The Chop House, Cambridge
Located in the heart of the historic city of Cambridge, Chop House’s first restaurant prides itself on a no nonsense but well presented approach to dining. Its cuisine focuses on British classics and it boasts a rather extensive and somewhat unique selection of wines as well as the best of British ales and ciders.
Set in inspiring surroundings visible from the street level dining area, this part of the the premises was however of limited capacity when compared with the potential of the spacious basement below. Accommodation in the latter had to be maximised without making it feel cramped and unappealing so customers venturing downstairs would be presented with a well thought out dining area offering a convivial atmosphere.
Sumptuous half diamond deep button back seating in a rich burgundy leather was selected, complementing the feeling of historic academia conveyed by the old university colleges surrounding the new restaurant.
On the ground floor level Craftwood fitted a straight run banquette (above) together with an L-shaped banquette at the back of the restaurant leaving the intervening floor space available for free standing tables and chairs as desired.
Downstairs the basement featured a main dining area in which Craftwood installed a long banquette. Throughout the oak veneer capping featured had to be stained onsite to match the antique-style turned wooden legs of the seating.
Additionally the basement was also divided into “caves”, in fact old arched cellar spaces. Banquettes had to be carefully designed and fitted to take into account the awkward geometry of these “caves”. In order to optimise seating space yet avoid producing a cramped feeling it was decided the banquette seating should fit along the walls and into corners regardless of the angles involved – for example, one “cave” had the plan of an irregular rhomboid with bizarrely angled walls – a challenge for any designer and seating manufacturer. Furthermore there was a particular problem with the uneven wall surfaces. It required Craftwood to fit extended top rails with foam backing along the lengths of the banquettes to seal any gaps.
The Chop House Cambridge restaurant regularly gets five star reviews from visitors for both its food and its surroundings. Its basement is spacious with a review on TripAdvisor particularly noting how well thought out the seating was. Such attention to layout and design adds to a dining experience. “Atmospheric” and “warm” are adjectives routinely associated with the venue, which is largely down to the interior design team…and of course Craftwood.