Project name: Victorian Terrace at The Grand
Category: Restaurant Within a Hotel
Location: Brighton, UK
Date completed: May 2016
Interior designer: Park Grove Design
Architect: Park Grove Design
Hotel Group: Kew Green

A completely new concept design for this iconic hotel. A unique blend of contemporary furnishings in a dynamic Victorian palette. The Grand Brighton was an English Heritage Victorian masterpiece in need of an aesthetic uplift with operational criteria. Park Grove’s research revealed that the pre-cursor to the Crystal Palace, the world’s most famous conservatory, was built on the adjacent seafront when the hotel was also under construction. Using this theme a mural focal point creates a backdrop for elegant dining even when the sea view is obscured by weather. Contemporary furnishings including bespoke upholstered pieces and hand blown light fittings have been realised in a strong Victorian palette appropriate to the architecture, but offering a twist!

The conservatory theme carries into the Grand Lobby which can be seen through glazed joinery and where a full height preserved tree has been installed. Preserved quality plantings are dotted throughout the space, many of which have been embedded into large shells to carry the seaside conservatory theme through out the space. This work was timed to coincide with new air-conditioning installations and new joinery under the windows hides this equipment. Carrying on from these changes the flooring has been re-laid, and stained and polished to a neutral driftwood colour. A flow-over area carries the furnishings through to a nearby lounge space where fabric-embedded glass screens allow natural daylight to penetrate further into the hotel while creating privacy for diners.

An elegant large-scale wallpaper balances the hotel’s ornate ceiling mouldings. For additional interest a lit cabinet in a bronze finish houses an ever-changing display of sculpture from Brighton’s vibrant artistic community. Since completion the hotel’s teas, in particular, have risen from one to three fully-booked seatings a day and the number of covers has doubled. The mural always elicits positive comments and guests keep trying to buy the comfortable and stain-proof velvet chairs from the hotel. This design works because it bridges contemporary requirements for comfort and flexibility in seating arrangements with historical references.