Set in the North Devon countryside, Highbullen Hotel Golf and Country Club appointed Park Grove Design to re-invent the interiors to The Devon View restaurant. The brief was to re-instate character and interior personality into dated and unwelcoming dining spaces. A key aspect of the interior design was to address the lack of architectural detail and to break up large areas to create an intimate dining experience. It was essential that the interiors worked for morning breakfast as well as fine dining in the evening.
As the name of the restaurant suggests, the dining room boasts stunning views across the landscapes of Exmoor and Dartmoor. The country estate context of the restaurant and the Arts and Crafts roots of the building inspired the colour palette and finishes. Earthy colours are given a contemporary twist when combined with vibrant teals and gold finishes. Custom designed joinery panels were installed to create elements of architectural interest, while existing narrow pillars were re-worked to create a sense of rhythm. Shallow ceiling coffers were formed on the vast low ceilings to break up and define the spaces. This zoning was reflected on the floor by custom-designed feature carpeting which directs the guests’ attention toward the magnificent view.
Joinery elements, ceiling detail and feature flooring informed the furniture layout. Large round tables and low hung chandeliers were positioned in central areas, with smaller tables placed around the perimeter of the room and directed toward the views beyond. Sliding paneled doors between the main and private dining rooms allow for versatility for events such as weddings and private functions which can be held without disrupting the normal service.
A key aspect of the project was to create a sense of arrival for guests upon entry to the restaurant. New joinery panels allow the view to be unveiled as guests travel into the space. Guests are welcomed by a feature textured glass panel with the restaurant’s name back-lit by either natural daylight or incandescent lighting at night. Arts and Crafts styled joinery panels with quirky twig wall lights frame the stairs leading down to the main dining space where the floor finish changes to carpet. The breakfast buffet area is served by the practical wood floor, while acoustics are improved in the dining area by the custom carpet design of weaving branches which leads the eye towards the bay window and the views beyond. Simple window treatments in natural linen fabrics frame the country landscape.
The design and refurbishment creates destination dining and feeds into a sophisticated new identity for the hotel. The dining rooms were transformed from unwelcoming spaces to atmospheric, unique interiors which relate to and enhance the context of the hotel. The guest dining experience has been enriched as a result and evidenced by the many on-line guest comments specifically related to these spaces.