Impressive refurbishment combines old and new
Despite being transformed by an impressive refurbishment, the stylish Dispensary Pub in Aldgate East remains true to its roots, with period features dating back to the late 19th century, when the building was the Eastern Dispensary Hospital and cared for poor Eastenders.
The two storey pub is co-owned by Annie Smith and David Cambridge, who commissioned award winning interior designer Jackie McWeeney to update the two-storey property, which was a Finalist in the 2015 Casual Dining Design Awards.
The elegant interior now features a subtle, stylish palette including both Farrow & Ball heritage paints and new contemporary paint colours at its heart, mixed with stylish soft furnishings. The refurbishment was carried out without the venue closing its doors.
The result is a ‘country house in the city’ look that attracts predominantly business people who work – and stay – in London Monday to Friday and then travel home at the weekend. Jackie introduced quintessentially English fabrics created by Fermoie throughout this project – for upholstery, menu covers and curtains – to help create that country house look. Since launching in 2012, Fermoie has worked closely with Jackie McWeeney on a number of interior design projects.
At The Dispensary, Annie and David had a series of elements – both fittings and furniture – that they wanted Jackie to retain and incorporate in the refreshed interiors. In many cases, she used those as inspiration for the rest of the design, or as a focal point in the room. It proved an especially exciting project for her, providing the opportunity to help The Dispensary grow its business by creating a stylish and welcoming ambience for customers.
Each of the three ground floor areas differs slightly in its purpose and design. The first – a big space with high ceilings and incorporating the bar – is the main area for drinking and dining. Jackie specified two distinct paint colours as a backdrop for the prime dining times: lunch and dinner. ‘Purbeck Stone’ creates a calming ambience at lunch, with sophisticated ‘Stiffkey Blue’ providing the perfect dinner setting.
A smaller sofa area leads from the reception, providing a space where guests can relax for casual drinks. The walls have been painted in ‘Mole’s Breath’ a shade that pays homage to the age of the building. Because the co-owners wanted a country house feel, Jackie McWeeney has introduced the quintessentially English fabrics created by Fermoie throughout this project – for upholstery, menu covers and curtains – to help create that look.
The third area at The Dispensary, the smallest of the three, seats up to eight covers for a fine dining experience.
A subsequent element of the scheme involved the refurbishment of the first floor Wellington Room to create a second fine dining restaurant.
David Cambridge, Chef du Patron at The Dispensary has created a bespoke menu – with a distinctly British and innovative style – to fit individual diners’ preferences and requirements.
The menu offers a variety of dishes including a duck confit brioche, wild mushroom and spinach gnocchi and numerous fish dishes, all sandwiched between delicious starters and decadent desserts.