Tableware for Claridge’s

Following L’enclume topping The Good Food Guide’s UK best restaurant list, with a full 10, we learnt that Simon Rogan had been appointed as Head Chef at Claridge’s Restaurant in London.

Over the previous few years we had developed a good relationship with Michelin chef Simon Rogan through the furniture and tableware we have produced for his award winning restaurant in Cartmel – L’enclume. Simon has developed a style that aligns with the ethos behind his unique food, where the ingredients are, largely, grown organically on his private farm. This connection to the natural environment is delivered through the whole dining experience at his restaurants, from the decor to the food itself and the way it is presented. It has been a privilege to be involved in maturing this style to one which is both natural and rustic but refined and of the highest quality.

Working closely with Simon Rogan and his food development team at Claridge’s we discussed various options for serving and presenting their very special food. At this point the dishes themselves were still in their early stages, although Simon and his team had a strong idea how the menu would be laid out and how each course should be presented for the optimum eating experience.

With plans drawn up, we started making prototypes of these designs that both we and their chefs could test and refine. With over 10 different designs, we evolved each element so that every course would be a delightful surprise. The process became an innovation of techniques to make sure the timber would look stunning, be food safe and withstand the years of use that it would need to stand up to.

We selected the finest timber from our wood store, some of which we had been keeping for over 30 years for such an occasion. This included rare English Walnut taken from the ‘V’ of the tree creating extraordinary figure, and knotty Burr Oak. Trees were sourced particularly for the project including a large ash tree used to make 40 bowls with natural bark edges.

With prototypes finished and designs finalised, there were to be over 200 items which would be handmade to cater for all the dining customers.

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Claridge’s Restaurant opens on the 8th of May. Come back then to see the full story.

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