London’s new Aloft, the only hotel in ExCeL, says it’s a new ‘tWist’ in travel. Part of the prestigious W Hotel Group, it’s upmarket, stylish and aimed very much at the top end for both business and leisure customers.
With a mix of bars, restaurants and meeting rooms, food and drinks service have to match its aspirations. Williams supplied refrigeration for the new build, including cellar coolers, blast chillers, back bar cabinets and kitchen counters.
Restaurant Design Associates was appointed to carry out the design and installation of the catering services for the new ‘FEDE’ bar restaurant and grill. Estimator Alex Bradley says that specifying Williams was straightforward: “We have a great working relationship and we knew the products would suit the demands as well as the stylish surroundings.”
However, there was another key reason for choosing Williams: the willingness to be flexible. “There was plenty of bespoke work involved in the whole contract, including the refrigeration, both back and front of house,” he says. “For example, the location and installing of the condensers required some customising and ingenuity, because of the design on the hotel. Meanwhile in the kitchen, RDA wanted Williams Biscuit Top counters, which are units without a worktop.
However, the designer wanted doors to match the Jade counter cabinet alongside. Williams were able to comply.”
The doors needed to match because the kitchen has a theatre cooking element and is clearly visible to customers.
“The Williams cabinets and counters look great – they had to, to complement the bespoke cooking suite we supplied,” says Alex Bradley.
The restaurant, which is operated by Elior, was the last part of the build and, consequently, time was limited. “The hotel had bookings the week after we were due to finish, so we had to move fast. Working with Williams helped a lot – they have the resources to call on when we needed them. They rushed through the cold room to make sure we had it in time.
“Williams equipment was used for almost all the refrigeration at Aloft’s FEDE Restaurant, because it was totally fit for purpose, in terms of quality, performance and aesthetics.”
Williams equipment at Aloft’s FEDE Restaurant includes:
- WBCF30 blast chiller freezer
- LA400-SA single door upright freezer (4 units)
- HJC3 BTJ Jade, biscuit top, three door refrigerator counter (2 units)
- HJC4SA Jade, four door refrigerator counter with low castors
- BC2S3 Bottle Cooler, s/s exterior and interior (2 units)
- Cellar Cooler unit•Cold Room (3.125 x 1.875m)