The Greenhouse, the award winning restaurant at the five star Relais & Chateaux hotel, The Cellars-Hohenort has been given a beautiful new home, with a new look and exciting new menu.
The talented design team of Hotcocoa who, in the past, has been involved in the design of all the restaurants and bars within The Collection by Liz McGrath, took on this new project with great enthusiasm. They have created the perfect space for The Greenhouse, now an intimate 45 seater fine dining restaurant, offering one of the best tasting menus in South Africa.
"When Liz McGrath asked us to design the new Greenhouse Restaurant in the 100 year old Hohenort building, we knew we had to approach it quite differently from any other of the projects we had done for her. This space, previously occupied by the Cape Malay Restaurant, was difficult - made up of 3 small rooms with awkward half openings between them. In addition, Liz wanted to add a greenhouse to the outside of the building on the front balcony" says Dawn Dickerson.
Architect David Misplon was brought in to design a simple Victorian
greenhouse - lots of glass & white timber work. He used the existing cottage pane doors and added cottage pane windows with sheets of glass to create a perfectly proportioned, yet simple greenhouse. The result has totally transformed the space. It is a triumph, linking the restaurant to the garden and the Steenberg Mountains across the valley. Sitting in the greenhouse section, with the glass ceiling, is magical!!
"The lighting called for a different approach and I wanted to create warm pools of moody light; firstly from a series of simple metal standing lamps. The repetition creating rhythm, a graphic element and more importantly linking the 4 different spaces together. We then added recessed double down light fittings that we had specially made. These lights give accent to the plants, feature wall paper and tables. A simple and subtle way of showing off the star attraction - the food. These two lighting elements combine to create exactly the warm, moody and sensual feeling that I was looking for. The restaurant is just beautiful in the evening" adds Dawn
Always a challenge in a restaurant is how to create warmth, yet still to use practical finishes and most importantly to keep the noise level down, as hard surfaces often make this a difficult issue to solve. "We proposed using the new Cork Tiles and Liz McGrath understood what we were doing immediately & bravely agreed. The tiles are a limed, soft, warm white. They are also soft underfoot, quiet and beautiful visually" says Dawn.
The beautifully simple and graphic traditional Sanderson Fern print
wallpaper and fabric was chosen playing with different colour ways, taupe and black wallpaper and the green fern on the backs of chairs. Wonderfully curved shield back chairs, sensuous curved love seats in charcoal and stone grey pull the interior colours and mood together. The final layering accentuates the Greenhouse theme with ferns, luscious orchids and the classic element of stone urns and artifacts.
Award winning chef Peter Tempelhoff, Executive chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath, has had to create a very special menu for this very special space and as a result sees the introduction of Peter's new conceptual cuisine. Over the past few months, this Top 10 kitchen team have been hard at work developing an 'Imagination' tasting menu, where every dish is a surprise. Dishes such as 'Winter Forage' and 'Shellfish on a Beach' will leave you guessing until they arrive at the table. A freshly polished service team at Liz McGrath's flagship restaurant will make this a very special dining experience!
"I absolutely adore this new space. I love the sophistication, the textures, the lighting, just everything!" adds Liz McGrath. "Simple understated elegance with lots of references to past classical styles, but done in a thoroughly modern way. This is definitely a space you will want to stay and linger over the extra-ordinary food of Peter Tempelhoff"