The Brief

We were asked to redesign & install the front-of-house and back-of-house catering facilities. Our aim was to reinvent the concept of a hotel buffet dining experience. We were asked to turn drawings into reality based on our creative, technical, and practical experience.

  • Re-evaluate the ergonomics of existing food and beverage offering to improve overall efficiency, designs had to reduce/prevent queues even for large functions/groups, not just normal service
  • Sourcing unique items to emphasise the theatrical customer experience
  • Increase cold room capacity
  • Work in collaboration with Interior Designers
  • Work to a tight deadline, within budget and strict operational procedures
ceda Grand Prix Awards 2020 Finalist


Commercial Kitchen Design, Commercial Kitchen Installation


The Grove, Watford


Bespoke Design & Front-of-House


ceda Grand Prix Awards 2020 – Design Project Over £500K Finalist

The Grove Glasshouse

About The Grove

The Grove is a 5-star luxury hotel, famous for hosting major international events such as the 2016 British Masters golf tournament, 2019 NATO Leaders’ Meeting and England Football team preparation site.

The Glasshouse Restaurant within The Grove offers a luxury, top-end dining experience. To reflect the rest of The Grove’s style, a complete refurbishment was planned, including an impressive glass extension to increase the area by 40 covers, seating 200 plus guests and served by a totally new immersive, theatre cooking concept, with 8 different guest-facing stations.

The coordination between TAG and the main contractor was very good and the installation process was delivered with the flexibility that is always needed with a new build project. The end solution is a very effective and workable finishing kitchen and service area.

Testi image
Robert Kenworthy, The Grove / Group Facilities Director
The Grove Glasshouse
The Grove Glasshouse

The Solution

The Dessert station features a completely bespoke counter and open refrigeration display that is modelled on The glasshouse restaurant itself. It is a self-contained station, providing refrigerated storage enabling chefs to prepare desserts to live in front of guests.

A wheeled Robata Grill helps to identify the food being offered whilst adding a sense of theatre to clearly define the area. This fully functional and independent space has minimal queues despite it being the busiest station previously, thanks to designed ample space, ergonomic position, and ability to replenish from the nearby refrigeration and hot cupboards.

Aesthetics give this project a real sense of character. The staggered layout of collection points prevents back-to-back queues, and the experience is no longer linear, with each section sized based on the predicted demand, such as simultaneous volume at desserts and starts by table groups.

Mirrored glass is used for depth but also to create floating, weightless “table” like design in several cook stations. Thoughtful and careful use of stainless steel in different areas hints towards the kitchen elements.

The back-of-house was completely redesigned to greater flow. This redesign also allowed for additional cold room capacity operated off the removed pack reducing heat within the kitchen, with a smaller but more efficient blast chiller. The improved, efficient layout also allows for seasonal changes to the menu and capacity change.

The Grove Glasshouse

The Outcome

This is by far the most detailed and complex project TAG has delivered to date, aesthetically, operationally, and financially.

A project we are entirely proud of, particularly our involvement in the M&E and front-of-house, which surpassed that of a traditional commercial kitchen design house, fully showcasing the skills of our in-house team from designer to installer to finance and beyond.

Our project for The Glasshouse restaurant completely reinvents the pre-conceived ideas of a hotel “buffet” restaurant. The term “buffet” is no longer used by The Grove, instead, it is described as a “theatrical feast”. One that befits the 5* hotel and clientele, making it a dining experience that is immersive, not intrusive.

The new Glasshouse is streets ahead to what it was before. It is something that was needed and with all the technology in the kitchen, it exceeds our expectations.

We needed efficiency, to move with the times and work smarter.

The new design is excellent and I’m really very happy. We have the food stations that we wanted, it’s spacious, the working environment is good for all involved.

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Stephen Wheeler, The Grove / Executive Chef
The Grove Glasshouse
The Grove Glasshouse
The Glass Glasshouse
The Grove Glasshouse
The Grove Glasshouse
The Grove Glasshouse - Back-of-House
The Grove Glasshouse