Luxury department store, Fortnum & Mason, has been sourcing and selling high quality tea for over 300 years. Visitors to the Piccadilly store in London are now able to enjoy afternoon tea in the quaint Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Formerly St James’ Restaurant, the venue was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge last year.
The refined, Georgian-style interior was completed by David Collins Studio. Featuring garden-inspired fabrics and porcelain set in a wash of white, gold and eau-de-Nil hues, the design is an ideal reflection of the Fortnum & Mason brand.
Project Solutions, a division of UK-based Alan Nuttall, was the principal contractor behind the project. Tasked with managing the complete refurbishment and redesign, the company took the lead on the practical implementation of the design concept.
Nino Calandra, CEO of Alan Nuttall, claims that careful consideration had to be taken owing to the iconic and sensitive nature of the project. Nino says: “It was vital given its restrictive location, the age of the building and, more importantly, the prestigious character that had to be retained.”
“It was a privilege to be involved with such a commemorative project. It is a stunning interior and the perfect environment for Fortnum’s to continue its tradition of serving afternoon tea”
Nino Calandra, CEO of Alan Nuttall
Alan Nuttall was able to make a 17% saving on the original budget, without compromising on style or quality. “After carrying out a complete site assessment and survey,” Nino adds, “we set about implementing and making appropriate changes to aspects of the project – including recommending alternative products and materials that offered better value. We achieved this without impacting on the quality that a building of this design, heritage and status deserves.”
As well as managing the procurement of trades, materials and site management – including health and safety and installation – Alan Nuttall manufactured all joinery and metalworks from its plant in Dudley, West Midlands. The company also handled all electrical, AV and CCTV installations, as well as on-site plumbing.
Alan Nuttall was also responsible for sourcing specialist finishing touches, including the hand-painted panelling and wallpaper. A specialist acrylic mould manufacturer was commissioned to create acrylic tiles for the bar front, which were glazed to match Fortnum & Mason’s brand colours. The bar tops were constructed from reconstituted lava rock and hand finished.
“Creating the right ambiance to fit the brief was crucial,” Nino concludes. “It was a privilege to be involved with such a commemorative project. It is a stunning interior and the perfect environment for Fortnum’s to continue its tradition of serving afternoon tea.”
Alan Nuttall has a long-standing relationship with Fortnum & Mason, having previously worked on a wide range of projects including its Gallery and Fountain restaurants, lower ground food hall, ice cream parlour, bakery and confectionary counters.
Simon Burdess, commercial director at Fortnum & Mason, comments: “Fortnum & Mason was delighted to re-appoint Alan Nuttall to work on our most prestigious fourth floor Tea Salon. Its professionalism and attention to detail ensured that this project was carried out to the highest of standards in a timely fashion. Now, in the elegant Georgian surroundings of the tea salon, a new generation is able to enjoy the much-loved tradition of afternoon tea.”