Quintessentially British design scheme unveiled for The Retreat at Elcot Park

    croquet on the lawn at The sinet Collection The Retreat at Elcot Park
    730 565 Pauline Brettell
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    Quintessentially British design scheme unveiled for The Retreat at Elcot Park

    On a mission to create extraordinary boutique hotels in curated destinations, The Signet Collection has transformed The Retreat at Elcot Park into a design that is both classic and contemporary with a few unexpected twists en-route…

    croquet on the lawn at The sinet Collection The Retreat at Elcot Park

    The Retreat is getting dressed and ready for its springtime launch, following in the successful footsteps of its cousin property The Mitre Hampton Court, as visionary British hospitality brand The Signet Collection reveal the design details of its second hotel. Housed in a Grade II-listed 18th century building, The Retreat has a storied past, once being the childhood home of the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Following the success of The Mitre Hampton Court, The Retreat will continue the brand’s celebrated design aesthetic, blending the old with the new and quirky British sensibility. Tasked with a fun, escapist and element-of-surprise oriented brief, London-based luxury interior design practice Taylor and Turner is the creative lead behind its transformation, which nods to both the history and location of the picturesque country house.

    “Elcot Park has a fascinating, long and rich history,” commented Anneke Gilkes and Harriette Cayzer, of Taylor & Turner. “It has been a huge privilege to be entrusted with creating a new chapter in its story with Hector and the brilliant team at Signet. We have endeavoured to respect its past whilst ensuring that the design practicalities meet the rigorous standards of the modern day. Our ethos has been rooted in creating a retreat for any age offering complete escapism and a sense of fun.”

    The Retreat will be home to 55 characterful and comfortable guestrooms, including three suites, each showcasing its individual heritage. Each room is a celebration of the very best of British design, with many of the rooms containing eclectic antiques sourced by local dealers. Whilst antique furniture and traditional elements remain throughout, punches of colour, fun and the unexpected are clearly visible in each of the rooms. Guests will be spoilt for choice when choosing from views over the Wessex Downs, the gardens, or picturesque courtyards.

    Each floor has a theme, with rooms named after champion racehorses, famous jockeys, local points of interest, or nods to British country pursuits such as: shooting, fishing, hunting and racing. Meanwhile, the three Signature Suites are decorative and named after previous inhabitants of the country house: the Sutton, Bushby Bacon (a family suite), and the Percy Shelley.

    The Sutton Suite features Watts of Westminster’s hand-blocked ‘Pineapple’ wallpaper which provides an elegant contrast to the duck-egg blue doors and skirting boards. Key design elements include a pomegranate Sanderson bed canopy with a contrasting Fermoie striped headboard, and a spectacular roll top copper bathtub in front of large bay windows. A blush pink Mimi Pickard sofa and strawberry patterned throw cushions inject pops of colour throughout the Suite.

    freestanding roll top bath in bay window at the retreat elcot park

    Image credit: The Signet Collection

    The Bushby Bacon Suite, an expansive two-bedroom family suite with an open plan bathroom, is dedicated to one of The Retreat’s earliest inhabitants. Elegant and refined, the suite features a contemporary four poster bed with a navy and cream interior with pelmet and simple pleating, set against red and blue Braquenié’s Toile des Indes wallpaper by Pierre Frey. The suite leads through to the children’s bedroom where curtained orange bunk beds take centre stage, against hand-painted striped walls. The bedrooms connect to a stylish white bathroom with a freestanding marble bathtub surrounded by bay windows.

    A spectacularly elegant suite dedicated to one of the major English Romantic poets, The Percy Shelley Suite boasts bold and expressive décor with statement vintage Morris & Co wallpaper. Contrasting sage green woodwork matches the tone of the freestanding bath which sits in front of a large window overlooking the gardens.

    Taylor & Turner have breathed new life into the bedrooms, which ooze vibrancy and fun with bobbin mirrors, Rosi de Ruig lamps, scalloped-edged side tables and bright upholstered headboards. Each bedroom is a treasure-trove of pattern and personality, and the playful use of colour and antiques lends soulfulness to give each room its own unique character.

    Similarly to The Mitre, the designers have placed emphasis on the entrance hall being a place for reading and relaxation, similar to a drawing room in a country home. Mohair blue sofas, traditional seating, yellow cushions and Titley and Marr green curtains make for a cosy atmosphere. Complemented by the beige walls, many of the existing fittings and furnishings have been restored, such as the teak wooden flooring. Guests are met by a hand-painted map of the local area illustrating the abundance of British pursuits on The Retreat’s doorstep. Meanwhile, to the right of the grand entrance, a quote from one of Percy Shelley’s poems adorns the walls, reflecting the property’s literature and arts heritage. The result is a quintessentially British feel with an informal, playful twist where guests will quickly feel at home.

    True to brand, all things culinary will have pride of place at The Retreat, which will open with a Whiskey room, two private dining spaces and two restaurants: Yü, a Pan-Asian restaurant, and 1772, an all-day-dining Brasserie. Atmospheric orb bulbs, a sputnik chandelier and golden table lamps make for a sleek and refined setting. A five metre brass bar with a fluted leather front is paired with elegant striped-back bar stools. Curved and straight seating booths in sumptuous deep blue and bottle green velvet offer pleasing aesthetics, and an intimate dining experience.

    Having dined and imbibed to their hearts content, guests can enjoy the facilities of an impressive Health Club, including hydrotherapy pools, three treatment rooms, a steam room & sauna, large gym, spin studio and a relaxation area. The tone and textures in the spa exude a feeling of calm, in contrast to the women’s changing room, however, which is unexpected, playful, and fun, and inspired by the 1950s boudoir.

    The Signet Collection is a home grown and hands-on brand, resolute in its dedication to crafting stunning designs in historically significant properties, preserving authenticity and delivering unparalleled service and experiences. The addition of The Retreat Elcot Park to the portfolio looks set to ensure the brand continues on its journey of creating meaningful stays in time honoured places. 

    Main image credit: The Signet Collection

    Pauline Brettell / 03.02.2022


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