Botanical elegance for Gravetye’s new Michelin star restaurant


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Bold, inspiring, botanical elegance, – the recent work of London-based interior design studio, Nelson Design sits harmoniously within Gravetye Manor, a Grade II* listed 16th century country house hotel. With wall to ceiling glass windows allowing for uninterrupted views of the gardens, the interior of the new restaurant seamlessly links the contemporary with the historic. The interior scheme reflects both a modern elegance and the palette of the iconic gardens created by William Robinson in 1885.

The brief for the new Michelin star restaurant was to maximise these garden views for the majority of customers as well as blending the contemporary new build designed by the renowned Lead Architect, Sir Charles Knowles with the historic features of the country hotel.

Upon entry, the interior features a contemporary twist on a rustic oak table with a double ball base and bronze details, complimented by the natural chocolate limestone and soft-fume toned reclaimed Versailles parquet oak flooring. Blending elements of the garden into the interior was key. Nelson Design believed a collaboration between Gravetye and the renowned French artist, Claire Basler matched the brief perfectly. With her own unique style and inspired by the gardens at Gravetye, the walls of the new restaurant feature hand painted panels. These rotate to enable guests to see the botanic artwork as they enter the space as well as respecting the preservation of the historic elements with glimpses of the Elizabethan manor house walls, as they leave.

The main central pendant adds an element of light and airy modernity and is detailed with bronze, satin brass and has smoked opal shades. The dining furniture comprises of luxurious dining chairs upholstered in hand-picked shades of olive green velvet. The backs of the armchairs are covered in a custom-coloured linen fabric to reflect the tones from the garden and artwork with no details or comfort spared in both the fabrics and the style of the chair. The banquette seating provides both intimacy and flexibility within the space. The central banquette is upholstered in a crisp green and white chevron wool. The banquette upholstery flanking the walls is paired with a soft young olive green velvet and lifted with bright accent cushions in zesty limes, pinks, champagnes and cerise tones. The banquette seating is lit with hand carved lights made by expert craftspeople, each one being totally unique through natural variation in the Alabaster stone.

“It is a triumph !! … So it is with huge thanks to everyone who has been involved and we feel that we will have left a beautiful legacy for the future for people to enjoy and Gravetye will live on” – Elizabeth & Jeremy Hosking, Owners, Gravetye Manor.

“The new restaurant at Gravetye will certainly be unique and world class with an interior that is refreshingly different yet at ease with the fabric of this wonderful hotel and gardens; modern architecture to celebrate the new with the old, first-class service and a master Michelin star chef, George Blogg – what more do you need to delight the senses” – Claire Nelson, Nelson Design

Nelson Design Limited is a multi-faceted architectural interior design studio based in London specialising in high-end residential, corporate and hospitality projects throughout the UK and Europe.
We offer a high level of creativity to create distinctive and stunning spaces tailored to our clients’ needs. Our architectural interiors approach ensures visual interest and appropriate space planning preserves function. We push the boundaries of trends and design bespoke furniture. Our attention to detail is paramount.
Our diverse portfolio encompasses projects including Michelin-star restaurants, wine bars, restaurant chains, boutique hotels and high-end residential refurbishments. Working together with a team of specialists, top quality craftsmen and artisans, each project bears the hallmarks of being exceptionally designed.