Best Western hotel ditches ballroom for striking open kitchen

Best Western Beaumont Hotel Hexham kitchen

The new owners of a Best Western hotel in Northumberland have made their mark on the site by overhauling the catering operation, including the installation of a state-of-the-art open kitchen.

The Best Western Beaumont Hotel – a Victorian landmark in the heart of Hexham – has undertaken a major £150,000 six-month kitchen project designed to bring the foodservice offering to the forefront of the business.

Owners Roger and Magda Davy sanctioned the project after buying the 32-bed property last year. They previously ran a pub in Twickenham but seized the opportunity to take over the hotel last year having used it for family gatherings over the years.

The new kitchen was installed on the ground floor, to the rear of the hotel, in what was formerly the ballroom after the pair decided they wanted it to be visible to the public from the car park at the rear and open to the restaurant at the front.

One of the most important decisions was the cooking range, as it had to be heavy duty, but striking. The hotel went for a Waldorf Bold by Blue Seal with a polished industrial steel and dramatic vitreous enamel black finish.

It was manufactured to order in New Zealand with a 14-week lead in, and is the first Waldorf suite to be supplied to the north of England.

An up-to-date pastry section was also key to the kitchen design, in order to provide afternoon tea to the highest standard.

The pastry area now boasts Adande multi temperature drawers, a Thermomix and a Pacojet 2 restaurant system, allowing the chefs to micropuree fresh ingredients into ultra-light mousses, ice creams and sorbets.

Best Western Beaumont Hotel Hexham 2

A Meiko dishwasher system with a reverse osmosis function was specified in order to give quality and reliability when it came to warewashing, while the extract canopy, manufactured by RS Vent, not only had to look the part and be functional, but also had to be quiet, due to the open nature of the kitchen.

Williams’s refrigerated drawers were provided either side of the range for reliability and ease of access to ingredients during service.

The Davys were keen to have all the ductwork exposed on the kitchen ceiling as part of the kitchen visual, with the Waldorf polished steel and black enamel panels contrasting against the grey crackle ceramic wall tiles.

Crosbys Catering Equipment was contracted to lead the project and oversee the installation of the kitchen.

Mr Davy said: “We felt that the ballroom had fantastic potential to become a thriving open kitchen for a brasserie-style eatery, so it’s very satisfying to see our plans come to fruition. Crosbys brought our vision to life and the chefs are very happy with both the high quality of the equipment and the excellent look of the kitchen.”

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