The International Hotel and Property Awards 2019 – The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds


29th May 2019

By richard


We are delighted to discover that The Angel Hotel, in Bury St Edmunds, part of the Gough Hotel Group has been shortlisted for the International Hotel and Property Awards 2019.

Gough hotels gave us the brief to ‘modernise the Lounge, Bar and Restaurant and develop a fresh brand identity while being sympathetic to its heritage’.

The hotel has an iconic location within the market town and is famed for its association with writer Charles Dickens, who stayed there three times in the 19th century, referencing the hotel, then a ‘Coaching House’, in his book ‘The Pickwick Papers’. Taking inspiration from this heritage, and that of is impressive Georgian ivy-clad architecture, supported by further local research, we created a concept underpinned by a brand essence of ‘fables and tales’ — this being the foundation for creative descions made throughout the process of all brand, graphic touchpoints and interior design, so much so to include the audio experience and menu creation.

It was imperative to modernise the feel and use of the ground-floor space, in particular by integrating the Bar and Restuarant so that it can work as one hybrid area (reflective of today’s guest and hospitality demands), yet retain some of its ‘old charm’. By using traditional materials, sourcing authentic vintage pieces, and creating bespoke furniture, we have delivered a contemporary solution that has the warmth and soul of “welcome home”, with a sense of tradition and consideration. The light Oakwood floors were replaced with a custom-made flooring created from five tones of fumed oak, which gives the appearance of an ‘original’ floor, and the bar itself is an antique, Jewellery retail-counter, which elevated further incorporating a bronze bar-top. The redesign of the space allows for a new chapter, without disregarding the story behind a place with such heritage.

Small nods throughout the design keep this history at the forefront of one’s mind. Ink blue walls give a cue to the literary heritage, whilst the bespoke lighting fixture in the Restaurant uses handmade porcelain feathers, creating a statement and connection to ‘angel’ connotations. To the side of the bar, the Snug is guarded by a white bear head, as a subtle nod to the White Bear Inn, which had been one of three inns that used to be on the grounds. The small clues littered throughout the creative redesign provide guests and staff alike another reason to engage — providing that additional knowledge and narrative to staff is a key from us at Harrison. We want guests to not only enjoy the space but engage with it.