CHR Equipment Ltd delivering profitable solutions to the UK Food Service Industry

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The Client

The Forest Side Hotel dates from 1853 and is a typical Lake District slate and stone structure. The gothic mansion was used frequently over a 100-year period before falling into disrepair.

Fortunately, the site was acquired by new owners who were willing to invest heavily into its future, with the dream of creating a true catering destination with fabulous food.

Head Chef Kevin Tickle was employed to build an intriguing and inspirational menu linked closely to the hotel’s walled garden and countryside setting. The newly-opened Forest Side Hotel was an immediate success and gained its first Michelin star after only 4 months.

Project History

A state-of-the-art kitchen was key to the immediacy of the hotel’s success. Its old kitchen featured quarry-tiled floors and brick walls requiring full refurbishment.

Throughout the rest of the building, the owners oversaw that original features were given a new lease of life and the décor was updated to provide a truly luxurious setting for visitors and guests.

The Design Brief

The owners wanted their new kitchen to be the ideal environment for the chef to cook food of Michelin star quality. Head Chef Kevin Tickle knew that an efficient setting with excellent communication was paramount.The owners wanted their new kitchen to be the ideal environment for the chef to cook food of Michelin star quality. Head Chef Kevin Tickle knew that an efficient setting with excellent communication was paramount.

An open design was decided upon, with guests being able to see vegetables growing in the garden and being prepared before service. This transparent approach allows the staff and visitors to develop a relationship with their food rather than simply having it served to them.

The brief covers:

  • Layout drawings
  • Design specification
  • 3D visual modelling
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainability
  • Finishes

Design – Work Flow

When building the design, several project concerns became apparent. The service areas were small and located in an old building. This meant that some methods of renovation would straightaway be rendered unsuitable.

After discussions with the owners, CHR divided the ground floor and basement areas into a blend of preparation and store areas along with cooking and bar spaces.

The primary concern was always to create an environment where fine dining could take place even when the restaurant was at capacity.

Design – Specification

CHR utilised cutting-edge 3D modelling software to create detailed renderings for this project. By doing so, the owners could see a real-time representation of how the finished environment would look.

As well as being beneficial to the client, these models are also useful to tradesmen and subcontractors who can see exactly how the job should be finished. CHR can then negotiate the best prices and find the most appropriate materials for each project on an individual basis.

The kitchen staff also benefitted from learning the space layout and limitations before the renovation work was completed.

Energy Efficiency

CHR’s design incorporated an Eco-Chef energy efficient cooking suite with built-in monitoring capability. Induction was the chosen heating method due to its efficiency and ease of ventilation.

As well as these, CHR also used the following, energy-efficient applications:

  1. Triple-glazed oven doors and heat exchangers
  2. Insulated hot cupboards
  3. Sensor-activated wash basin taps
  4. Water conserving pre-rinse spray arms
  5. Air activated dishwasher hoods to conserve energy


Energy efficiency and sustainability are mainstays in any CHR project, and this was no different. Local labour was also used to cut down on fuel emissions and to boost the local economy.

Over 75% of the purchase – from design to manufacturing – was also completed in UK factories.

Installation & Handover

CHR provided lots of assistance with detailing and complex refurbishment installation planning of this Grade 1 listed building. Checking and agreeing with designers and subcontractors was done consistently throughout the process.

Structural loads were submitted for floor compounds. High-level works were completed by CHR along with all coordination of services and building work, flooring, tiling, draining setting and more.

Extra considerations were also addressed, including lighting that needed to represent the food in the same way that customers would see it. In addition, flooring specifications and fog advise were addressed. These issues were more important in this project than most due to its uniquely client-facing application.