UK collab Absolutely creates pop-up socially distanced restaurant

Cornwall’s St Moritz Hotel & Spa launched the project in four weeks

In just four weeks a hotel in the UK has created a socially distanced dining experience.

Cornwall’s St Moritz Hotel & Spa decided the launch the 96 cover restaurant, nicknamed 'The Anti-Social Club,' after the regulations introduced by the British government meant restaurants could operate at only 30 per cent capacity and with social distancing measures in place.

With the hotel's accommodation full for the popular summer months, the hotel's owners needed to come up with a way of allowing all their guests the option of eating out safely.

The brainchild of the hotel’s founders Hugh and Steve Ridgway, the concept was created through a collaboration between Absolute and Excess Energy Communications.

Design and interior styling was led by Absolute’s Creative Director Helen Stephens and takes its inspiration from the clean, white art deco architecture of the hotel on England’s rugged southwestern tip, mixing in a modern and refreshing Miami colour-pop palette with classic coastal stripes, textures and flourishes.

Proving that safe doesn't need to mean boring, inside the pop-up the Absolute interiors team have mixed palm-inspired pot plants on slick white or vintage dressers, hat stands sporting ribbon bedecked Panamas, shell chandeliers and a mix of retro and art deco-inspired mirrors.

The new dining project consists of 16 private dining rooms, with a maximum of 96 covers.  Mixing the elements of private members' clubs, private dining rooms, cool beach clubs and summer pop-up restaurants, The Anti-Social Club features a choice of dining times; all guests enter by their own private door, and shared platters are served from a series of central hatches to ensure the safety of both staff and diners.

St Moritz Hotel & Spa co-owner Hugh Ridgway says: “COVID-19 stopped the industry in its tracks. Like all hotels, bars and restaurants across the globe, the virus has hit our business like an unbelievable sledgehammer.

"However, as ever, we have dusted ourselves off, collaborated with our long-term creative partners Absolute and Excess Energy Communications, and have risen to this unpredictable challenge in our own creative, St Moritz way. We have been working with ‘Absolute Excess’ since the hotel was born and, as ever, they brought their collaborative creativity to our idea, and took it all to a whole new level.”

Absolute’s creative director Helen Stephens says: “Working on this project during lockdown was obviously challenging and the four-week timescale, from the birth of the idea to full media launch and operation was tight, to say the least.

"Thanks to numerous Zoom sessions, online presentations and our mutual dynamic and fast turnaround collaborative attitude with Excess Energy, we rose to the challenge, working quickly to ensure everything was in place to design the interiors, furnish it and complete the unique new experience. "

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