Shortlisted as a finalist in the recent Casual Dining Design Awards under the category ‘Best Designed Casual Dining Pub,’ the new Wheatsheaf Pub & Grill in Farnham, Surrey has recently undergone a complete design transformation by Catering Design Group, (CDG) the UK’s leading restaurant and commercial catering design company.

CDG’s brief was to create a cutting-edge, innovative destination for locals. The design needed to be quirky, while still appealing to all customer groups and, most importantly, the interior had to reflect the quality and provenance of the brand.

Fresh, locally sourced seasonal food of the very highest standard is at the heart of the pub’s offering, so ensuring that customers had visibility into the kitchen was key to showcasing the quality of its produce and the professionalism of the chefs at work.

CDG’s remit covered the design, supply and installation of an open kitchen to support the Wheatsheaf’s dining and bar areas. This was achieved by taking an existing outside barn and transforming it into a high-spec theatre-style kitchen capable of catering for 180-200 diners in one session and around 1500 diners a week.

CDG’s research into the local area revealed that that the famous writer and playwright, J M Barrie, wrote Peter Pan whilst living in Farnham. This heritage was thus incorporated into the designs, with an area inspired by the eponymous hero, featuring hand-painted mosaic floor tiles, a rich grey and navy colour scheme and sparkling lights alongside Peter Pan illustrations.

The space was opened up structurally, but the character of the building was retained by creating separate zones and cosy corners. What was once a garage is now a courtyard dining space. Throughout, the space has been maximised with the use of unusual lighting and natural materials. Rustic finishes have been mixed and an eclectic mix of old and new incorporated by recycling and upcycling furniture. 

The open kitchen forms the backdrop to the space, creating a ‘buzz’ within the area. Large mis-matched, vintage lampshades draw the customer’s attention into the kitchen, whilst huge silhouettes depicting ‘butcher’s cuts’ and bespoke wallpaper, inspired by retro packaging, over the open pass to reflect the quality and provenance of the food on offer.