Despite only launching at the beginning of December 2016, Martello Hall is already creating a significant buzz with its unique concept and innovative design.
Situated in a prime London location, Martello Hall is a cocktail bar and banquet hall of old reclaimed decadence, offering coffee and hot-desking by day, cocktails and pizza by night and an Italian feast for weekend brunch.
Set across three floors with a maximum capacity of 310, Martello Hall is the first venture for the Albion and East Group. The interior was designed by Red Deer and co-founder Lionel Real de Azúa spoke to Premier Hospitality about the project:
“It was a reasonably quick project in that we had to come up with a concept, drawings and start on site almost immediately. Fortunately, a lot of the ideas for the design concept had arisen from a research trip we undertook with the client to New York.
“We wanted to create an old, Edwardian taproom feel. The site was previously The London Fields Pub and a lot of the existing architecture pointed towards the Edwardian feel. Behind all the layers of decoration added over the years, the site had been an Edwardian pub and we wanted to celebrate that.”
To achieve the desired look a complete overhaul of the building took place. Most of the materials added to the building were reclaimed cast iron, steel or copper. The bar and many wall lights, for example, are parts of reclaimed balustrades, with lichen and rust still apparent. Lionel continued:
“There are three main areas to Martello Hall. The ground floor consists of the main bar with craft wine on tap, an absinthe bar and a gin distillery. A lot of the details and materials used were taken from reclamation yards.
“Further back, where the toilets and kitchen used to be, we’ve put in a pizza oven. It’s in an area that is now almost a triple height space but before you wouldn’t have even noticed it. As we were doing a lot of the demolition work we kept discovering more and more height. We wanted to celebrate the food in this space so around the pizza oven we’ve got casual seating. There is also a small beer garden.
“The third area is the lounge that has been designed to feel like an Edwardian living room. It has much lower seating, an old wood burning stove and two fireplaces – it very much feels like a domestic, cosy setting.
“In addition to the overall Edwardian theme, we’ve tried to link all the spaces through ageing. This mainly applies to the materials, so metals are beautifully rusted while the walls have a smoky feel. This permeates through the three spaces without restricting the individual characteristics of each.”
The level of detail shown in the design is reflected in Martello Hall’s food and drink offering. An on-site distillery reflects their passion for gin, producing small batches of Martello Gin. Beer is supplied by neighbouring suppliers and wine can be found on tap – environmentally better and fresher each time, it’s makes for a better glass of wine. With the availability of twelve different wines it’s the largest selection of wine on tap in the UK and has been curated by wine consultant Zeren Wilson.
Cooking is centred on natural fuel, with the wood oven and charcoal grill delivering East Coast pizza, weekend brunch with Italian roots and sharing dishes. The menus are small and decisive with everything made from scratch on site.
Workers looking for a change of scenery can use the first floor lounge during the day, Monday to Friday, for hot-desking, fast Wi-Fi and great coffee.
Looking back to the project, Lionel added:
“This was a gratifying experience in that we were given a lot of design freedom and as a result had a lot of fun with the project. It was also a great antique searching exercise. We went to loads of antique dealers and reclamation yards across the country with the client, so it was a joint journey into history. We’re really delighted with the outcome.”
Martello Hall is open late Friday and Saturday hosting local DJs and bands. For information on upcoming gigs please visit http://www.martellohall.com/#events.
The French Group
Every fit-out is a challenge and The French Group have worked with Red Deer Architects to create a distinct style for this new site, aging elements of the metalwork and timber to match the design component of the period. This new cocktail bar with dining has a relaxed atmosphere with a wood fired pizza oven dominating the ground floor. There are many small details to characterise this as a distinctive new venue.
The results speak for themselves when you visit any site completed by French. Each has a unique identity and this is enhanced by the expertise and quality supplied by the detailed in-house joinery at French.
The company offers its services within the hospitality sector primarily, manufacturing all of its own joinery and drawings in-house, and providing detailed shopfitting and refurbishment.