NEW MILTON, ENGLAND – For Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, an award-winning five-star luxury hotel, it was important that the design and material of its attached restaurant and cookery school reflect the grandeur of the country house.
The newly built open-plan space designed by Terence O’Rourke in collaboration with The Big Kitchen Company sets the stage for enjoying food, learning about food, and enjoying learning about food. And this gastronomic stage deserved Neolith® by TheSize.
At The Kitchen, counter tops and work surfaces come into regular contact with sharp knives and hot metal – so the chosen material had to be scratch resistant and able to withstand high temperatures. This is the first requirement of any product in the world of kitchen furnishings, but Neolith® slabs distinguished themselves with the wide selection of colours and sizes. The availability of 12 mm Neolith® slabs in large, long formats including 3,200 x 1,600 mm proved to be a decisive factor in the specification of the commercial kitchen surfaces. Meanwhile, Neolith® slabs in Basalt Grey Silk were applied to the worktops, upstands, splashbacks, shelving areas and cabinetry.
With classes overseen by TV chef James Martin, The Kitchen cookery school is open to members of the public to pick up new culinary knowledge and skills. Sam Hughes, senior designer at The Big Kitchen Company comments: ‘With two students per island, the large slabs offered sufficient width to fit in all the required appliances whilst leaving an appropriate sized workspace.’
‘The larger slabs also provided the aesthetic advantage of minimizing the number of visible joints, thus contributing to a more seamless and streamlined kitchen design.’ In addition, the design of integrated sinks and hobs required bespoke cuts of the 12 mm slabs, as well as for the shelving areas – a service TheSize was able to offer and fulfil.
The team working on the project, which included the managing director of Chewton Glen, selected grey as a colour due to its universal application. Grey is popular in the commercial kitchen sector and fashionable in contemporary residential kitchens for the ease with which it complements both bright tones and neutral colour schemes.
Hughes continues, ‘As a designer, while décor options and sustainability play a significant factor in the surfacing selected, it is also imperative that the material can meet the professional demands of a project. In the instance of The Kitchen, Neolith®’s capacity to withstand high temperatures and resist stains, cuts and marks as well as the bespoke sizing options offered by TheSize make it ideal for the commercial setting.’