BI Catering Equipment Services and sister distributor Cavell Catering Equipment have completed a series of kitchen schemes for the Holkham Estate in Norfolk and were once again tasked with the latest area, The Lookout, towards the end of last year.
The dealers previously worked closely with the Estate to refurbish four areas over the past 5 years: The Victoria Inn, The Beach Café, The Courtyard Café within Holkham Park and The Lady Elizabeth Wing. Therefore the Holkham Estate had no hesitations in bringing them back as the preferred partners for The Lookout.
This latest venture was scheduled to open in September 2018. The circular building overlooks the grazing marshes of the Holkham National Nature Reserve and has been sympathetically built to ensure its vista blends into the landscape. Working with a very tight specification, the Estate wanted the operation to be as waste friendly as it possibly could be, with everything being sustainable, all waste compostable with no use of plastic, glass or non-compostable packaging.
Alan Miller, business development manager for Holkham, worked closely with BI and Cavell Catering Equipment to procure specialist equipment from the UK and Europe to enable the equipment to be as sustainable and as packaging-free as it could potentially be. One type of appliance procured and imported for the project from a European supplier was the wrapper-less ice cream freezers which Miller had seen during a trip to Barcelona.
BI MD Andrew Jones reported: “This was one of the hardest pieces of equipment to find. As the freezers allow non-packaged ice creams and ice lollies to be on view, Alan felt this was just what was needed for his ‘eco no paper’ offer at The Lookout, so he tasked me to find these for him.
“I finally tracked them down to a company based near Barcelona and then entered into negotiations to import the units, but due to me speaking no Spanish and them speaking no English we had to communicate via email and then use a web translator.
“We finally received the units and they were immediately so popular that we had to purchase further units for the estate, with more planned this year.”
The rest of the refrigeration chosen by the estate has been split between Electrolux and Atosa and Gamko back bar units, with mostly counter style refrigeration, as, where possible, the venue needed to utilise prep space and refrigeration and freezer holding capacity.
At the heart of all the kitchens, Holkham chose a Rational SCC combi oven as “they love the ease of use and the fact that the quality of finished product regardless of site area is always consistent”, according to Jones. They have a Rational in The Beach Café, Courtyard Kitchen, The Victoria Hotel and The Lookout.
Heated food Flexiserve ‘grab and go’ units allowing hot food to be on sale using zero packaging were procured by BI and Cavell Catering Equipment from specialist counter company Nuttalls, based here in the UK. Victor Manufacturing was also specified for bulk hot holding units and servery units.
Induction plug-in units are used throughout the estate and these are all Libero appliances from Electrolux Professional.
Warewashing is a real mix across the areas, as Holkham chose different brands for different offers and so far the dealers have provided Hobart, Winterhalter, Electrolux and Classeq models. Some of the warewashers were supplied through Catering Equipment Professional.
Manufacturers had to have high green credentials for Holkham, BI and Cavell to choose their equipment for this site.
The Lookout project at times was a challenge as the building is circular, so siting of floor equipment needed specialist fabrication which was supplied for Cavell by CK Direct, based in Peterborough. The dealers worked closely with the fabricator’s Dean Rees and Carlo Cataldo both at site and in the factory. Special works previously took place to build the bespoke bar in the Lady Elisabeth Conference Centre, the hidden servery in the Courtyard Café and more recently the specialist angled fabrication for the kitchen at The Lookout, taking account of the building’s fully cylindrical nature.
Holkham’s Miller commented: “I am overjoyed with the finished project and very happy with how good the communication and professional approach was from BI and Cavell Catering Equipment.”
Appliance brands used in the foodservice areas on the Holkham Estate included:
Combi ovens: Rational
Induction cookers: Electrolux Professional
Heated grab and go display: Nuttalls
Hot holding and serveries: Victor Manufacturing
Refrigeration: Electrolux Professional, Atosa and Gamko
Warewashing: Hobart, Winterhalter, Electrolux Professional and Classeq
Fabrication: CK Direct
Holkham Estate in a nutshell
With the opening of The Lookout at the Holkham National Nature Reserve, the Holkham Estate has now completed a line-up of hospitality outlets.
The 8th Earl of Leicester has continued the transformation of the hospitality offered on the Estate from his father. The 7th Earl started the programme over 10 years ago to ensure that the Estate kept up with the diversity required to ensure its future. The Estate has recently appointed Peter Mitchell as Holkham’s MD to lead and continue the growth of its commercial entities.
Traditionally over 60% of the income from the estate came from farming. Today, this has changed dramatically. Up to 60% now comes from the estate’s leisure business, which has grown into a multi-million Pound operation.
The estate hosts weddings, which have increased from three in the first year to over 30 weddings last year, which, along with corporate events, food fairs and other events, take place in The Lady Elizabeth Wing, a new venue completed in 2016 to transform redundant buildings and improve the visitor facilities. As part of the project, the former café was expanded to a 200-seater café where much of the produce is made in-house.
The ‘Grab and Go Offering’ at The Beach Café at Wells-next-the-Sea, perfectly located close to the popular beach, has grown in annual turnover in excess of £1m, with plans already being discussed to grow this even further.
The estate has many catering outlets as well as other activities such as:
The Victoria Inn
The Beach Café
The Courtyard Café within
The Lady Elizabeth Wing
Open air concerts and cinema
A gift shop
Plus a biannual Country Fair, antique fair and many other hospitality events.