The Signet Collection unveils the design of The Retreat at Elcot Park, UK
‘The Retreat’ will launch this spring in West Berkshire, following in the successful footsteps of its cousin property The Mitre Hampton Court
Visionary British hospitality brand The Signet Collection is delighted to reveal the design details of its second hotel, The Retreat at Elcot Park, launching in spring 2022. Housed in a Grade II-listed 18th-century building located between Hungerford and Newbury, The Retreat has a storied past, once being the childhood home of the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Following the success of The Mitre Hampton Court, The Retreat will continue the brand’s celebrated design aesthetic, blending the old with the new and quirky British sensibility. London-based luxury interior design practice Taylor and Turner is the creative lead behind its transformation, which nods to both the history and location of the picturesque country house. Tasked with a fun, escapist and element-of-surprise oriented brief, the result is a design that is both classic, contemporary, and filled with unexpected twists.
Bedrooms and Suites
The Retreat will be home to 55 characterful and comfortable bedrooms, including three suites, all celebrating its individual heritage. Each room is a celebration of the very best of British design, with many of the rooms containing eclectic antiques sourced by local dealers. Whilst antique furniture and traditional elements remain throughout, punches of colour, fun and the unexpected are clearly visible in each of the rooms. Guests will be spoilt for choice when choosing from views over the Wessex Downs, the gardens, or picturesque courtyards.
Each floor has a theme, with rooms named after champion racehorses, famous jockeys, local points of interest, or nods to British country pursuits such as: shooting, fishing, hunting and racing. Meanwhile, the three Signature Suites are decorative and named after previous inhabitants of the country house: the Sutton, Bushby Bacon (a family suite), and the Percy Shelley.
The Sutton Suite features Watts of Westminster’s hand-blocked ‘Pineapple’ wallpaper which provides an elegant contrast to the duck-egg blue doors and skirting boards. Key design elements include a pomegranate Sanderson bed canopy with a contrasting Fermoie striped headboard, and a spectacular roll top copper bathtub in front of large bay windows. A blush pink Mimi Pickard sofa and strawberry patterned throw cushions inject pops of colour throughout the Suite.
The Bushby Bacon Suite, an expansive two-bedroom family suite with an open plan bathroom, is dedicated to one of The Retreat’s earliest inhabitants. Elegant and refined, the suite features a contemporary four poster bed with a navy and cream interior with pelmet and simple pleating, set against red and blue Braquenié’s Toile des Indes wallpaper by Pierre Frey. The suite leads through to the children’s bedroom where curtained orange bunk beds take center stage, against hand-painted striped walls. The bedrooms connect to a stylish white bathroom with a freestanding marble bathtub surrounded by bay windows.
A spectacularly elegant suite dedicated to one of the major English Romantic poets, The Percy Shelley Suite boasts bold and expressive décor with statement vintage Morris & Co wallpaper. Contrasting sage green woodwork matches the tone of the freestanding bath which sits in front of a large window overlooking the gardens. The suite contains traditional fittings including antique dressing table with chair, as well as a refined bed with tester.
Taylor & Turner have breathed new life into the bedrooms, which ooze vibrancy and fun with bobbin mirrors, Rosi de Ruig lamps, scalloped-edged side tables and bright upholstered headboards. Each bedroom is a treasure-trove of pattern and personality, and the playful use of colour and antiques lends soulfulness to give each room its own unique character.
Public spaces (restaurants)
Similarly to The Mitre, the designers have placed emphasis on the entrance hall being a place for reading and relaxation, similar to a drawing room in a country home. Mohair blue sofas, traditional seating, yellow cushions and Titley and Marr green curtains make for a cosy atmosphere. Complemented by the beige walls, many of the existing fittings and furnishings have been restored, such as the teak wooden flooring. Guests are met by a hand-painted map of the local area illustrating the abundance of British pursuits on The Retreat’s doorstep. Meanwhile, to the right of the grand entrance, a quote from one of Percy Shelley’s poems adorns the walls, reflecting the property’s literature and arts heritage. The result is a quintessentially British feel with an informal, playful twist where guests will quickly feel at home.
The Atlas Room, located through the entrance area, is dedicated to Percy Shelley’s love for travel. Worldly paintings of hot air balloons are a subtle reminder that The Retreat is one of the best launching spots for hot air ballooning in the UK. Light streams through large bay windows, illuminating the world maps, exotic prints, and the sage green walls. Elements of British design include Clarence House fabrics, traditional chintz, and floral cushions. Individual seating areas have been created with comfy armchairs where guests can enjoy afternoon tea on palm tree plates, or simply read and relax.
All things culinary will have pride of place at The Retreat, which will open with a Whiskey room, two private dining spaces and two restaurants: Yü, a Pan-Asian restaurant, and 1772, an all-day-dining Brasserie. Atmospheric orb bulbs, a sputnik chandelier and golden table lamps make for a sleek and refined setting. A 5-metre brass bar with a fluted leather front is paired with elegant striped-back bar stools. Curved and straight seating booths in sumptuous deep blue and bottle green velvet offer pleasing aesthetics, and an intimate dining experience.
Guests will travel through a lacquered petrol blue-panel corridor, adorned with Art Deco wall lights and eclectic stamps to reach Yü. A celebration of feasting and sharing, the restaurant décor is reflective of the Pan-Asian style with banquettes and built-in upholstered benches with fringing details. Brass lighting throughout the restaurant also nods to traditional Asian design. Traditional, luxurious fabric has been used to upholster the furnishings, such as marbellised drop fabric velvet and dry green weave cushions. Lattice work wallpaper is complemented by an installation of antique woven fans. The restaurant is connected to a formal private dining and meeting room which is encased in de Gournay wallpaper and includes an original timber fireplace.
Filled with plants, natural light, leafy green and wooden furnishings, The Orangery will be the hotel’s third restaurant and launch in Q4 2022.
The ground floor will boast an impressive Health Club, including hydrotherapy pools, three treatment rooms, a steam room & sauna, large gym, spin studio and a relaxation area. The tone and textures in the spa exude a feeling of calm, in contrast to the women’s changing room, however, which is unexpected, playful, and fun, and inspired by the 1950s boudoir.
“Elcot Park has a fascinating, long and rich history. It has been a huge privilege to be entrusted with creating a new chapter in its story with Hector and the brilliant team at Signet. We have endeavoured to respect its past whilst ensuring that the design practicalities meet the rigorous standards of the modern day. Our ethos has been rooted in creating a retreat for any age offering complete escapism and a sense of fun”, comment Anneke Gilkes and Harriette Cayzer, Taylor & Turner.
The Signet Collection launched in September 2020 alongside the debut hotel in the portfolio, The Mitre Hampton Court. Founded by the former COO of Longshot, owners of Beaverbrook and Bel & the Dragon Group, the vision of the home-grown and hands-on brand is to be made up of several destination-defining properties throughout the UK. With a string of awards already under their belt, Hector Ross and his team are continuing to take the British hospitality world by storm whilst staying true to their objective of creating meaningful stays in time honoured places.
ABOUT THE RETREAT AT ELCOT PARK
Scheduled to open in spring 2022, The Retreat at Elcot Park is the second hotel from The Signet Collection. Set in West Berkshire, near the charming market town of Hungerford, the Grade II-listed 18th-century building was once the home of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The 55-bedroom hotel will include a Pan-Asian restaurant (Yü), all-day dining Brasserie (1772), an Orangery (opening in late 2022), a Whiskey room, complimentary pantries on each floor, meeting rooms and private dining areas. The Retreat will have an expansive Health Club and wellness area as well as a mixed-use retail space with a bakery, coffee house, hair and nail salon, wine store and monthly farmers’ market. Within the hotel grounds there will be a walled working garden, tennis courts, an outdoor infinity pool (complete with designer cabanas and a Whispering Angel pool bar), croquet lawns and a children’s zone. With excellent transport links to the M4, M3 and A34, the countryside retreat is readily accessible from many central hubs and reachable by train from London in 45 minutes. For more information about The Retreat, visit www.elcotpark.com/
ABOUT THE SIGNET COLLECTION The Signet Collection is a vibrant new hotel company created by seasoned hotelier and restaurateur Hector Ross and Ronnie Kimbugwe, whose vision is to create meaningful stays in time-honoured places throughout the UK. Founded with a mission to create extraordinary boutique hotels in curated destinations for the most discerning travellers, The Signet Collection launched in September 2020 alongside the first hotel in the portfolio, The Mitre Hampton Court. The Signet Collection is a home grown and hands-on brand, resolute in its dedication to crafting stunning designs in historically significant properties, preserving authenticity and delivering unparalleled F&B, service and experiences. The Signet Collection will be made up of several destination-defining properties which will launch over the next few years in the UK. For more information about The Signet Collection, visit www.signet.ltd
ABOUT TAYLOR & TURNER
Taylor & Turner is a London based, luxury residential design practice established in 2017 by Anneke Gilkes and Harriette Cayzer. For more information about Taylor & Turner, visit www.taylorandturner.com/