Holiday Inn, we actually want them to be everywhere, we want it to be a brand that people know and love. That’s how we would be approaching it with the owners.’ ‘What we try to do is to bring some reality to the numbers, to try to ensure that what has been constructed is viable for the developer. We end up with quite an array of clients – some are very experienced and some are one-off funds. Sometimes, what we are advised can be somewhat questionable! Sometimes you have someone with their own ideas – but that might not be the right product.’

ANGELA BARDINO GRIMSHAW ARCHITECTS ‘We’ve seen a complete shift in what we’re asked to do in terms of hospitality. What we’ve found is that it comes out of our workplace studies. We’ve found that businesses are ending up with lots of free space within their office space and they are looking for innovative ways to use it. We’re starting to see this amazing Airbnb-style / mixed office split’


ALEJANDRA DE CORDOBA ESTEPA HKS ‘No business guest is looking for a hotel room – they are looking for a hotel, they are looking for a location. Then you have to design the perfect room – or else they simply won’t come back…Just look at what The Ned has done! It doesn’t even matter about the food – it’s a party place. People are going there just for a drink, just for the experience...’

‘We’re constantly trying to review the market and to talk to designers, hoteliers and investors. We try to get in at such an early stage that we can help provide solutions. Knowing the market so well, we try to give a value-engineered solution up front to match the brand. Understanding our market is crucial – that way we know what is expected of us. Ultimately, of course, it is down to budget – that is always the challenge.’



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Penthouse bathroom


ara Bernerd & Partners provided the interior architecture and design for The Hari (previously known as Belgraves), situated in London’s Belgravia. Transforming the former Sheraton Hotel was no small undertaking and the team offered a full interior architecture and design package for all public areas, as well as 85 bedrooms and suites. Bernerd and the team also worked hand in hand with EPR Architects, offering creative direction for the building’s exterior treatment. Using a variety of rich and tactile finishes, including Arabescato marble, graystone and smoked glass, the resulting interiors evoke a warm and stylish environment, giving guests the feeling of inhabiting an original home in the heart of Belgravia.

i The brassware and showers that ensure guests enjoy a pampering and refreshing experience are from bathroom specialist hansgrohe

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‘For every project we undertake we try to be indigenous to the surroundings, and at The Hari London we wanted to create something that had the feeling of a really chic Belgravian home. Therefore, layouts and space planning were key. We completely reconfigured the existing floorplans and ceiling heights to create an open-plan space, however we retained an intimate vibe by also incorporating smaller, more cocooned areas for people to sit and relax. ‘In addition, we introduced a textured palette that combined raw elements such as exposed brick with smoky velvets and fantastic grey flannels. Our recent refurbishment at the hotel’s restaurant, il Pampero, adds another layer to the story. Marrying Italian hospitality and the tradition of aperitivo with the Belgravian lifestyle, we have created a space that embraces informal luxury. Vespa-green lacquers and rich velvets combine with soft leathers and heritage fabrics to create a warm and inviting ambience; whilst the introduction of a new bar at the centre of the room has created a real focal point within the space. It has become a bit of a hot spot for guests and locals alike and they do a great penne arrabbiata!’ TARA BERNERD Founder of Tara Bernerd & Partners ‘Guests today are incredibly discerning and the design of a hotel, now more than ever, needs to excite and exceed their aspirations. Our guests frequently comment upon Tara’s rich tapestry of design, comfort and elegance. Each piece is unique and the deep colour palette forms a welcoming atmosphere, keeping the hotel at the forefront of stylish places to stay.’ ANDREW CONEY General Manager, The Hari



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Exterior of The Duchess of Cornwall Inn



he Duchess of Cornwall Inn, situated centrally in attractive Poundbury, looks out over Philip Jackson’s statue of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and boasts stunning views across Dorset as you ascend the elegant staircase to the upper floors. The work of international hospitality design and brand consultancy Harrison featured in a Royal visit to Poundbury, when the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall officially opened the Duchess of Cornwall inn. Senior architectural technician Graham Wood and designer John Hennessy, who spearheaded the design for the inn, were introduced to the Royal couple and congratulated on their work, which forms part of a joint venture between The Duchy of Cornwall and well-established Dorset brewer, Hall & Woodhouse. The Duchess of Cornwall inn, which takes inspiration from Hall & Woodhouse’s flagship site in Bath, sits at the heart of the Prince of Wales’ visionary Poundbury development and boasts 20 bedrooms and restaurant facilities, as well as the traditional public house offerings. Decorated with exquisite attention to detail, the inn has been tastefully styled with two themes of Georgian England in mind: Gentility (Jane Austen) and Mercantilism (Charles Hall, Harrison’s founder).

h Interior of staircase of The Duchess of Cornwall Inn i

Interior of staircase of The Duchess of Cornwall Inn

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Bedroom at The Duchess of Cornwall Inn


Dining room and bar area at The Duchess of Cornwall Inn

‘The design for the inn is based upon the Hall & Woodhouse ‘1777’ concept (the year in which the company was founded) and the bedrooms are set out with furnishings, fittings and decorations reflecting the themes of Georgian England – adventure, gentility and trade. ‘Throughout the space, traditional elements are given a contemporary twist, and strong focus is placed on the use of reclaimed materials. We have also built in a sense of fun, which is typified in the central ‘Hogwarts-style’ staircase and art gallery wall near the entrance. ‘The ground floor, which includes a mezzanine, provides for drinking and dining, with flexible areas given over to functions, meetings and further dining on the first floor. The 20 Georgian-style letting bedrooms occupy the upper three floors and mesh seamlessly with the hospitality offer downstairs.’ JOHN HENNESSY Designer ‘The Duchess is a proper inn that looks, feels and smells like an inn. We aim to replicate a Georgian coaching inn offering ale, food and bedrooms for the weary traveller and warm hospitality to all – whether prince, parson or ploughman. ‘Woven through the décor of each bedroom are Georgian themes of gentility, exploration and mercantilism. We have worked hard to design the bedrooms as an integral part of the guest’s stay, places to enjoy in their own right as much as the Dorset countryside and town around them.’ MATT HUGHES General Manager of The Duchess of Cornwall Inn



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reating an unforgettable guest experience at The Masons Arms Hotel in Louth, Lincolnshire, Johnson Tiles’ Prismatics range in bold stripes of black and white helped add a striking feature wall to the bathrooms. Designed by creative studio, NoChintz, the interior scheme offers a contemporary twist on Art Deco that subtly nods to the building’s rich history. The 10-bedroom hotel is Grade II listed and has been trading since 1715. After a string of unsuccessful tenancies, the current owners set out to overhaul the existing facilities and décor, while appealing to the contemporary tastes of the modern guest. Manchester-based NoChintz was tasked with the job, and in response set out to create a unique destination hotel – not only for visitors to Louth, but also for the local community to enjoy once again. In response, the entire hotel has been transformed. Inspired by adding a contemporary twist to Art Deco design through the addition of dark

tones, soft velvets, brass and marble, NoChintz has ensured interiors that are on-trend while being respectful of the building’s heritage. For the bathrooms, Johnson Tiles’ Prismatics range in a monochrome palette creates impactful drama through a bold, striped lay pattern. Paired with otherwise understated tints, the resulting interior is fresh and fun. The geometric theme extends from the bathroom throughout, juxtaposed against soft planting to evoke a feeling of luxury. In addition to the 10 rooms, the lower floors contain three different food and beverage offerings – created to make a multifunctional space that can be enjoyed from breakfast through to dinner. The ballroom, with its high ceilings and original fireplaces, has been refurbished to its original glory, with a classic checkerboard floor and, across the hall, a formal cocktail bar has been created, with marble counter and hidden brass porthole as a nod to the speakeasy references of the 1920’s.

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Top left clockwise: Johnson Tiles’ Prismatics range in a monochrome palette creates impactful drama through a bold, striped lay pattern. Interior design by NoChintz. Lilac walls contrasted against Johnson Tiles’ Prismatics range in monochrome stripe pattern. The bedrooms have a cool, contemporary design.

‘Our vision for The Masons Arms was to revitalise the once much-loved building, back to a state in which it could be enjoyed again by both the locals and new visitors. Playing on the heritage of the building, we curated a colour and material palette that was both contemporary and sympathetic to the design.’ LUCY GODDARD Creative Director at NoChintz



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ith views across the glistening waters of Lake Windermere, the newly refurbished Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, part of the English Lakes Hotel group, sits proudly on the shore. After a multi-million pound investment, the historic hotel has undergone a complete renovation, the largest in its 300-year-old history, to an exceptional spec, giving its guests an unparalleled experience of the Lake District. It was important to pay homage to the listed building status of the hotel in the Old Building bedrooms, reflecting a classic yet contemporary finish, which is incorporated through all the interiors with clever use of dark woods and mirrors. These were integral to creating space and making the best of the reflections of the light from Lake Windermere. Water references, such as ripples in the carpet, reflections in fabrics and artwork, give a subconscious association and a sense of calm and decadence. The Atrium’s concept was to maximise the experience of the first point of entry, with strong visual lines leading to the end window overlooking the lake, with an illusion of almost floating on the water, giving a true lake-lifestyle feel. Overall, the architecture is more contemporary here and the interior reflects this. Like the rest of the build, the spa will emphasise references of the lake

through reclaimed wood, natural finishes and an informal relaxation area. A former stable, it was important to retain elements such as the cattle feed racks and natural slate stone walls, which influenced the idea of a natural straw bed to relax on after treatments in the private day spa. The colouring and finishing of the Blue Smoke on the Bay restaurant is strongly influenced by the environment; think reeds, bleached wood, pebbles, water and fire, as well as a large vintage mirror to create even more space and calm, as well as a deeper view of the lake and surrounding elements.

Top left clockwise: Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa from Lake Windermere. Lime Lake View at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa. The fire pit in the Atrium. The Atrium lounge at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa.

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‘One of the fundamentals of the design was to ensure the historic quality of Low Wood Bay wasn’t lost. Even with the more contemporary aspects, a natural feel has been kept throughout with the use of natural stones, wood and elements such as fire and water. Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on Lake Windermere is more than just a place to stay; it’s an experience we wanted to encapsulate in the design, from the bedrooms through to the spa and restaurants. Each part of the property brings something new and different for guests to enjoy. It’s like no other in the region.’ SARAH HUMPHREYS IDA Design Ltd



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he Alchemist in Manchester is a unique project born of a longstanding discussion between The Alchemist, Peel Holdings (owners of MediaCityUK) and Macaulay Sinclair. It is a bespoke, landmark building located in the heart of the vibrant Media City development in Salford Quays. The building design was developed over several years by Reid Architects in collaboration with Macaulay Sinclair and The Alchemist team. The considered and dynamic design ethos of The Alchemist is carefully woven into the interior, creating a bold and theatrical drinking and dining environment. The unique Alchemist flagship space is enveloped within an angular, goldwrapped façade. Vertical high-level warm oak panelling accentuates the grand double height ceiling, which is punctuated with elegant knurled brass drops of golden light. Views of lustrous copper, bespoke artworks and a decadent 10m long leather upholstered Chesterfield-style sofa are bounced through the space via angled bronze mirrored walls – echoing the unique form of the building itself. Statement light fittings, repurposed vintage oak pieces and striking brass ceiling frames bring warmth and intimacy to the backdrop of a 6m high fully glazed façade. As if hewn from solid blackened steel, the angles of the building are echoed in the imposing central bar, which wraps through the space and out to the unique cantilevered external terrace. The amberlit, brass-framed back bar provides the ideal theatrical backdrop to the contemporary mixology of The Alchemist. The sculptural form of the bar flows outside to overlook the Salford Quays basin and across to the Media City complex and Imperial War Museum North. A multi-level lighting design and control allows the ambience within both restaurant and bar to be dialled down from relaxed daytime dining to late evening self-indulgence – perfectly showcasing the uniquely theatrical drink and food offer of The Alchemist. In short, original molecular mixology is presented within a stunning showcase building, wrapped in intriguing layers of unconventional elegance.


The Alchemist bar at Media City in Manchester, designed by Reid Architects

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f The central bar in The Alchemist

i The interior of The Alchemist bar, designed by Macaulay Sinclair

Photo credit: Laurence Hudghton Photography

‘This project offered a unique opportunity to bring the magic of The Alchemist to a unique, bespoke flagship building in the heart of the UK’s north west, which also incorporates the only external waterfront cocktail bar in the whole of the Media City development. ‘It was a complex project, several years in the making. Involvement with the build process from the ground up ensured a smooth fit-out programme, with all anomalies either dealt with or fully understood before starting on-site.

It was an involvement process we will continue to seek where feasible. ‘Guided by the extensive design information and the ongoing collaboration with Macaulay Sinclair, the build team delivered a spectacular flagship project, on-time and within budget. It is a result of extensive forward planning and coordination of all disciplines.’ MATT PILLING Lead Designer, Macaulay Sinclair



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i Paschoe House is set in between rolling hills on the edge of wild and beautiful Dartmoor, in Devon



et in deepest Devon amongst rolling hills and on the edge of Dartmoor near Bow, Paschoe House is a luxurious country retreat. It was once the family home of its 27year old owner and manager, Tabitha Amador-Christie, who single-handedly realised her teenage dream of turning her crumbling family home into a luxury hotel in August 2017. From the outset of the project, Tabitha had a clear vision of how she wanted the 13th century manor house to look and feel. She made the bold decision to go it alone – without using an interior designer - and created the look of the rooms herself, each of which has its own individual character. Tabitha drew inspiration from other luxury venues, like Babington House and Soho Farmhouse, which exude a cool but refined atmosphere for guests to relax in. Tabitha’s personal penchant is taxidermy, which is a theme that weaves throughout Paschoe House. At its core, it is a country hunting lodge – and Tabitha wanted to retain this character whilst

balancing it with more feminine themes, as the property has great potential as a wedding venue. Cork boards festooned with chosen colours, furniture, wallpaper swatches and artwork formed both the design palette for each room, and the basis for Tabitha’s project. Work began in the Morning Room with Timorous Beasties’ iridescent butterfly wallpaper, which set the tone for the rest of the house. The pink and purple hues from the butterflies resonate throughout the other rooms, with Tabitha even reupholstering some of their old family furniture in those colours. The addition of a large pink sofa in the Library Bar links the rooms. The reception features a Sanderson wallpaper which matches the Farrow & Ball Dix Blue in the Library Bar and Farrow & Ball Cinder Rose in the main hall. Each bedroom has its own unique style, with muted tones in the bedroom paired with vibrant bathrooms – featuring floral wallpaper and coloured tiles. A project and end result that can be described as one of a kind

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‘What I consciously wanted to achieve in the bedrooms was a relaxing atmosphere, nothing too hectic on the eye, so that my guests could have a good night’s sleep, but then I went a little wild in each ensuite! When guests go away somewhere, they don’t want to be in an environment that they could achieve at home - I want it to feel like a fairytale.’ TABITHA AMADOR-CHRISTIE Owner, Manager and Designer

f Traditional hunting lodge taxidermy balanced with feminine hues reflects the country living ethos of Paschoe House i Muted tones create a feeling of relaxed calm in the bedrooms at Paschoe house


Flocked wallpaper and bath



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ail House Café joins the flurry of openings in Victoria, and comes from the team behind Riding House Café and Village East. The interiors have been designed by Box 9 Design founder, Lou Davies, in collaboration with the restaurant’s founder, Adam White. Inspired by the design of a metropolitan train station, the restaurant features multiple hubs, which can be used for different purposes, such as breakfast meetings, solo working or entertaining clients. The interiors also incorporate features such as custom-made furniture, concrete, glass arched windows and light fittings by Enigma Lighting. The central bar is a striking focal, social point based on an old Victorian tiled fireplace, and the back bar is a huge 3D jigsaw puzzle made from salvaged fireplaces. The theatre kitchen is also an important feature that provides lots of visual action. The design team broke the kitchen stations into multiple pieces, designed to feel like old wooden market tables. This has removed the barriers between chef and guest, and has also merged the bar and kitchen together. The stairway leading to the first floor provides a strong visual backdrop in order to draw people upstairs. Despite its aged appearance, it is in fact brand new, designed to look like the original old stairway, with rusted, ornate balustrades. Upstairs is even more intimate, with new articulated glass screens all around, designed to break up the huge glass facade but to keep the light spilling in. The inspiration behind the bathrooms was from old Victorian latrines; the green and white glazed herringbone tiled floor is incredibly striking, especially when mixed with the peach pressed panels that one may have found in old public latrines. The oak and marble vanity units, with brass taps and old enamel bowls made into sinks, provide a little glamour.

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‘The design brief for the new restaurant was to create an intimate, relaxed and atmospheric space, which was a challenge given the very commercial steel and glass modern architecture of the development. We needed to reimagine the atmosphere of Riding House Cafe, which was that of a well-loved home, in a totally different setting. To achieve this, we decided to essentially recreate a skeleton building inside the envelope of the developers building, made to feel a little like it was the original building that might have stood on the site historically. We took our design inspiration from places of travel, fairgrounds, tram sheds, municipal buildings and colonial homes – and mixed it all together to create a new feel.’ LOU DAVIES Lead designer, Founder, Box 9 Design From top left clockwise: Rail House Café, designed by Box 9 Design. The interiors incorporate custom-made furniture and light fittings by Enigma Lighting. Glass arched windows frame the space. The central bar is a striking focal point. The café has been inspired by the design of a metropolitan train station.



44 | Impression Nº3•February 2018

We are in a fortunate position at Mix that we work with some fabulous people: Designers, manufacturers, property professionals and end user clients. The collection of profiles on these pages are the supporters of this supplement. They are absolutely committed to this sector and we thank them for their valuable support of Impression.

With its brands AXOR and hansgrohe, the hansgrohe Group, based in Schiltach, Germany, enjoys a reputation as a leader in quality, innovation and design within the bathroom and kitchen industry. In over 140 countries worldwide, hansgrohe products have defined comfort and experience through design in world renowned hotels, cruise ships, luxury yachts and homes since 1901. We have helped reshape the modern bathroom since pioneering the hand shower in 1928. Our visionary concepts have not only changed the look but also the whole culture of the bathroom.

Once you find our name, you’ll discover its presence in many of the finest bathrooms across the UK. hansgrohe is synonymous with innovation, design and quality – this is our DNA. We lead the market, not follow it and work closely with renowned designers from all over the world. Our award-winning products are designed and engineered in Germany. Our philosophy revolves around the creation of long-lasting and reliable products crafted with meticulous attention to detail to deliver the highest levels of quality and function. But always with people and your experience in mind.

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Johnson Tiles is the UK’s leading manufacturer and importer of ceramic and porcelain wall and floor tiles. A trading division of Norcros Group (Holdings) Limited, the company has over 100 years experience and produces wall and floor tiles at its Stokeon-Trent headquarters to the highest standards. It operates in both residential and commercial markets and its product ranges are recognised by the industry not only for their eco-friendly properties but excellence in quality and design. Through the company’s extensive expertise in hospitality interiors, especially in the hotel market, each project is guaranteed to achieve the ‘wow’ guest factor. To find out more about Johnson Tiles visit www.johnson-tiles.comz

Knightsbridge Furniture has been designing and manufacturing quality British furniture from its site in Yorkshire for almost 80 years. From the timber mill to the customer’s doorstep, the company takes enormous pride in facilitating the entire production and delivery of its products and is dedicated to quality and design excellence. This has inspired customer loyalty and ensured Knightsbridge’s place at the forefront of its industry. Knightsbridge Furniture develops and manufactures all its products from its factory in Bradford. Combining traditional woodworking skills with the latest manufacturing techniques, Knightsbridge’s in-house team of skilled craftsmen, designers and R&D specialists deliver furniture suitable for several industries, including hospitality, workplace and healthcare.

Enigma Lighting has firmly established itself as one of the leading suppliers of light fittings and lighting equipment in Europe. They have produced an extensive collection of wellengineered and competitively priced light fittings targeted at the workplace, leisure and retail markets. Their range of fittings are designed around the latest LED light sources to provide the appropriate solution for any application. We strive to deliver excellent quality light fittings on budget and on time and tailor our services to each specific client’s needs. Enigma Lighting new lighting design studio and showroom in central Manchester is now open to visit.



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on l, Lond nd Hote


Wall Lights by the bed rather than table lamps by enigma lighting

Wi l ton

Ca r pe ts


itch in Nobu Hotel, Shored Neutral colours seen Vibrant colours by Kit Kemp


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AXOR ShowerHeaven with four different spray patterns including the innovative PowderRain - a good shower is a ‘must’ alongside attention to hygiene

AXO 50 R Ov erhead Shower 3

Combined toilet lighting – Illuminated toilet roll holder! 2 jobs in 1 fitting by enigma lighting

Johnson Tiless Thread range. A delicate textural effect is contrasted against an impactful palette that truly makes an impression



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According to the Office for National Statistics, as a nation, we went on over 70 million overseas visits in the space of a year. Out of all this jet-setting, the most frequent reason for jumping on a plane was for a holiday. The TrekkSoft 2018 Travel Trends Report suggests that a key reason for going on holiday is to recharge. For some, it’s about the chance to enjoy a one-off experience; and for others it’s about really getting to know a country and its culture. For many taking a memory back to show others is important. Not a self-indulgent selfie – a real photograph, like the ones seen on this page. The following have been taken by some of our readers. Are you up to the challenge of telling us where you think they are from? They are tough but let us know by the email below...



Photo credit above and below: Vicki Brand, Brand Designs, Hertford


Photo credit above and below: Steven Penney, Magenta Associates, Brighton




Water was invented for moments like this. Start everyday in a rather special way. hansgrohe has defined comfort and experience through design across the world. hansgrohe. Meet the beauty of water. The Water Studio 12 - 16 Clerkenwell Road London EC1M 5PQ 01372 472 056 For project enquiries please email:


Impression No3  

Inspiring hospitality interior design

Impression No3  

Inspiring hospitality interior design