Wormwood, a brand new Mediterranean restaurant in Kensington, has recently opened and is wowing diners with its eclectic French, Moroccan, Lebanese, Spanish and Grecian inspired dishes.
Chef and co-owner Rabah Ourrad opened the restaurant alongside his brother Akli in April following a six month renovation project.
Sorrel Construction acted as the main contractor during the project and undertook all of the onsite tasks in order to create a unique, bespoke venue in line with the client’s desires and designs. The site was previously dilapidated and so the team had to begin from scratch including the demolition of the existing structure. Sorrel then had to install new piping and electrical works as there was very little infrastructure in place.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Adam English a Director at Sorrel Construction, to find out more about the project. He said:
“We became involved with Wormwood through a partner architect Sorrell Construction have worked with previously. They put us in touch with Wormwood and the clients and things went from there; the clients were really excited about us realising everything bespokely for the venue.
“Rabah and Akli wanted to create a North African-Moroccan-Mediterranean venue and it is littered with amazing, intricate, handmade tiles which were imported from Morocco. It was very important for us to be involved in this project as it allowed us to be extremely supportive of the creativity and flair injected into the venue by Rabah Ourrad, instead of working in a corporate environment. We were able to help make this venue special and unique and the clients know it is one of a kind.”
Works began on site in October 2013 and the team began by installing a feature shop front at Wormwood as per the owners’ designs, which is located on a quaint narrow street in Kensington. The terraced property was fitted with a canopy opening screen which allows diners to feel as if they are sat outside, which is great in the hot weather.
Upon entering the venue guests step up onto a raised platform on a hardwood floor and can make their way to the left hand side of the venue where a handmade bar can be found. The S shape bar acts as a feature piece of the room, which is separated by a wood patterned panelled room separator to make dining spaces more intimate for diners.
Wormwood also comprises an array of interesting unique pieces including a bespoke bookcase made of numerous wooden boxes all welded together. Located in a small alcove of the main space the bookcase comprises wine bottles, spices and cook books adding a contemporary twist to the dining area.
An extension has been added on to the back of the venue so that there is plenty of space for diners to choose from. Diners have to step up to reach the raised extension which features an impressive peaked sky light making the room warm and inviting.
Upon descending a set of steps guests are lead into the basement area which holds the renovated kitchen, a unique wine storage room, as well as the toilets and staff facilities.
The budget of the project was £120,000 and saw Sorrel Construction adding few extras into the venue on demand to satisfy the client’s search for perfection. Adam commented:
“We installed integrated speakers into Wormwood as well as LED lighting as we advised the client that new laws are soon to be enforced meaning any hospitality venues without Led lighting would have to pay a pollution related tax. We wanted the client to have all of the right facilities from the word go and as we are trained in building legislation and regulations, as well as council permits we are able to offer a one stop shop for our clients.
“Sorrel also offers building regulation approval and statutory certification so we installed all Wormwoods emergency lighting to ensure that the venue was fully above board. If Wormwood now gets a spot inspection form the HSC all their facilities’ will be in line with all the current regulations.”
Sorrel Construction Ltd
Sorrel Construction Ltd specialise in commercial and residential refurbishment, construction and maintenance from small scale home to larger scale office spaces. Since its commencement in the 1960’s, the family business has progressed through the years, however was reregistered in 2009 and has been trading since.
The success of the business is largely down to a supportive and experienced in-house team of interior designers, engineers, construction developers, joiners, technology experts and maintenance operatives. Credited to REFCOM, NAPIT, and The Guild of Master Craftsman, Sorrel manages every project they undertake from the concept right through to the completion.
With the Wormwood project Sorrel was involved from the early stages of the design, planning and applications, the in-house team created every specific element from scratch to meet the client’s requirements. The team constructed an extension, fitted new flooring, corrected electrical supplies and delivered the addition of deluxe features such as bespoke furniture and imported tiles from Morocco.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about their work with the Wormwood project, Adam English of Sorrel Construction Ltd, said:
“Helping a client realise their vision, whether it be a ten storey office building or a unique restaurant setting, is always what drives us – we strive to create something that our clients will love and remember us for. As a family run business we place a lot of care into the work that we do and invest in a project from the out-set.”
The establishment prides itself on the exceptional standard of excellence and client care. Other developments and clients that Sorrel have worked with include Kurt Geiger, Ralph Lauren (various shop refits) and The Abu Dhabi Investment fund.