Under the direction of lead architect Sir Charles Knowles, in collaboration with interior designer Claire Nelson, Gravetye Manor’s new restaurant offers a luxurious dining experience befitting of its prestige.
As a contemporary addition, set within the yard of the manor house, it was key that the restaurant should enhance, rather than compete with this historic property. As such, the structure takes an understated, elegant form, complete with wall to ceiling glass windows.
The unobtrusive nature of the structure also fulfills another key area of the brief: to maximise guests’ interaction with the hotel’s Grade 2 Listed garden. Originally created by William Robinson in 1885, the property’s extensive gardens are considered to be of historical import as a remnant of his visionary approach, and have become a key source of inspiration for the restaurant’s architecture and interior.
"By day, the restaurant is awash with natural light, enlivening its fresh botanical tones and creating a seemingly invisible barrier with the beautiful surrounds. By night, it casts out a beautiful, inviting glow that picks out the striking architectural details of the main house"
By day, the restaurant is awash with natural light, enlivening its fresh botanical tones and creating a seemingly invisible barrier with the beautiful surrounds. By night, it casts out a beautiful, inviting glow that picks out the striking architectural details of the main house.
Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted by a contemporary twist on a rustic oak table with a double ball base and bronze details, complemented by the natural chocolate limestone and soft-fume toned reclaimed Versailles parquet oak flooring.
Renowned French artist, Claire Basler, has created a series of striking hand-painted panels for the space, capturing the gardens in her unique style. These rotate to enable guests to see the botanic artwork as they enter the space, as well as respecting the preservation of the historic elements with glimpses of the Elizabethan manor house walls as they leave.
A central pendant light, detailed with bronze and satin brass and featuring smoked opal shades, adds an element of light and airy modernity.
The restaurant’s furniture comprises luxurious dining chairs upholstered in shades of olive green velvet, as well as armchairs upholstered in a custom-coloured linen fabric that reflects the tones from the garden and artwork.
Banquette seating, upholstered in a crisp green and white chevron wool, has been paired with bright accent cushions in zesty limes, pinks, champagnes and cerise tones. The banquette seating is lit with hand carved lights made by expert craftspeople, each one being totally unique through natural variation in the Alabaster stone.
“The new restaurant at Gravetye will certainly be unique and world class, with an interior that is refreshingly different yet at ease with the fabric of this wonderful hotel and gardens,” comments Claire Nelson, lead designer and co-founder of Nelson Design. “Modern architecture to celebrate the new with the old, frst-class service and a master Michelin star chef, George Blogg – what more do you need to delight the senses?”
With its striking, yet sympathetic exterior, combined with an expertly crafted, elegant interior design, Gravetye Manor’s new restaurant is sure to be an enduring gem for this iconic property.