London Marriott Hotel Park Lane has recently opened its signature restaurant and dynamic bar, Lanes of London, which serves up a selection of global street food and British classics.
The £1.1million project began on site in August 2013 and was completed in an impressive eight weeks. Project Architect Blacksheep and The Marriott Hotel scheduled an aggressive works programme to ensure the project progressed on schedule.
The procurement process was underway in June, so most of the items were already under manufacture before the team were on site. The planning process began back in 2011 where design concepts and costing was discussed, before a planning application was filed in late 2012.
The property is listed and so planning approval was required before work went ahead. Blacksheep’s Tony Duesbury, who was the lead designer on the Lanes of London project, said the approval for planning was gained swiftly due to the lack of demolition work the project involved, as well as the sensitivity with which the design was handled. The restaurant officially opened in January 2014 but was open to hotel guests before Christmas.
Tony Duesbury added:
“The client wanted to create something unique that felt like it was a standalone restaurant, but was allied to the hotel as well. They wanted to enable passersby to see inside the restaurant, through the windows on Park Lane, in a bid to break down barriers and increase the likelihood of passing trade. Also the previous dining offer did not have a very large bar space and so The Marriott was eager to expand in the new dining offer.
“To ensure the restaurant felt like a separate entity to the hotel, both have separate entrances. The aim of the development was to retain the historic influence of original building designer, Frank Verity. We tried to maintain the integrity of the original property and so did not change any of the existing structure; the main part of the building that is listed such as the facade and entrance remain untouched.”
The restaurant spans 280 square metres and now boasts an impressive front door with a marble inlay of Verdi Green Calacatta Marble and restored original metalwork. The entrance also holds a flag and illuminated signage to advertise the new venue.
Before diners enter the restaurant and bar they step into a small lobby area with a mosaic hexagonal patterned floor, again designed with Verdi Green and Calacatta Marble. The bar contains a stunning piece of artwork by Jeremy Horton which echoes the lush greenery of Hyde Park that lies opposite the venue.
The bar is an impressive feature in itself, comprising two large columns, a dark timber texture bar front and a white calacutta top. Behind the bar traditional leaded glass glazed doors conceal the alcohol during breakfast, and out of respect for guests who do not drink. The glass doors can be drawn back later on in the evening to unveil the selection of available drinks to guests.
The bar also contains an impressive fireplace surrounded by antique mirrors, high back chairs and brass tripod lamps which add warmth to the space. The L shaped room curves round to reveal the restaurant which holds a screened off kitchen at the end of the room, which previously was an open kitchen. The kitchen acts as a form of entertainment for diners, allowing individuals to see their food being prepared.
The restaurant contains a mixture of long banquet and more formal seating. The tables are topped with calacutta marble and have cast iron bases. The sophisticated feel of the venue is accentuated by the placement of aged brass features and timber panelling throughout.
Blacksheep also developed the food concept for the restaurant and the graphic design. The menu is divided into four different lanes and includes varying cuisines from all over the world. Blacksheep’s involvement has therefore not just included interior design but the development of a concept strategy. The project included the efforts of Blacksheep staff Damien Follone, Anette Dennis and Tony Duesbury.
The main contractors on the project were Stroods, who are specialist interior contractors, offering complete solutions to the Pub, Restaurant, Hotel, Retail and Leisure industries. Stroods specialise in fast track contracts and their portfolio spans all trades. As the main contractor for Lanes of London, Stroods were in charge of the building works and joinery items with Blacksheep focusing on brand strategy, the food concept, graphic design and interior design.
Tony Sandles Glass, Insitu, Dyfed Richards, Jamb, Grattes, Servaclean, Pro Purchasing, Jeremy Houghton, Dernier & Hamlyn, Nova Interiors, The Sofa & Chair Company, Artemis and Hillcross Furniture were the subcontractors on the project. They provided many of the restaurant’s features including glass, mirrors, the signature exterior entrance flooring, marble mosaics, timber flooring, fireplace, bar equipment, art work, bespoke wall lights, banquets and chairs and tables.
The hotel remained open during the project and a temporary all day dining venue was created in the basement of the hotel. Guests were made fully aware of the works via signage throughout the building. The Marriott were very conscious of not ruining guests’ experiences because of the project and so the onsite team scheduled works in line with certain noise restrictions.
Tony Duesbury, lead designer said:
“It has been an amazing experience to be a part of this project from development, through to construction and completion. We have a really good working relationship with The Marriott Hotel and they seem to be extremely happy with how the project was carried out.”