BLOK Restaurant at Lanelay Hall

SpaceInvader redesigned and rebranded BLOK Restaurant at Lanelay Hall in Pontyclun, Wales, creating a vibrant dining space with a botanical theme, including an open kitchen, modular booth area, and glass showcases.

  • area / size 1,442 sqft
  • Year 2024
  • Type Restaurant,
  • SpaceInvader has completed the transformation of a formerly under-used restaurant at luxury boutique hotel and spa Lanelay Hall in South Wales, creating in its place a vibrant, exciting, new offer, offering a fine dining menu based on seasonal British produce.

    The restaurant has been re-branded as BLOK and features a new interior with an open, theatrical kitchen and a rich, textured and layered treatment. Stand-out features include a new, modular, central booth area and a botanical theme including generous indoor planting and a warm and natural palette. The restaurant also boasts an upgraded and exclusive private dining space and two new, full-height glass showcases displaying wine and curing / ageing meats.

    The existing hotel restaurant space was looking a little tired when SpaceInvader first came on board. It had old-fashioned and formal furniture, which, combined with its feeling of spaciousness and very high ceilings, wasn’t attracting diners looking to experience an intimate environment.

    The brief was clear: to transform the 134 sq m restaurant completely, with a new menu at the heart of the new vision. The new concept needed to make better use of the space and create visual interest through scale, texture, fabrics and lighting to ensure a new sense of intimacy for diners. The brief also covered the restaurant’s private dining area, which needed to attract special occasion diners, but also offer some flexibility to the hotel’s owners to allow overflow from the main restaurant space in particularly busy periods.

    The restaurant featured listed 3m-high, Georgian oak panelling throughout, so the designers considered how to transform and elevate the space into a more memorable, contemporary and dynamic offer, working with and not against this beautiful expanse of wood. The restaurant’s beautiful period ceiling with its fantastically-detailed feature cornicing was retained and enhanced, repainted in a warm cream, with wallpaper used above the walls and for border areas where the wall isn’t panelled. New flooring throughout is a herringbone timber LVT to maintain the heritage feel and work with the timber panelling. New fabrics include solid-colour ribbed fabrics which follow a linear theme, referencing the Georgian period.

    Two major moves helped ground the transition from old to new. The first was the design of a central, modular, 16-seater booth area at the heart of the main restaurant to create visual interest, break up the identical rows of tables and create that much-needed feeling of intimacy. The new booth area also permitted a new overall spatial arrangement, which boosted available seating from 48 to 60 covers.

    A second major intervention is the new glazed areas for wine display and a meat-ageing fridge in the private dining area. Guests can also see the wine display element from the restaurant exterior, allowing inviting glimpses through into the space beyond. Views into the ‘theatre kitchen’, just beyond the private dining room, have also been maximised by the incorporation of new tiling in a deep bottle green / charcoal colour, pulling the eye through.

    Design: SpaceInvader
    Contractor: Dawnvale
    Photography: courtesy of Lanelay Hall