Design Focus: Cameron House

November 24th, 2016 | Posted in: Editors' Picks,Features

We are all familiar with the notion that if something works, why change it – and that is very much the spirit in which an ambitious refurbishment project at The Cameron House Hotel, at Loch Lomond, was recently completed. The team at Greyline Design, who created new looks for three of the five-star luxury venue’s restaurants and bars – The Boathouse, the Cameron Grill and The Great Scots Bar – were asked to enhance what was already in place through the use of colour, richness and opulence.

That is very much in line with the idea that this 18th century Baronial mansion is a place where ‘glamour and romanticism meets culture and history’ – to quote from the resort’s own web page. So it was about upgrading and improving what was there rather than ripping everything out and starting over and it was also about making clever changes to the existing seating arrangements in order to boost the number of covers at each offering – all with minimal disruption to guests.

Resort Director Andy Roger explains, “We are blessed with a beautiful location and some fantastic facilities but the resort has probably not had the investment that it has demanded over the last few years so the thinking is to take the resort back to and ahead of where it has been before, and to be able to capitalise on the huge demand we have in some of our restaurants. “The third aspect was to look at where we could really drive the business forward over the next three to five years, with an owner, KSL, who is looking forward rather than looking to sell the business.” One of the first phases of the work was down at The Boathouse, an informal restaurant which overlooks the Marina and is a short walk from the main hotel.

cameron-house-2

It is a great place to watch the water, catch some sport on the new larger-screen TVs and sample the seafood menu which includes Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese and pizzas baked to order in the wood-burning oven as well as Orkney crab and West Coast mussels. Much of the emphasis here was on increasing the number of covers, so the tan-coloured banquette seats which ran down the middle of the main seating area have been removed and replaced with lighter chairs in a mixture of blues and reds, with seats and backs upholstered in contrasting colours.

Other innovations like the Captain’s Table, which seats eight and is set slightly away from the main restaurant, have also proved popular. The main bar area still has its large sofas but they have been re-covered with lighter, brighter fabrics. Gone are the brown, taupe and cream hues and in are the blues and reds we see in the restaurant. The changes have enhanced the venue’s New England style and make the space feel both bigger and busier at the same time. Andy says, “We have taken the capacity up by 50 per cent, from 100 to 150 seats and from a revenue point of view we will grow that business by over ten per cent this year and a huge part of that is through the covers.

We’ve made it slightly more casual seating and reduced the size of some of our tables and chairs to really capitalise on the space. The next phase will be to look at our outside dining, to increase the capacity further.” The Cameron Grill has also been refurbished as part of this £3million investment programme. Here the major changes included removing much of the dark leather banquette seating which previously dominated the space. Now the seats around the sides of the restaurant are upholstered in distressed-look dark brown leather, while the seating in the middle of the room is covered in lighter taupe shades.

cameron-house-3

A Last Supper-style painting which used to run almost the length of the right-hand wall has been replaced with four large mirrors which bounce light back into the room, set against grey/blue and gold flock wallpaper. The same colours are also picked up in some of the fabric on the chairs. Again the immediate impact of the refurbishment has been to make the restaurant feel more spacious and much lighter and this is boosted when the tables – a mix of small square ones, which seat two comfortably but can be joined together for bigger parties, and large round ones which seat up to eight people – are set for dinner with crisp white table linen.

It retains a sophisticated, high-end feel and is an ideal setting for guests to enjoy the new wine list and menu which includes dishes like wood pigeon, Highland deer and Orkney scallops. However, given that this is also where hotel residents have breakfast it probably works better with the lighter, fresher colour palette and again the capacity has been increased by 50 per cent. A small room to one side of the restaurant has been transformed into a cocktail bar with 14 seats. Once again, mirrors bounce the light around while distressed metal ceiling tiles, streaked with a rust colour, add warmth. The front of the new bar is tiled in irregular aqua, gold and grey tiles, creating a glamorous feel in what also doubles as a private dining area.

The Grill is already reaping the rewards of this refurbishment with the average spend up by 20 per cent as a result of the changes. The Great Scots Bar now has a much warmer feel, almost like walking into one of the large bottles of Glenmorangie sitting on the stunning copper-topped bar. The dark colours that were in the room previously – mostly greys, browns, taupe and creams – have been banished and replaced instead with tan leather, velvet and tartans in oranges and a touch of pink. To the right, the walls are now upholstered in padded tan leather panels studded to create a Chesterfield sofa-style effect, separated by horizontal-striped wallpaper in varying tones of slate grey.

Meanwhile the walls around the large stone open fireplace have been covered in a textured light and dark tan flock paper while large tan leather tiles have been used to cover another wall area. Two sets of semi-circular banquettes have been cleverly arranged around the fire – each one seats six people comfortably – while single armchairs arranged around small circular wooden tables add extra covers. The overall feel is of luxury, inclusivity and intimacy, even for larger groups of people. To the left hand side of the room, the ever-popular Whisky Lockers remain.

Current incumbents, whose keys are kept behind the bar so they can access their personal bottle whenever they wish, include former Scotland rugby player Gavin Hastings OBE and Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger CBE. Again, armchairs in a mix of tan leather and the warm tartan provide additional seating and there are wing-back chairs in another corner. Moving through into the main bar area, the original wooden parquet-style floor has been restored and brought back to life, while the curtains have been removed from the huge picture windows to really make the most of the stunning views over the hotel’s elegant grounds to Ben Lomond.

The large sofas and armchairs have been re-upholstered in a mix of leather, green and purple velvet and contrasting tartans, tones which reflect the natural colours of the hills around the hotel, while mirrored table tops bounce light back into the room. The walls are still lined with the same iconic black and white photographs of the Great Scots the bar is named after, including racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, novelist Ian Rankin OBE and actress Hannah Gordon. Andy says: “We’ve kept all that’s great about The Great Scots Bar but we’ve replaced all the furniture and changed the configuration to allow us to have more groups in there, more people enjoying the experience.” The upholstery and re-upholstery work on this refurbishment project across all three venues was undertaken by Glasgow firm ESL, while Style Matters supplied new furniture.

Cameron House

The following two tabs change content below.

DRAM News Team

Editor at DRAM Magazine
DRAM magazine is Scotland’s leading monthly licensed trade magazine. It has been dedicated exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland for the past 23 years. It is independently owned, edited and published in Scotland. The DRAM is innovative, creative and original. First with the news, and the people in the news. Covering all the latest information on pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in Scotland.

Latest posts by DRAM News Team (see all)


Alcohol Stats Receive Mixed Response

Thu 22nd June 2017

Scottish drinkers are learning lessons but are not there yet according to NHS Health Scotland’s latest report. Although it revealed th... Read more.

Greene by Name, Greene by Nature

Wed 21st June 2017

Belhaven owners, Greene King, is aiming to send zero waste to landfill by 2020. This ambitious target follows a partnership last year with w... Read more.

Star Pubs & Bars Invest in Dundee

Sat 10th June 2017

Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars has earmarked £500K to invest in Dundee’s Mercantile Pub as well as The Gunners Bar in Broughty Ferry. ... Read more.

Round up – June 2017

Sat 10th June 2017

Round up DRAM June The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society, The BEN, raising £4,500 at its ‘Fashion and Fizz’ event held last mo... Read more.

Dembele Officially Opens Harry’s Bar

Fri 9th June 2017

Celtic legend Harry Hoods family business, The Lisini Pub Co, have opened a new Uddingston bar and named it after Harry as a surprise. The b... Read more.

£250K Refurb for the Long House in Kilmarnock

Wed 7th June 2017

 The Long House in Kilmarnock, owned by Buzzworks Holdings, has just revealed the results of a £250K revamp. During the refurbishment the ... Read more.

Blueberry & Lime Lands in the On-trade

Wed 7th June 2017

Kopparberg has expanded its fruit cider family with the arrival of Blueberry & Lime. It is the latest introduction to the signature rang... Read more.

Licensed Trade News – June 2017

Tue 6th June 2017

 John Bryden Perth licensee John Bryden and daughter Georgia were thrilled to meet Jools Holland after sponsoring his Perth Concert Hall s... Read more.

Double Gold for the Glasgow Distillery at the World Spirit Awards

Tue 6th June 2017

Glasgow Distillery is the first gin and single malt distillery since 1902 received two golds at The World Spirit Awards. It received a doubl... Read more.

Douglas Laing see Profits Increase

Mon 5th June 2017

Family owned Scotch Whisky specialist Douglas Laing has revealed that profits increased 17% to £1.6m in 2016. Double digit growth three yea... Read more.

Design Focus: Taphouse Bar & Kitchen

Mon 5th June 2017

Stroll down Argyle Street into the heart of Finnieston nowadays and you’re met with an almost bewildering choice of venues. From the trend... Read more.

Profits fall for Tennent’s Owner C&C

Sun 4th June 2017

Tennent’s owners C&C Group, in their results to the 28th February 2017, have revealed that net revenues decreased 6.9% to €559.5m, m... Read more.

Design Focus: Ardnamurchan

Sun 4th June 2017

A new Scottish restaurant Ardnamurchan has opened opposite the Theatre Royal at the northern end of Hope Street in Glasgow. Its predecessor... Read more.

Sue Says – June 2017

Sat 3rd June 2017

There’s definitely sea change happening when it comes to people moving on… Ken, Kenny, Kenneth McGown of Star Pubs & Bars, after... Read more.

Magners Campaign to Seize the Summer

Sat 3rd June 2017

Cider brand Magners is drawing our attention to the fact that summer will be two days shorter this year! The brand, as a result, is campaign... Read more.

Design Focus: Cocktails & Steaks

Sat 3rd June 2017

Ferocious, cleaver-wielding gang boss Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, played by Daniel Day-Lewis in Hollywood blockbuster Gangs of New York,... Read more.

Glenmorangie Reintroduces Native Oysters to the Dornoch Firth

Fri 2nd June 2017

A ground-breaking environmental project pioneered by Glenmorangie has seen Native European oysters reintroduced to coastal waters around it... Read more.

Summer Drinks

Thu 1st June 2017

Have a wee read of some fun facts about summer and some recommendations for summer drinks. The phrase “dog days of summer”, often used t... Read more.

Design Focus: Maggie Mays

Thu 1st June 2017

Glasgow rock n’ roll institution Maggie Mays has turned up the volume with a £400k makeover commissioned by Oli Norman and Stephen White,... Read more.

Greene King raises £3m for Macmillan Cancer Support

Thu 25th May 2017

Greene King pubs throughout the UK have helped raise £3 million for its charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support over the past five year... Read more.