Branford’s Restaurant at Old Hall Hotel underwent a lavish refurbishment by Valdivian Furniture. In staying true to the historic character of the manor house, the contract furniture company merged chic, contemporary fittings and antique charm to provide timeless elegance, comfort and efficiency.

With outdated patterned carpets and scuffed stained wooden chairs, the restaurant at Old Hall Hotel was not quite mirroring the delicious menu and beautiful 15th-century manor house in which it was situated. The stunning old building offered guests an essence of luxury with spa facilities, open spaces and huge windows that let daylight flow throughout the hotel, yet the restaurant remained dull and confined. The owners felt that the dining area should epitomize the rest of the building with a luxurious revamp that would host diners, weddings and parties, so they got in touch with Valdivian Furniture – bespoke British hospitality furniture manufacturers with an eye for luxury design.

The challenge was to bring a modern air to the 15th-century hotel, creating a timeless luxury and unique dining experience for hotel guests whilst maintaining functionality. The client wanted an entirely new furniture scheme that included both window dressing and lighting to add synergy to the space and was flexible to new ideas and concepts. This left a blank drawing board which could be injected with colour, texture, sophistication and bespoke furniture pieces. Valdivian Furniture set to work.

Because the client was open to new ideas and interpretations of the space, Laura Annison, key project manager at Valdivian Furniture, worked on creating mood boards and potential schemes to show them what was achievable. She then worked closely with the client to establish the finer details of the project, allowing them to customise the designs to their exact needs. The restaurant had recently undergone a small facelift consisting of new carpets and fresh paint, so they opted to tailor the design around this and compliment the colours entwined within the carpet.

To fit with traditional luxurious ideals, project manager Laura mixed a lux textured green velvet, complimented by three light to dark grey wools, a beautiful contrast to the green tones and a perfect edition to the stylish room. These materials were used to upholster the Tamar side chairs and banquette seating with deep button back features and copper stud details, heightening the sense of lavishness and adding to the comfort of diners. Each chair featured Valdivian’s iconic turned legs, giving them a sense of individuality and mirroring the circular motion of the grey light shades. This gave a unique flow to the room that was perfectly put together with matching materials, soft shapes and beautiful fabrics.

The seating is further complimented by the rustic planked oak tables that have been stained in an antique effect to match the history of the old manor house whilst cementing the concept of luxurious dining. The side board follows a similar rustic theme and has been individually crafted as a bespoke piece especially for Branford’s Restaurant. The wood has been stained in a grey wash lacquer with carefully designed copper cup handles that add to the timeless aura of the space. The grey theme continues into the bespoke studded pelmets that frame the large windows and create a scenic feel to the hotel grounds. The window dressing was also created in-house by Valdivian and drape nicely around the window frames.

Perhaps, however, the most striking furniture feature takes the form of the deep button back arm chairs that were hand crafted exclusively for Branford’s Restaurant. Each chair has elegant curved arms, copper stud finishing and deep button back detail, all upholstered with the lux textured green velvet. These add comfort and style to the dining area whilst epitomising ultimate luxury. These chairs have now become part of Valdivian’s collection and have been named after the restaurant: the ‘Branford’ chair.

Valdivian Furniture has thought out every aspect of the project, from the studded pelmets, to the copper cup handles and even the lighting. They carefully planned the theme of the restaurant and out sourced the circular light shades and drop-down copper spotlighting that adds the finishing touches to the area. Metals are a key trend in the hospitality industry this year and this has been developed throughout the space. Each light has a polished finish that reflects the natural light in the restaurant and adds a sense of intimacy for diners.

Key Pieces:


  • Tamar side chairs with deep button back and copper stud details in a mix of wool greys and lux green velvet
  • Deep button-back bench seating
  • Rustic planked oak tables stained in an antique finish
  • Bespoke manufactured side board, stained grey with copper cup handles
  • The ‘Branford’ chairs – deep button back arm chairs in lux green velvet
  • Bespoke designed pelmet and window dressing

Each piece of furniture for Branford’s Restaurant was carefully manufactured and upholstered by hand in house at Valdivian Furniture’s North Norfolk premises, making it all that more individual. Every design has been chosen, tailored and made to fit the restaurant, working closely with the hotel owners. Valdivian have carefully planned each part of the project from the initial concepts to the final placement of furniture, making the entire process exclusive to the client – one of the benefits of the close-knit, family-run business.


Laura Annison, key project manager, said:

“We worked very closely with the client throughout the whole process, particularly during the design stages. There was a number of initial concepts and schemes, so it was great to establish their exact needs along with the finer details for the restaurant. Some great bespoke designs were developed specially for Branford’s and it is fantastic to see these in place.”


Liam O’Donnell, Director of Valdivian Furniture, commented:

“This was a very exciting project for us here at Valdivian Furniture as the Old Hall Hotel is within our local area – somewhere which we always love to work. We also had a completely blank drawing board for Branford’s, which gave us the opportunity to work closely with the client to develop some completely unique designs and concepts that would complement the space and rest of the hotel. We are delighted to have been able to craft some bespoke pieces for the restaurant and believe that the space truly captures an essence of luxury design. It is always wonderful to see the client happy with the finished project and we hope that the customers at the restaurant enjoy the new surroundings.”


About Valdivian Furniture:

Valdivian Furniture are British hospitality furniture manufacturers with a commitment to providing high-quality contract furniture and a personal service. They are a small family-run business and are passionate about their work. They work closely with clients throughout the design, manufacture and installation process to ensure that the finished space is one to be proud of. Each piece is built from sustainable materials and manufactured in the UK. They design and handcraft their furniture, taking meticulous care to ensure that every piece has the highest quality finish.


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