Charlotte’s W5 in Ealing, London, is a unique space launched by Charlotte’s Group that is designed to be different. It is a ‘third place’ – a versatile space that sits between work and home and provides today’s local community with the flexible facilities it really needs. Charlotte’s W5 houses free co-working facilities and a private function area for those seeking alternative ‘being spaces’ whilst serving high quality food and drink created by a head chef and head bartender.
The Charlotte’s W5 concept has been developed by founder and CEO of Charlotte’s Group, Alex Wrethman, an extremely passionate local entrepreneur with a keen eye for design. Originally a listed stable block, the space has been brought to life with an elegant yet understated design and provides a genuinely inspiring yet welcoming environment that perfectly transitions from morning to night.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality magazine, Alex said: “I’ve always been fascinated that on the high street, you will have a coffee shop, a pub and a restaurant all in a row. People go from one place to another, depending on the time of day and what they want to do. I thought carefully and researched what a space that accommodated working on your laptop, having a business meeting, eating lunch on your own or even taking the kids for breakfast would look and feel like. I came across the term ‘third place,’ the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (“first place”) and the workplace (“second place”). The concept communicates that you can use Charlotte’s W5 for almost any purpose at any time of day.”
Charlotte’s W5 has been finished with bespoke items including a handmade staircase crafted in an old chapel near Stockport and the new conservatory and heritage stable block have been seamlessly unified by a stunning bespoke marble island bar.
As well as owning Charlotte’s W5, Alex was tasked as Lead Designer. Diamond Projects were the contractors and Clinton Pritchard from Mass Architects looked after the architectural elements of the build.
Alex added: “We looked at all elements available to us from shapes and textures to natural light that already existed in the building and discussed the design elements in context of, ‘if it screams bar, café, restaurant or members club and it goes too far in any of those directions then it’s wrong.’ It has to feel comfortable, effortlessly designed without looking expensive or precious. It was a really odd design brief because it has to support the pitch that you could drop in for a coffee at 8am as well as a cocktail or two at 9pm.”
The concrete floors within the former stable black have been retained, as have the stable doors, brickwork and arches and splashes of bold new graphic tiling have been sunk into the original floors to connect the conservatory with the stable block. A lighting programme was created for a seamless transition from morning to night, white Victorian style tiling is in keeping with the space, filled with grey grouting similar to that found on the London Underground, reminiscent of Victorian London and a bespoke marble island bar unifies the old and new spaces.
“Essentially, it was a blank empty Victorian building, with great architecture and lovely Victorian brickwork,” said Alex. “We really tried to design the best possible use to get the most out of the building. It was about developing ways to bring it all together and making each area desirable to dwell in.”
Charlotte’s W5 opened in March 2016 after an 18 month build and design was completed.
Alex concluded: “We started building 18 months ago, it was a huge stretch and we have been packed ever since we opened. I think this concept could work in a lot of locations but I think the challenge is that you need to be in an area where there are a good amount of businesses and residential. We’re already looking into opening more sites but Charlotte’s W5 is still new for us and the main focus will be on building our following and establishing its reputation as a ‘third place’.”
Charlotte’s W5 is open everyday from 8am until 11:30pm, with a 130 seat flexible space, 70 seat terrace and 25 seat private room.
The Old Stable Block, Dickens Yard, Ealing, W5
020 3771 8722
UHS are the forerunner in the hospitality furnishing industry. The company continually inspires, creates, and finds imaginative and beautiful furniture solutions for restaurants, bars, and hotels.
UHS’ main offices are in Oxfordshire and Rome, plus the company has a global presence which has resulted in UHS creating the finest, specific craftsmanship and design of furniture for the hospitality sector. Recently, UHS has been involved with Charlottes W5.
Dan Gillmore, of UHS Group, said:
“UHS has provided Charlottes W5 with a distinctive table design inside and outside with leather upholstered Memphis barstools, banquette seating and Murano armchairs, the design of the furniture went through a detailed process with Alex to get exactly the look he was looking for, it is a great venue to relax!”
For Arts Sake
Established 38 years ago, For Arts Sake quickly established itself for supplying quality artwork and a custom framing service, both to retail and corporate clients. Starting off with premises in Hendon, they opened their second gallery in Ealing in 1984, which now houses one of the largest collections of printmakers’ works for sale.
Over their 38 years, the company has produced artwork for numerous businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector. Current clients of For Arts Sake in the retail catering sector include Prezzo Restaurants, Richoux Restaurants, Deans Diners, Ed’s Diners and Est Est Est Restaurants.
Most recently For Arts Sake worked with Charlotte’s W5 in Ealing on their new concept and location. The company produced prints for the venue that were made from photographs taken by a local photographer. They also supplied large mirrors for the venue, as they could offer a frame that fitted the style the venue was looking for. Framed mirrors for the toilets were also provided.
Brian Davis, Managing Director at For Arts Sake said: “This project was important to us because it is local; the location is only half a mile away from our Ealing gallery. It was important to us to be involved with a local business and having eaten there I can recommend it for its ambience and excellent food.”
As a well established company, For Arts Sake prides themselves on their reliability and the personal input provided for every project.
Brian added: “We never let anybody down even though we often have to work to tight schedules. On many occasions designers come to us with their requirements and within a week we have designed, printed, framed and installed. We offer all our services “in house” from printing, mounting and framing including making our own profiles. I would say this along with our reliability, and the fact that we can offer a wide range of artists’ work in different styles for any project is something that sets us apart from many of our competitors.”