Situated in a UNESCO World Heritage site, The Pavilion Bar & Grill enhances the visitor experience to the gardens whilst offering alfresco dining. Surrounded by mature vines and trees, the single level pavilion nestles into the surrounding landscape, reflecting the seasonal changes and blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors to form a fluid, continuous space within its historical context.
The inspiration for the scheme came from Kew’s vision to underline the importance of plants as food, and to continue the onsite tradition of unique dining. This was originally established by the original Tea Pavilion on the same site that was famously burned to the ground by suffragettes Olive Wharry and Lilian Lenton in February 1913. Today, diners can choose from a range of meals which are prepared using ingredients grown and foraged at Kew, which links the dining experience with Kew’s worldwide mission to educate on ‘why plants matter’.
The minimalist black steel framing that wraps the pavilion, along with the striking grid lighting design, provides a clean backdrop to the interior and references the restaurant’s proximity to the Chinese Pagoda and Japanese Tea House. A simple palette of natural materials extend throughout the space, including patinated metal, concrete and timber. The open kitchen with a wrapping perch bar has been designed to allow visitors to experience the live ‘theatre’ of food preparation and feel truly involved with the dining experience. Bespoke joinery offers a retail space within the restaurant, with simple forms and a continuation of the natural material palette creating an understated approach.