The Glasshouse Restaurant
The Grove, a five-star country house hotel in Hertfordshire, has re-opened The Glasshouse restaurant following a significant investment to dramatically update the space.
The Glasshouse has received an exhaustive renovation by the award-winning Martin Hulbert Design (MHD) – the studio which has been responsible for The Grove’s interior design since the hotel first opened.
Martin Hulbert told PREMIER HOSPITALITY: “It was strange to come back to a site to do things again after so much time and I would have to stop myself saying ‘I wouldn’t do it like that but I did’ so it was a strange situation to be in. Having that background and back story really helped when we were rethinking and redesigning the site to make it even better.”
The renovation of the restaurant included a new extension which saw an impressive triple-height, glass conservatory added to the main building. The calm and tranquil space, similar to an orangery, brings the outside in – with views of the garden and terrace now fully available from within.
The bar area is in its original position adjacent to the main lobby but with the new addition of a glass extension connecting it to the terrace and the garden. Guests walk through it on their way to the restaurant. Their first introduction to the new building as they pass by or stop for a drink is a large and detailed model of the Glasshouse that frames the back bar itself. Brickwork has been exposed and the floor is smoked oak. A sculptured kinetic chandelier runs along the entire conservatory, gently bobbing quietly and reflecting particles of light into the bar. The bars warm ambience is given emphasis by the array of rich amber, gold and yellow colours in textiles constructed of deep mohairs, herringbone and dogs tooth, as well as calf leathers. The sofas and chairs have been designed specifically for The Grove in collaboration between MHD and B&B Italia. The featured tables, like those in the restaurant, are made from recycled materials.
The spacious main dining room has been completely remodelled to allow diners to move free throughout the food stations, plus the new design also creates the impression of sunlight filling the space – even on the darkest days. There is the use of subtle yellows and amber resin colours, often dispersed through the glass to create a sunlight effect. Fractured yellow glass sculptures have been placed across the conservatory windows and the triple height ceiling is yellow. Mirrored glass has been used to bring light deep into the interior and sheer curtains in heavy-duty linen with hand-painted panels can be drawn when it gets dark to produce a warmer, softer environment.
Almost every item within The Glasshouse has been specifically designed, created and commissioned for this project. Enormous kinetic hanging sculptures, made of bronze and brass mesh with giant hand-blown yellow glass orbs, have been introduced to move gently above diners and add a touch of magic to the space. The floor is sections of Italian terrazzo and smoked oak, with the terrazzo used for some of the tables as well as Italian marble.
Strikingly redesigned, The Glasshouse sits at the heart of The Grove, and offers an outstanding, luxurious yet fun experience, inspired by food-hall style dining. For a set price, diners are invited to sample a variety of dishes celebrating international flavours, fresh produce and the talents of a team of specialist chefs. Executive Chef Stephen Wheeler launched The Glasshouse to much success when the hotel opened just over 15 years ago. Now, having spent many years overseas gaining widespread international experience, he has returned to the helm of The Glasshouse to re-open an elevated, contemporary restaurant.
TAG Catering Equipment UK
TAG Catering Equipment UK delivers design, installation and maintenance services across the foodservice industry. In operation since 1988, the company specialises in projects requiring individual bespoke solutions for hotels, restaurants and the public sector.
TAG Catering Equipment was recently involved with the renovation of The Glasshouse restaurant at The Grove Hotel. The company worked closely with the client and Martin Hulbert Design to develop a theatrical and immersive cooking experience, combining aesthetics, ergonomics and operations.
This included designing and supplying bespoke counters and cooking stations; creating a back of house kitchen, wash up area and service area with a new induction range and remote; and developing state-of-the-art refrigeration to run the extensive chilled display units in an extremely energy efficient way.
TAG has previously completed projects at The Dorchester, The Savoy and The Rosewood Hotel.
Project & Creative Director Tyron Stephen-Smith said:
“It was a fantastic project; the unique and bespoke design brief meant the majority of the requirements had never been done before, which made it a really interesting process from start to finish.
“Our client list has some of the most respected establishments in the UK, of which many have continued to be clients for over 30 years due to passion for the projects and our aftercare services.”