Bar and Block, Leamington Spa


Stage 4 Design of an intricate, compact, heritage and Listed building.

Designed to appeal to a younger demographic, Bar and Block is an “evolved and contemporary” version of Whitbread’s Beefeater brand. One of the first locations is Leamington Spa, next to an existing and expanding Premier Inn. It features contemporary interiors, the trademark open kitchen and copper feature bar and decorative finishing touches, such as the Bar + Block neon cow and wall calligraphy detailing the brand story.

The Challenge

The Premier Inn Hotel on the site had to be enlarged to 100 bedrooms. This involved extending into the Grade II listed former bank building next door. On the ground floor would be the new 148 cover Bar and Block restaurant. Whitbread invested £3.2 million into this conversion. Responsible for Stage 4 design, the challenge for us was to respect the heritage of a listed building and the intricate design and planning requirements of a very ‘tight’ and compact site. This was very much a one-off project requiring a ‘non-model’ design approach. Essentially there was simply no spare room which meant great attention to detail with internal and external plant. At all times we worked closely with the Conservation Officer to ensure his expectations were met without detriment to the overall scheme design.

The Outcome

Open for business from mid-November, the restaurant has already proved hugely popular. This is sure to be so for the newly refurbished hotel which was already a high occupancy success. Together they will have brought a disused historic building back in to productive use.