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Inside Heston Blumenthal’s Historic Hind’s Head – Revealing Its Latest Evolution
The latest evolution of the interiors of Bray’s historic The Hind’s Head, presents a whimsical and playful new design concept by Steven Saunders of Fabled Studios in London.
Encapsulating the building’s unique history with eccentric references to its origins as a hunting lodge and coaching inn, this mischievous reincarnation provides a dramatic backdrop to celebrate the consummate, eclectic British cooking style that The Hind’s Head has become known for since Heston Blumenthal took it over in 2004.
Entering from High Street, the ground floor space has been remodelled to create a more cosy and cossetted dining area.
The West Room swathed in hand-carved oak wall panelling, reclaimed timber flooring with oxblood leather banquettes and low-level lighting will resonate with the original Grade II listed building’s existing finishes, antique beams and open fireplaces. A statement silver leaf mirror has been customised to incorporate an églomisé illustration of The Hind’s Head logo and the recipe for Quaking Pudding – one of Heston’s historically inspired dishes. The room will also house the restaurant’s own private cellar, with an expanded wine collection tantalisingly displayed behind a large glass picture wall.
Venturing upstairs, guests are invited to explore The Royal Lounge.
Now with its own dedicated cocktail bar, the space is an opulent, handsome retreat filled with a mix of antique and custom-designed sofas and armchairs, Afghan rugs, chandeliers created from English blunderbusses and table lighting made from old copper heat lamps, meat mincers and antique books.
A 3D printed Cockentrice trophy will adorn the wall and an imaginary tale of the chefs setting out to hunt the beast is printed onto the room’s Toile de Jouy drapery. For this Steven Saunders commissioned the illustrator Dave McKean, who has worked with Heston on many projects including his books and other restaurants. With a rich green paint palette extending into the vaulted beamed ceiling, the space will exude the ambiance of a private members club, crossed with a fantastical hunting lodge providing a truly atmospheric room to relax and enjoy.
The dramatic redesign of the existing Private Dining Room, The Vicar’s Room, has been inspired by the building’s historic association with Simon Aleyn, the infamous Vicar of Bray – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vicar_of_Bray.
Seating up to 20 guests, the room’s centrepiece is a bespoke, five metre long, banqueting table, hewn from a single piece of oak and inscribed with wording taken from the chorus of a song recorded in the 1950’s, “And this be law, that I’ll maintain until my dying day, sir That whatsoever king may reign, Still I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, sir”.
The lyrics echo the ever-changing, religious allegiances of the Vicar and that tongue-in-cheek reference has been extended further into two commissioned chandeliers that have a wire portrait of the reigning monarchs during Aleyn’s career, Queens Elizabeth I (Protestant) and Mary I (Catholic). With the addition of studded leather, carved wood seating, a rich red paint palette and wall lights figured from bronze hands holding each bulb, the room delivers a truly unique setting to celebrate any private occasion.
The Hind’s Head offers a choice of 3, 4 and 6 course menus that will change and evolve on a monthly basis, celebrating British cooking and consummate eclectic style that it has become known for over the past 11 years.
This latest chapter promises to deliver a truly unique guest experience in one of Britain’s most quintessentially English villages.
For further details on dining at the Hind’s Head click here
Note: Club benefits not currently offered
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