CDG transforms dining experience at Surrey school

Commercial kitchen and restaurant design company, Catering Design Group (CDG), has completed an ambitious design project at All Hallows School, a comprehensive school and Sixth Form College in Farnham, Surrey.

Following a competitive tender process, All Hallows School awarded the £380k contract to CDG who provided a full interior design consultancy and project fit-out.

The brief was to transform the school’s existing kitchen space, servery and dining area into a vibrant, contemporary facility to reflect the school’s ethos and quality standards.

Caroline Antrobus, Bursar, said, “This latest investment supports our vision of providing a whole school experience for our students. We wanted a truly beautiful space for our students to give them somewhere that is a genuine break from studying so that they can eat in a relaxing and sociable environment.

“I love that all of the spaces are so different from each other, but still work together as a whole. It is transformational, and I hope that this is a space the students will want to come and spend time in with each other and enjoy it for many years to come.”

Phil Howard, founder and managing director of Daventry-based CDG, said, “It was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic and supportive client who loved our website, our approach and the innovation we demonstrated throughout the design process.”

The project was not without its challenges, as Howard explained, “The original servery and seating areas were split on multiple levels. Ramps located between the levels created an awkward and restricted space so one of our main challenges was how to work with the space to give maximum usable footprint. A key element of our design was to even out the floor level where appropriate to maximise the potential of the space.”

Re-designing floor levels and stripping out unnecessary columns and beams improved the ambience and created a more streamlined backdrop for key design elements including a bespoke ‘honeycomb’ lighting feature to add interest and impact.

When it came to the kitchen fit-out, CDG drew on its proven design experience to upgrade the facility to meet the needs of the busy on-site catering team. Existing equipment and services were out-dated and the kitchen area was uncomfortable to work in and difficult to keep clean.

Introducing modern cooking equipment including Rational Vario Cooking Centres has improved cooking methods, increased efficiency and provided maximum flexibility to vary the menu offer.

Howard said, “As in any commercial kitchen, a school kitchen brigade has to work under pressure so a kitchen design has to work ergonomically at every level to support the service.

“All Hallows School now has a stunning new space where students and staff can eat and mingle. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but it works on a practical level also, from the smart working kitchen to the smooth flow during service. We are thrilled that our shared vision for this space has been so well-received by everyone at the school.”