LUCY ROBINSON, GODDARD LITTLEFAIR ASSOCIATE
Can Faik gets personal in a 5-minutes-with interview with Goddard Littlefair Associate, Lucy Robinson…
Tell me about your role at Goddard Littlefair
I am one of five associates at Goddard Littlefair and my special area of focus is restaurant and bar design. As a company, Goddard Littlefair works across the board in hospitality and developer residential, offering architecture, interiors, procurement, FF&E and styling. This year we are about to launch ‘Epicurean’, an exciting new offer exclusively devoted to F&B design. We already have a dedicated team of designers in place, who can offer clients thoughtful, versatile and holistic design solutions that work both aesthetically and operationally.
What projects are you currently working on?
The ‘Epicurean’ team already has projects underway in Copenhagen, Jersey, Scotland, Vienna, Warsaw and Malta. All have very differing food and drink offers, giving us lots of exciting variety. We are also pitching for jobs as ‘Epicurean’ to make sure the brand has a fantastic flying start!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Being able to work in London in a career I also call my hobby. I’m very lucky also to be in a studio which is like a family and it’s an honour to lead the F&B team here.
How important is the F&B offer when it comes to designing a new hotel?
I recently read that ‘Authentic Culinary Tourism’ is one of the fastest growing travel trends of the moment and when I think of how much hotel F&B has changed in the last year alone, I think that’s spot-on. Goddard Littlefair are united in the belief that the F&B offer is extremely important for hotels on all levels, from revenue generation to brand individuality and guest experience. Even more chefs are now affiliating themselves with hotel brands, with lots of knock-out experiences being created.
Do you get to try out new restaurants regularly?
The short answer is yes. I am lucky enough to be heavily involved in the food and restaurant industry through friends, PR contacts and people I have met along the way. I try to eat out at a new restaurant weekly and stay on top of all industry news. Next week I’m off to one of the ‘Chef Eats Out’ events run by The Caterer, whilst the team have lots of bookings during The Restaurant Festival in October.
What is your favourite hotel?
I’ve become involved with and more knowledgeable about hotels since joining Goddard Littlefair. My peers and colleagues are very inspirational when talking about the places they have been. I now have a bucket list of places to stay but until now restaurants have always been my soft spot.
Tell us about your last three trips
Outside of work, I have recently been to Barcelona, which was even better than I imagined. I walked for hours, taking in the city and the restaurant design was fantastic. I also went with friends to Iceland. Driving through the diverse landscape and getting in the Blue Lagoon were highlights. Last year a friend got married in the South of France on a fantastic sunny day. It’s just been their first wedding anniversary and the memories are still as fresh as they were last year. A truly fantastic part of the world.
Who’s your favourite designer?
This changes daily. As a versatile design studio we are always reading and absorbing the world around us. Snohetta are inspiring architects who’ve done small scale projects, such as stores for Aesop, the new French Laundry kitchen (which many chefs would die for) and large scale architectural master- planning, which always takes the environment and sustainability into consideration.
What projects are you hoping to be working on in the future?
Variety is definitely the spice of life, so a mix of hotel F&B, independent restaurants, cafés and bars would be perfect. A restaurant on a farm, for example, with a large kitchen garden or a remote self-sustainable food offering in the middle of nowhere juxtaposed with a buzzy hotspot in the middle of a city.
What would be your dream project?
An open design brief and a bottomless budget, I can wish! Designing for a leading chef or refurbishing a restaurant institution would be a dream.