Renovated Middle and Over Wallop restaurant re-opens in May

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Middle and Over Wallop restaurant will re-open in May in a renovated space created by Miller Bourne Architects with interior designed by Nigel Coates and a new menu endorsed by Prue Leith.

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Glyndebourne will be opening a newly renovated dining space on site. The old restaurant was badly in need of renovation and the new Middle and Over Wallop Restaurant will be a dramatic yet comfortable dining room which will be a stylistic match to the modern opera house. The renovations have only been possible with the munificent support of Glyndebourne caterers Compass.

“Our main restaurant, Middle and Over Wallop, will re-open in May in a dramatically transformed and extended space created by Miller Bourne architects and the interior designed by Nigel Coates with new menus realised by Prue Leith. Our caterers of 26 years, Compass, provided a very generous donation towards this refurbishment, without which this project would not have taken place. The original dining hall was converted for the opening of the first Glyndebourne Festival in 1934 and it is very exciting that this restaurant has been renovated for our 75th anniversary.”
- Gus Christie Executive Chairman, Glyndebourne.

The architecture

The restaurant has been extensively redesigned and refurbished using Brighton-based architects Miller Bourne. Miller Bourne have been employed by Glyndebourne for over 12 years and have been responsible for a number of projects on site including the new wardrobe department, gardener’s offices, scenery store, catering department offices, rehearsal stage and archive gallery. The building work has been undertaken by Shoreham-based contractors Bramber Construction Co Ltd. The new restaurant has been designed to be on three levels with a glazed extension with views of the South Downs.

“Our new extension to the restaurant nestles quietly in the landscape against Middle and Over Wallop, taking its inspiration from the opera house behind. The design capitalizes on the wonderful vistas that exist through the trees to the gently rolling hills beyond. Large areas of glazing to both roof and walls create a light and airy space from which to enjoy these views.”
- Neil McWalter and Amy Gordon, Miller Bourne.

The design

The interior of the new restaurant has been designed by Nigel Coates, architect, designer and professor at the Royal College of Art. By using serpentine banquettes, towering waiter stations and a series of interconnecting levels, his design defines many distinct areas. Coates has also imbued the project with a sense of theatre. Patrons will no doubt recognise some fittings from past Glyndebourne productions including a large-scale mural from La traviata. The decor also features many props chosen from opera house productions. All the furniture has been designed by Coates, and forms part of his Scubist collection for Italian company Fratelli Boffi.

“I hope my design brings more character to the restaurant. Dining here should be part of the theatrical experience of coming to Glyndebourne, and make every visitor feel special. It’s not so much a conventional interior design as an exercise in art direction, and with plenty of artistry.”
- Nigel Coates

Coates’ design incorporates a ‘cloud’ of the new chandeliers he has realised with Swarovski Crystal Palace. This stunning installation consisting of 43 so-named ‘Cloudeliers’ will hang in a central zone of the restaurant, visually connecting its three levels. These have been made in collaboration with the Italian lighting company Slamp, and are hung with crystals of Coates’ own design.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Nigel Coates for Swarovski Crystal Palace this year. It seems fitting that Swarovski supports such a culturally rich Festival steeped in tradition. Nigel does a stunning job of integrating Swarovski crystal into his designs and the cloudelier is a perfect addition to this fantastic occasion.”
- Nadja Swarovski, Vice President of International Communications, Swarovksi

The menu

Leiths at Glyndebourne pride themselves on offering a dining experience which reflects Glyndebourne’s ethos of excellence. The new Middle and Over Restaurant will embrace a calm and stylish dining experience. It will seat up to 343 people, but will retain the intimacy which Glyndebourne prides itself upon. The restaurant will be open for a sumptuous afternoon tea prior to the performance and will have a bar stocked with brandies and liqueurs for after dinner. The menu, which has been endorsed by the acclaimed restaurateur Prue Leith, will focus on good seasonal British ingredients and the cellar will be filled with personally chosen wines and champagnes. In 2009 Glyndebourne will introduce the Glyndebourne Sauvignon, our own blended house white.

Prue Leith said:

“The restaurant is very stylish and modern, and I am excited to develop a menu that reflects this. We use as much locally sourced produce as possible and we have an excellent chef who will serve a sophisticated dinner for customers within 55 minutes. I invite all Glyndebourne patrons to visit Middle and Over Restaurant for a dinner that matches the great quality of Glyndebourne’s opera.”

Matthew Thompson, Managing Director of the Sports, Leisure and Hospitality sector within Compass Group, said:

“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Glyndebourne and contribute to the refurbishment of this iconic restaurant that has been part of the Glyndebourne experience for 75 years.”