The Berkeley Bar & Terrace
A landmark five star hotel, The Berkeley in Knightsbridge is showcasing an elegant new addition, with the opening of The Berkeley Bar & Terrace.
This is the second bar at the hotel, joining the legendary Blue Bar which opened in 2000.
With a rich design story conceived by Irish interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan, key features of The Berkeley Bar key include a half-moon marble bar, a central fireplace and a hideaway Snug. Fit out contractors for the project were Piperhill Construction.
Bryan O’Sullivan commented: “This was our first project for this client, who is passionate about design but also very open to push the boundaries. He wanted a contemporary ambience but left the detailed look and feel of the space to us.
“We put a lot of time and effort into the initial concept, including researching the Grenadier Guards, whose stables were originally located on the Wilton Place grounds where the hotel was built. From this we evolved some Brutalist-inspired elements as key features.”
He added that the main challenge of the design was utilising every centimetre of the relatively small space with which the design team had to work. For example, the bar layout has been ergonomically created to ensure that the barmen are able to work with maximum efficiency.
Brutalist-style arch forms that run through the bar reference the new home of the Grenadiers. The central material in the design story is an exquisite walnut wood. Taken from a 300-year-old tree felled from the Fulbeck Estate, Lincolnshire in the great storm of 2007, the grain is extraordinarily complex and beautiful.
The delicate finish of the timber brings out the depth and intricacy of the figuring, the panels of which are used throughout the bar to cocoon the whole space, whilst a colour palette of soft corals, creams and pinks offset its richness.
The story of the tree and the Fulbeck Estate has also been romantically depicted by the most expert craftsman in a plasterwork frieze which runs above the wood panels – another example of the artisanal touches in the bar. Even certain elements of the bespoke furniture such as the legs, are made from this same tree.
One of the highlights of the design included turning a former storage room into a cosy snug.
The Snug has been designed for more secluded occasions, set away from the main bar and seating up to nine guests. It features a spectacular mural, painted by New York-based artist TM Davy, in a concept developed together with Bryan O’Sullivan.
Davy was inspired by original snug spaces in public houses, usually reserved for women and their secret discussions, when men and women did not mix socially.
The mural depicts gazing female faces with mysterious and knowing expressions, all connected with rhythmic lines to portray the connection and trusted relationships between them. With its own sound system and call-for-service button, The Snug provides visitors with their own bespoke space.
The bar opens out onto an intimate terrace of only four tables, overlooking the neighbouring St Paul’s Church.
The Berkeley Bar & Terrace, is a destination for wine connoisseurs and guests looking for expert, intuitive service. Exquisite wine – spanning a wide range of grape varieties and countries – plus exclusive champagne, whisky, cognac, rums and more make up the menu, from both under the radar producers such as Japanese whisky maker Ichiro, tequila producer Fortaleza, rum maker Trois Rivières and notable names such as Sassicaia and Macallan.
The menu includes small plates with dishes such as Cornish crab and lobster beignets, Iberico ham toast with manchego, apricot and salsa verde, and camembert chicken tulips, alongside classic caviar and oyster dishes. The bar is also home to an edit of fine cigars.
Bryan O’Sullivan concluded: “I was honoured to have been asked to create this very special space for The Berkeley, famous for creating iconic bars. The rich history of the building provided a springboard of inspiration for what we hope is a timeless yet contemporary new addition to this London landmark.
“This was a super-important project for us and we knew that we had to get it right – particularly as this was our first project for this client and such a prestigious establishment.
Rainey & Best LLP
Established in 1958, Rainey & Best LLP specialises in professional consultancy services in Quantity Surveying, Construction Project Management, FF&E Project Management and Construction Contract Consultancy.
Rainey & Best has amassed extensive experience through the successful delivery of projects in both the public and private sectors. The company has a diverse client and project portfolio. Recent and ongoing projects include Chateau La Coste Hotel and Spa, France; Davies and Brook Restaurant, London; Nathalie Deli, London; and the redevelopment of Claridge’s Hotel, London.
Recently, Rainey & Best provided construction project management, quantity surveying and FF&E project management for the creation of The Berkeley Bar & Terrace.
Mark Allen, Rainey & Best, commented:
“We are delighted to have been involved as part of the overall project team in delivering a uniquely beautiful new bar and terrace space to the iconic Berkeley Hotel, London. There were a number of challenges to overcome but we, alongside the other team members, worked tirelessly to deliver the project within programme and to the exceptionally high standard of quality required whilst also maximising value for the Client.
“As a company we take pride in providing our clients with a highly professional service that delivers high-quality projects in a value driven manner.”
To find out more, please visit www.raineybest.com.
Founded in 1999 by brothers Ben and Sebastian de Groot, Ben Whistler specialises in high-end bespoke furniture manufacturing.
Ben Whistler is responsible for the exceptional quality furniture specified by some of the world’s most respected interior designers. From one-off pieces for a private residence to multiple items for hotels and restaurants, the company has built a reputation on craftsmanship, quality and detail.
Drawing on decades of experience, Ben Whistler is able to build strong relationships with clients and offer trusted advice.
For the Berkeley Bar & Terrace, Ben Whistler supplied many pieces of upholstered furniture, from the pumpkin-like stools to the wingback armchairs, as well as the curvy banquette seating in the pink snug.
The company has previously supplied furniture to a number of high-profile hotels such as Claridge’s, The Berkeley, The Savoy, The Connaught and The Mandrake Hotel.
A spokesperson for Ben Whistler commented:
“It means a lot to have the privilege of showcasing our craftsmanship in some of the most beautiful Hotels around the world.
“As a company we take pride in our commitment to providing an excellent service that matches the outstanding quality in the furniture we manufacture.”