• Covid-19 – click here for the latest updates from Forum Events & Media Group Ltd

Posts Tagged :

Bars

5 Minutes With: F&B talk with Mark Bithrey, Founder & Creative Director, B3 Designers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 Minutes With: F&B talk with Mark Bithrey, Founder & Creative Director, B3 Designers

There is a serious question being put to the industry on whether public areas will ever be the same again. In an exclusive interview with Hotel Designs, Mark Bithrey, the Founder and Creative Director of B3 Designers sits down virtually with editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss F&B design in a post-pandemic world…

In just a few days time, Hotel Designs will go live to the world with its debut virtual conference. The topics we will explore during Hotel Designs LIVE will include technology, sleep, wellness and whether public areas will ever be the same again. In order to understand the role of F&B areas, while also getting an access-all-areas deeper look into the inner workings of the studio, I caught up with Mark Bithrey, the Founder and Creative Director of B3 Designers. The award-winning studio has transformed many F&B hospitality projects, such as The Prince Akatoki, Marriott Hotel Budapest and Ritz-Carlton Geneva among many others.

Hamish Kilburn: Thanks for joining me, Mark. How are you feeling right now as a hospitality interior designer?

Mark Bithrey: The world has been through really tough times, but this one has definitely knocked the hospitality industry for a six. I have always believed in 2 things: that hospitality will forever have a strong place in the world in some form or other, and two, that design plays a pivotal role in shaping a changing world. So I’m feeling a mix of anxious and eager.

HK: When restaurants do eventually open up, we are still looking at reduced covers and therefore revenue. What are your thoughts there?

MB: We have been helping clients redesign their restaurants for social distancing, with beautiful screens and additional features like plants and cushions. But you are right, it can mean reduced revenue. Some of our clients have been really creative and opened up whole new streams of revenue.

Image caption: Design in F&B has spilled into the marketing and packaging of products with a rise in demand for deliver/takeaway service. | Image credit: B3 Designers

HK: There is obviously a lot of focus on takeaways at the moment. How can F&B businesses be more creative when adapting to the times?

MB: Quick service has immense potential. Think about kiosks where you are able to churn out dishes quickly. Our clients at Mei Mei are doing just that, with Michelin star winning Chef Elizabeth Haigh at its helm. Also consider Itsu/Pret style shops, with impactful branding and graphics on the floor. You can look into takeaway/delivery-only kitchens with creative food packaging. Extra brownie points for eco-friendly packing! We are working with a Vietnamese restaurant in London at the moment to use clever packaging to build out loyalty, repeat orders, and engagement.

Image caption: Mei Mei has adapted its offer during the pandemic to focus on takeaway service | Image credit: B3 Designers

HK: Speaking of food delivery, it does mean that restaurants are reliant on the large delivery services that eat into their revenue considerably. How can they move away from using the shared delivery systems?

MB: Yes, indeed! Have you heard of Mumbai’s dabbawalas? It’s an incredible concept. Think localised kitchens, subscription meals, and your own fleet of delivery folk racing food on bicycles. Typically, a kitchen will cook a few hundred meals a day. The subscription lunch will include food that can be batch cooked – so a lentil dish, a curry, rice, and perhaps some bread. This is then packed into stainless steel “tiffin” boxes, and delivered quickly, while the food is still hot. Because the kitchens are localised, nobody is travelling more than a couple of kilometers and they are often the service teams themselves. The previous day’s box is picked up and brought back – no packaging waste!

Food trucks are another way to circumvent delivery commissions. With all the right permissions, you could set up in a park/outdoor space and serve up anything you want to, really. Think also about drive-throughs or walk-past counters for food pick up. You can even offer an interesting experience (graphics/games) while they wait in line.

Image caption: Gourmet takeaway food truck | Image credit: B3 Designers

Image caption: Gourmet takeaway food truck | Image credit: B3 Designers

HK: What about fine dining, how can businesses integrate social distancing into this concept?

MB: Without a doubt, fine dining is going to change for a while. Restaurants that get very crowded are going to have to give customers more room – which can be quite cool if you think about it.

Smaller restaurants however, are quite fortunate and can use their spaces to offer truly caring experiences. We have worked with Michelin star winning Chef Tom Aikens in the past, whose restaurant Muse spans 950 sq ft. “Muse is very unique in that it is for guests not only looking for great food in a very special restaurant, but welcomes them as if they were in their own home. Guests will always get special care and now more than ever, of being looked after and pampered,” said Aikens.

If you have outdoor space, however small, milk it. Erect pods or beautiful temporary structures. Adapt for weather changes with fans and space heaters. You could also think about bringing your restaurant completely outside – are you on a street that could be pedestrianised, or do you have parking space that could be converted?

For indoor spaces, think gorgeous on-brand free standing folding screens. In hotels, use your banquet rooms as restaurants so you can offer more space between tables.

If you want to be really creative, as the rules relax more, consider catering services for small gatherings, or even a fine dining experience that you can take to people’s homes. We may follow off where you mention that Muse is small, and say that it is massive in experience.

HK: Is there a way for F&B professionals to go where customers already are?

MB: Supermarkets and the internet! This is a great time to consider creating your own line of sauces/pastas/food kits. Paired with solid branding and graphics, it could open up a whole new stream of revenue. Could you create barbecue kits for example, with recipes and ingredients?

We are spending a ridiculous amount of time on the internet now. Host cooking lessons and sell kits after. And remember to up your digital presence – it is the only way people will learn of your restaurant/hotel’s F&B offerings.

Main image credit: B3 Designers

SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

To round off our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs headed into London to pick out the best F&B facilities that are serving up a treat on the international hotel design scene… Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

Since hotels became much more than simply a bed for the night, the in-house food and beverage scene globally has taken off. Here are a few London bars and restaurants that have emerged to be statement F&B areas within hotel design.

GMT Bar –  Hard Rock Hotel London 

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Incorporating the Hard Rock “mantra”, which includes the global brands’ range of memorabilia, artwork, installations and lyrics, design firm Scott Brownrigg was tasked to complete the 900-room Hard Rock Hotel London. As well as designing quirky and edgy guestrooms, the design team, led by Senior Designer and Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 Kate Jarrett, also created what is now London’s latest Instagrammable statement bar, which acts as an inviting cocoon from the rest of the city.

The Monkey Bar – Monkey Island Estate

Image credit: Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate is located in Bray-on-Thames. The island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Visitors from London and beyond are transported to their own private countryside escape steeped in stylish yet laidback luxury. Designed by award-winning Champalimaud, complete with its beautiful garden terrace, The Monkey Bar is elegant, contemporary and relaxed – just like the rest of the hotel.

Sloane Place Hotel London 

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The 50-seat café-bar in the hotel, designed by JSJ Design, required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

45 Park Lane

modern quirky bar in 45 Park Lane

Image credit: 45 Park Lane

While the world is all too familiar of the iconic bar inside The Dorchester, its younger sibling, 45 Park Lane, located next door, is the contemporary answer to luxury in the city. The hotel’s modern-chic bar, which serves London’s finest negronis, is described as: “the vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel.” It is an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.

InterContinental London Park Lane

Once more, RPW Design strikes again on London’s leafy iconic Park Lane. The design firm’s latest refurbishment of the guestrooms and The Capital Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane compliments the work of David Collins Studio in the hotel’s restaurant, Ella Canta.

Hotel Cafe Royal London

Image credit: Hotel Cafe Royal London

Designed by Piero Lissoni and Atelier 27, the new F&B areas sheltered in Hotel Cafe Royal London are contemporary yet timeless. The Green Bar’s cocktail list is an invitation to explore tastes throughout the ages, divided into four eras spanning over 100 years. The interiors masculine, with hues of emerald green creating a dark and moody atmosphere to compliment the cocktails served.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

DesignLSM unveils 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DesignLSM unveils 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in London

Hospitality design firm DesignLSM has transformed the F&B and front-of-house areas of the newly launched 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel in Kensington, London…

100 Queen’s Gate Hotel in Kensington has reopened following Crimson Hotel’s ambition to convert the DoubleTree property into a Curio by Hilton hotel.

To achieve this, design firm DesignLSM was commissioned to curate a unique narrative for the property, forming a personality that creates a strong sense of place. From the outset of the project, DesignLSM strategy team collaborated closely with the client on the positioning of the hotel, undertaking a detailed reconnaissance visit of the Kensington Borough and examining among other areas the core demographics and competition. The study established the overarching design narrative as well as defining the F&B offers to suit the day part and clientele’s diverse desires.

“We immersed ourselves into the historical archives of the property and drew upon the distinctive persona of the original land owner – William Henry Alexander, who was well regarded within the 1800’s for being an avid collector of curiosities from his travels as well as a notable patron of the arts,” said DesignLSM’s strategy director, Holly Hallam. “We wanted to ensure that the interior alluded to its Victorian roots whilst conveying a strong balance of modernity. The narrative of the design pays homage to William Alexander, creating a sense of ‘his residence’ through the individually designed spaces; showcasing the collectables and celebrating his adventurous character.”

warm and spacious public areas with plush furniture

Image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

The heterogeneous and contemporary palette of the hotel reception and lounge creates a warm and inviting ambience for guests introducing them into the luxury of the Curio brand. The two main lounge areas are divided by a beautifully lit cabinet of curiosities displaying an assortment of discoveries which reflect the origins of William Alexander’s travels. Reminiscent of a Victorian gentleman’s drawing room the space features a grand bookcase, writing desk and drinks trolley alongside plush furnishings and artwork.

The large, light and airy reception area creates a distinctive first impression with three bespoke timber reception desks taking centre stage. Further pockets of lounge seating are placed around the space leading out to a relaxed atrium terrace that takes guests down to the ESQ cocktail bar.

Deep, dark hues in the bar

Image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

The design curation of the ESQ Bar was based around a traditional Victorian parlour room, where Alexander would bring his guests and business associates to discuss his latest confidential endeavours. Adorned in a rich, warm colour palette with bold decorative fabrics the space provides a refined and relaxed ambience perfect for pre and post dinner drinks. Ambient lighting seamlessly transitions from day till night in keeping with the sophisticated tone of the hotel.

The lower ground floor also offers access to two private meeting rooms decorated in a deep hues of blue and dark wood projecting a masculine undertone with curious collections of artwork and relics.

Taking inspiration from traditional Victorian Gymnasiums, the intimate basement gym is adorned in bold painted wall panelling with warm timber flooring complemented by a statement green colour palette.

Elsewhere, the ‘Botanica’ tea room is housed in an elegant double height atrium space with abundant arrays of luxurious greenery and planting. Evocative of a classic Victorian orangery, the space offers vast amounts of natural daylight making it the perfect place for relaxation over a spot of afternoon tea with friends.

A particular highlight of the design, according to the design firm, is the exquisite pendant lighting that imposingly suspends from the ceiling, highlighting the elegant marble finishes and statement floor tiles.

Spotlight On: May’s features announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Spotlight On: May’s features announced

Hotel Designs has officially dropped its May editorial features, which are Bars and Restaurants and Bathrooms… 

Throughout May, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Bars & Restaurants and Bathrooms – both areas of which are transforming drastically in order to cater to modern travellers’ demands.

Bars and Restaurants

Colourful and lavish restaurant

Image credit: Dukes Dubai

With Gastronomy evolving to be a major travel trend, the design of a bar and of a restaurant has never been so important. Hotels are recreating and reopening these areas to become just as much of an experience as checking in or walking into a stunningly designed guestroom or suite. Instagrammable moments can now be captured in a design hotel’s dining areas, once a space reserved for guests-only, which is now desired to be the life and soul of the city open for all to enjoy.

Bathrooms

Modern bathroom in a shell of wooden structures

Image credit: Kaldewei

With our highly regarded Recommended Suppliers, we will explore, post-ISH, the heavily congested arena of bathroom design. Will colour finally find its way into the modern bathroom, and will the bathroom spa become a popular choice for designers who want to recreate amazing spaces? We will go beneath the surface to uncover all the hottest bathroom trends and we will try to discover what the hotel bathroom of the future will look like.

If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: The Cow Hollow Hotel, Manchester

Bombay Cental, Harrow - Dawnvale

Project Spotlight: Dawnvale at Bombay Central, Harrow

550 367 Daniel Fountain

The inspiration for Bombay Central is taken from in and around the main station of India. The brief for Dawnvale was to design and recreate the hustle bustle culture and lifestyle of the main station and to combine this with an infusion of contemporary Indian cuisine.

Previously named The Old Wealdstone Inn, this was stripped back to exposed brickwork. The bricks were treated and sealed to create an authentic look that emphasised the natural character of the building. The internal decor features cracked leather fixed seating with handcrafted slat work and bespoke industrial metal trellis work. Genuine Indian treasures were imported from India to recreate the essence of India.

A centrepiece of the restaurant is the marble island bar with bespoke glass racks.

The kitchen design incorporates the latest energy saving technology which includes a K E R S heat recovery system which converts wasted kitchen energy into hot water together with bespoke low energy induction woks reducing carbons and offering considerable energy savings.

dawnvale.com