Kings Arms Hotel updates its kitchen without paying a king’s ransom

Everybody loves a bit of history and character, something that the Grade 2 listed Kings Arms Hotel in Hampton has in abundance. But it’s also fair to say that this is certainly more the case when it comes to front of house. Back of house it’s a different story – limitations imposed by the structure and, more commonly the availability of power and other services, have proven to be the biggest issue of many a kitchen refurbishment. However, when the current owners took on the idyllically situated hotel, with its sweeping views across the famous Palace gardens, it was clear that a major refurbishment programme was required. And one of the most important considerations was the kitchen.

Food was destined to become an important focus under the new ownership so getting the right equipment and layout was key. Aware of Nelson Catering Equipment’s reputation for kitchen design, and impressed by their innovative ideas for taking the kitchen forward, General Manager Kate McWhirter duly appointed Nelson to carry out the project, working in consultation with Michelin starred chef Mark Kempson, an advisor to the hotel, and the hotel’s own Head Chef, Jack Scoines.

The layout of the building obviously couldn’t be altered so Nelson had to work within the limitations of the existing structure – and that’s where MARENO, and its UK supplier Grande Cuisine, came in. The MARENO Star 90 cookline is the largest piece of equipment in the kitchen and includes a multi-zone induction hob, chromed and steel plancha, and a double well electric fryer, all mounted on a combination of a refrigerated base, hot holding cupboards and open storage. Gone are the inefficient gas burners that made the existing kitchen a real hot house, and in has come an all-electric suite that uses less energy and creates a much more comfortable working environment for Jack and his brigade.

‘I think it’s fair to say that the MARENO Star 90 cookline has transformed the kitchen environment at The Kings Arms Hotel,’ says Nelson Catering Equipment Managing Director, John Nelson. ‘There is a lot of equipment out there to choose from but it’s not easy to find equipment that is versatile enough to be built around the available space AND combine the key elements of power, energy efficiency and reliability. MARENO has achieved that, and the result is excellent.’