The beautifully refurbished The Princess Royal takes inspiration from it’s Victorian heritage and offers a luxurious escape from the city.
London-based pub and hotel group Cubitt House have recently completed the refurbishment of The Princess Royal, located in the heart of Notting Hill.
The pub, which dates back to the Victorian era, is now home to a large dining room and bar, along with a walled garden, private feasting rooms and four individually designed bedrooms.
Throughout the building the interiors take inspiration from the pub’s Victorian heritage, highlighting original features and working with British artisans to create the wallpapers, fabrics, and bathroom fittings, as well as collaborating with Contract By Furniture Design on the bespoke seating. On the second floor, The Princess Royal is home to four boutique bedrooms, available for those in search of an informal, urban retreat.
Here, Cubitt House Director and Co-Chair, Georgie Pearman, reveals the finer details of this exquisite project.
What was the design brief for the renovation of The Princess Royal?
As we do all the interior design in house, including everything from mood boards to specifications to sourcing, we didn’t really have a specific design brief for this project. I was approached by Cubitt House originally because the owner liked what we did at the Country Creatures properties in the Cotswolds, in particular The Double Red Duke. He initially asked us to focus on the opening of The Princess Royal but it’s now expanded to re-doing their entire portfolio as well as working on new sites.
Originally, the site of The Princess Royal had been a Californian bar and restaurant called Pomonas. Although it was still a pub, it had zebra skin wallpaper down the corridors and lots of palm trees in the garden with yellow furniture. As soon as I walked in I felt that it should go back to what it had originally been, a lovely Victorian pub with gardens, although it needed to be more modern and glamorous than a standard Victorian boozer. I wanted the space to be reflective of the area and the people that live there but also suit the menu, which is created by Ben Tish, and has more of a Mediterranean influence than your standard pub grub.
Can you talk about how the new concept ties together throughout the various spaces?
Firstly I started sourcing some original Victorian doors and other features like fireplaces. I found some beautiful doors from the 1900s at a reclamation yard and then the whole scheme followed from that. I was very lucky in that I had great spaces to work with. When you first walk in, the room is huge so we decided to install a central horseshoe shaped bar with a seafood counter. It’s apparently in the exact place where the original bar was before it was stripped out. When we removed the flooring we found an original mosaic in the entrance porch with the words “Princess Royal” and after some research we found out that the pub had been built in Victorian times and named after Queen Victoria’s first born daughter. We thought that was a great name for the pub and then I decided to keep the tiles as a nod toward the building’s history.
Can you tell us about how the new features sit with the period features?
We tried to keep as many of the original features as possible including, the windows in the dining room, the conservatory area, the courtyards & garden and any original fireplaces. We’ve added to the space by putting in a new bar, banquettes, fireplace in the main bar, aged timber flooring and reclaimed doors, new ceiling details throughout (from wooden panels to metal tiles) and reclaimed room dividers to the main dining area. We also decided to create four bedrooms out of an old event space as well as two private dining rooms (one for about 10 people and the other for 22).
What is your favourite space at The Princess Royal?
We’ve used the large feasting room with its own private outside space for a party recently and it’s such a great space for private events – especially when the weather is nice and you can make use of the balconies. We started with drinks at the bar and moved upstairs for dinner to get privacy – the best part is that you can also stay the night if you don’t want to travel to get home.
How did you tackle issues surrounding sustainability?
The suppliers that we use focus heavily on sustainability and because we are buying the majority of our items from the UK our suppliers have to comply with environmental legislation that other countries may not have to. We insulated the conservatory area and added double glazing which helps with energy costs. In all the projects that I work on, I find quite a bit from antique dealers, fairs and reclamation yards which helps to reduce waste.