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Date: Fri 10th August 2018

KCCJ Project: Sopwell House Hotel (AB Hotels)

KCCJ return to Sopwell House this week to commence with the refurbishment of their Brasserie Kitchen within the main hotel building. KCCJ are providing a full turnkey covering all aspects of the project from initial designs to handover. Works include: strip out, new constructions to create an infrastructure for the new kitchen, electrical and mechanical services, supply delivery and installation of the food service fabricated items and equipment, ventilation extract and modifications to the cold room.

Sopwell House, a Pride of Britain Hotel, is known for being one of the best independently owned luxury hotels and spas around Britain. Nestled deep within the rolling Hertfordshire hills sits Sopwell House, an enchanting country estate located in the picturesque city of St Albans. The dazzling white 18th Century Georgian manor house, surrounded by acres of charming countryside, stands proudly at the end of a meandering driveway lined with blossom trees.

The Brasserie

For more informal dining, The Brasserie offers an elegant open-plan dining space decorated with an abundance of natural light, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling glass frontage. The Brasserie serves all-day dining with a buffet luncheon and an a la Carte menu in the evening fusing British and Mediterranean cuisine.

The Restaurant

For an award-winning fine dining experience, the two AA Rosette restaurant marries British and European cuisine to achieve an eclectic menu offering.

In 2016, KCCJ's brief was to design a new kitchen for the restaurant that met the hotels operational requirement, and then develop the design to include a new infrastructure.

After developing the design and taking the relevant advice from structural and drainage engineers KCCJ began the process of demolishing the interior fabric and removing walls before rebuilding the kitchen from the ground up including new floors, walls, ceilings and water, waste and electrical services. Only then could they set about installing the new kitchen.

As with any fine dining restaurant what matters most is the food on the plate, and so the key to the kitchen design at Sopwell House was making it as easy as possible for the chefs to deliver. This meant designing dedicated areas for prep, pastry, cooking and wash-up that were not only cutting edge, but wherever possible flexible enough to not need updating for five, 10, maybe even 15 years. For example, a link was made between the front of house area and the patisserie section, which never existed before, and KCCJ even created an area that didn’t require any staff to enter the body of the kitchen unless they were actually producing hot food.

Sustainability was also a key requirement so out went the gas-guzzling ranges and in came modern, energy efficient induction units, planchas and multi-function cooking appliances. Other improvements included a new ventilation system with modified fans for both extract and make-up air, new coldrooms, refrigeration, blast chillers, combi ovens and cooking equipment from leading manufacturers such as Valentine, Lincat, Falcon and Frima.






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