River Cottage Canteen, Abbey Mill

The works have transformed this listed historical mill building from a disused office space into a large open plan restaurant for the well-known television chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The spaces in the existing building were in bad condition with damp problems and structural issues. The previous arrangement of the building was disjointed and restrictive, making new uses for the building difficult. Careful negotiation was required with the planners and conservation officers over the extensive repairs and alterations.

The project opens up the interior space to make a double height area with a new glass and steel stair. This design decision improves the legibility of the restaurant’s layout, and forms an impressive entrance. Industrial detailing throughout, including exposed steel and brickwork, creates an attractive setting and an open kitchen provides intrigue and theatre for diners. Kitchen facilities and ancillary spaces are contained within the existing west wing, with a newly built stair core and rear entrance in the courtyard.