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Recently opened in the trendy Bristol suburb of Clifton, Wellbourne is an all-day informal restaurant and wine bar. Serving modern seasonal dishes alongside a handpicked selection of wine, craft beers and spirits, Wellbourne is the new venture for a trio with Michelin star experience.

Ross Gibbens, Michael Kennedy and Martin Irwin previously worked together at the acclaimed Dabbous in London. Equipped with a vast amount of expertise, the team has brought something new to the area. During the day Wellbourne is informal and friendly, offering Bristol ground coffee, handmade open sandwiches and bar snacks. At night an innovative menu that makes the most of seasonal ingredients takes centre stage. Signature vol au vents are served all day.


To create the design for this new venture, the trio looked no further than Bristol-based commercial interior design agency Simple Simon. Design Director Ben Rolls said:

“Ross and his business partners recently moved to Bristol to set up Wellbourne and were looking for a local partner. Their food is very much about simplicity, nothing too elaborate. They wanted an interior that reflected that. Everything needed to be measured, precise and have its place to complement their unfussy, simple style of cooking. In total we were working on the project for about 10 months.

“The space is quite small so the restaurant is compact. It’s a complete transformation from what it was previously. The space is now much more light and airy. We also removed two staircases, one that went to the first floor and one that went to the basement, to maximise the floor space and make the restaurant more open.”

The space is a blend of formal and informal. Ross, Michael and Martin may come from a Michelin star background but they didn’t want Wellbourne to be as inaccessible as that. The result is a flexible venue you can visit at any point in the day. Highlights of the design include a new parquet timber floor, timber wall cladding, brass detailing to add a bit of opulence and external glazed brick tiles.

A key element of the project was the venue’s basement kitchen, which required a ventilation system that could operate within a limited footprint. Partridge Ventilation was contacted by Ben Rolls to find a solution to the problem.

Paul Williams, Contracts Manager for Partridge Ventilation, said:

“Wellbourne is situated within an area with strict planning constraints. The planners were not happy seeing any ventilation ducts at street level, with residents above, so this posed a real issue. Our solution was to install our recirculation filtration system, which consists of our extract and supply canopy combined with our filtration tower. The extracted air is passed through eight separate forms of filtration to remove grease, smoke and odour.

“The fully filtered air is then re-circulated back into the kitchen through grilles in the front face of the canopy (other options are available). This results in removing the issue of kitchen ventilation plant on the exterior of the building.

“We complemented the installation with a small general extract and supply system to deal with the air changes in the basement kitchen area to satisfy building control, and to improve the kitchen working environment.

“We had the pleasure of working closely with Gerry Oakley from QCM dealing with this kitchen installation, to ensure his cooking equipment and kitchen layout was not compromised. The recirculation system has 1 x electrical supply and is modular to enable it to be delivered and installed in areas with very limited access. The Team worked well together and the result is a basement kitchen installed with minimal impact to the outside facade.”


Paul added:

“All of us at Partridge Ventilation wish Ross and Michael all the best in this new venture, and look forward to working with them and the team again in the near future.”

Since opening, feedback for Wellbourne has been very positive, with diners praising the food, atmosphere and level of service. Ben said:

“For us it was nice to work with a client who had such a refined attention to detail. It was a small, challenging space and effectively had to be engineered rather than designed because of the limitations but it’s always nice to work on an independent venue. It looks fantastic.”

To find out more about Wellbourne, please visit:

Website – wellbourne.restaurant

Twitter – @_wellbourne

Instagram – wellbourne.restaurant


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