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With the Gilpin Hotel’s amazing ‘Hrishi’ dining experience having recently gained its first Michelin star, our design brief for the new sister ‘Gilpin Spice’ was to create an upmarket casual restaurant with the emphasis on it being ‘comfortable, simple and stylish’. Inspired by the heritage of Cumbria’s historic links with the spice trade, the Cunliffes were keen to ensure that both their menu and the interiors captured the essence of ‘spice’ - and so Sarah set out through her designs to create a virtual journey following the old silk road from the Lakes through to the Far East. The final result is a veritable feast for the eyes, taking the diner on a visual trip through different themed zones, leading them through from the ancient Cumbrian port of Whitehaven where the East/West trail began, to India and then on to China, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Hard finishes such as flagstone floors, cement render and natural stone specified throughout the project represent the ruggedness of the Lake District - whilst a melting pot of striking, vivid colours, lush sumptuous textures and clever lighting immediately evoke the exotic influences so synonymous with the Eastern spice trade.
The venue options leave the guest spoilt for choice. Choose from India, a private area for up to 12 people, which comes complete with its own large cinema screen and a long table for exclusive dining or business meetings; China provides a contemporary take on the traditional Chinese restaurant with a colour palette of rich deep reds oozing glamour and opulence, with modern furnishings and dressings adding a modern aesthetic; and then on into the main ‘hub’ where drama takes centre stage in an open-kitchen design where Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam all meet in a busy, bustling theatre of entertainment. All of course complemented by generous lashings of spice.
We are thrilled that the project is receiving very positive reviews and Sarah says, “We have worked with the Gilpin Hotel over the years on some amazing projects and we are delighted that the energy and thought we have put into the latest commission Gilpin Spice has resulted in such a beautiful suite of spaces. All in all, the finished result provides a comforting experience for diners who can choose either to relax in quieter areas or position themselves at the heart of the theatre at the end of the trail. Food and decor work as one. Combining the ruggedness of the Lake District with the softer exoticism of the East may not seem an obvious marriage of design themes. But here, East meets West really works. Gilpin Spice is unique, inspirational and open to all.”
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