Design Feature: Plumpy Duck

4th of September, 2017 | Posted in Design Features, Editor's Picks Email Article | Print Article

Plumpy Duck – The Bowfield Hotel & Country Club, Howwood

Originally bought out of receivership in 2012, five years of hard work have been needed to overcome the planning and logistical issues standing in the way of Manorview Group achieving their vision at The Bowfield Hotel & Country Club.

But now the final piece of the jigsaw are institution, and the club’s members – all 2,066 of them, as well as all their outher cusotmers, must be delighted.

The gym facilities, bedrooms and kids play area have been totally revamped, new treatment rooms are in the process of being finalised upstairs and a renovation of the function room is next, but the jewel in the crown is quite possibly the bar and restaurant, entitled The Stables and The Plumpy Duck respectively.

The Stables is an updated version of an existing bar, whereas The Plumpy Duck is wholly new, and both were designed by Space ID and knocked into shape by Dimension Shopfitting.

The Stables has a welcoming, distinctly Scottish feel, with chocolate brown leather chairs and stools spread out upon thick, patterned carpet (supplied by Wilton Carpets). An original fireplace has been reinstated and a new skylight has been installed, so light and warmth are not in short supply! Crockery and artificial bookcases enhance the country club vibe.

Anthony Cowley, Manorview Development Director, explained, “We worked very closely with Space ID and Dimension. It was a
collaboration. We’ve kept the same layout but
took the concept a bit further forward. We’ve worked around a lot of the original features but the feel and lookhas now been modernised..”

He continues, “There was a pipe chase we couldn’t get rid of because it services upstairs, so we put the artificial bookcase there. That attention to detail is key, other people might have just boxed that in.”

Just around the corner lies The Plumpy Duck, a longer, wider room with an autumnal colour scheme. Wooden pillars and sections of panelling with wrought iron cross sections serve to create
intimate corners and hideaways, although customers more inclined to nosiness can sneak glances through the wrought iron! Inventive design features include a row of tweed coats and caps complete with shepherd’s crooks, and mirrors made from the bases of whisky barrels.

Anthony elaborated on the thinking behind the rather unusual name.

He said, “I was discussing with our new Head of Marketing David Young the issues with hotel restaurants, in that people don’t tend to use the name of the restaurant when they talk about it – they say the name of the hotel instead. Internally we talked about how to raise the profile of the restaurant so that it’s a destination in itself. David came back with the name The Plumpy Duck. ‘It is really quite a unique name,. It’s different and the more we spoke about it, the more it grew on everyone. We hope it’s a strong enough name to hold its own identity, so that rather than people saying, ‘I was at The Bowfield for food’, they’ll say, ‘I was at The Plumpy Duck.’”

In fact, it’s more than just a name, as ducks are everywhere you look inside the restaurant, from a selection of duck paintings running along one wall to the menu, which will feature duck eggs for breakfast and a different duck special every day for lunch.

Bowfield is one of nine hotels in the Manorview portfolio, but the fact that it that doubles as a health club is just one of the reasons Anthony describes it as the most challenging job project the group have took on. They had to install a £90,000 drainage system and a £365,000 biomass plant, and somehow keep the members – whose numbers have more than doubled since Manorview took over – happy while it was all going on.

Anthony added, “In the early days we didn’t have enough money to develop a whole site. For instance we kept the pub open at The Commercial while we did the nightclub upstairs, and at The Torrance we did the ground floor and externals then the function room later. “People go to places like The Lynnhurst for a wedding or lunch, so it’s no problem if you’re working on a bedroom, but if somebody’s paying £1,000 for a family membership they expect a really good experience regardless of whether it’s being developed or not. To be fair, the members have been so excited about the club being renovated, they’re smart enough to see what’s coming. It’s just striking the right balance, and it’s been very rewarding to see the finished product.”

Membership at The Bowfield is approaching the all-time high of 2,250 achieved in the early noughties, quite a feat considering the subsequent boom in health clubs such as David Lloyd and Virgin Active.

Anthony concluded, “The restaurant has also been busy, the members have been over the moon. It used to be that members would use the facilities then leave – the offering wasn’t good enough. Now, with the restaurant looking particularly inviting members are happy to come and bring the whole family. The kids can go in the play area, mum can do an aerobics class, while dads can can use the sauna. It ticks all the boxes. The idea is that it’s a destination where people can come and do lots of activities all under one roof.”

It’s an easier decision than ever for customers to ‘plump’ for The Bowfield now that The Stables and The Plumpy Duck are up and running. Or should that be waddling!

The following two tabs change content below.
Hotel Magazine Scotland News Team

Hotel Magazine Scotland News Team

Hotel Scotland is a new publication (2017) from the publishers of DRAM - Scotland's leading on-trade magazine. Hotel Scotland is a newsy magazine which covers all aspects of the industry in Scotland. From who's who, to industry issues and refurbishments.
Hotel Magazine Scotland News Team

Latest posts by Hotel Magazine Scotland News Team (see all)

Recent News

    Moxy

    Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand, opened in Glasgow recently at High Street. Moxy is described by the company as being…

    The Fife Arms

    The transformation of The Fife Arms in Braemar is now complete and the hotel has re-opened just in time for Christmas. This…

    A Dream Team: Interview with Struan and Louise Lothian

    Struan and Louise Lothian own and run the Knockendarroch Hotel in Pitlochry, which recently was awarded a César by the Good Hotel…

    Trade bodies express doubt over City of Edinburgh Council’s boast that half of accommodation providers in Edinburgh support its proposed Tourism Tax

    Both the Scottish Tourism Alliance and UKHospitality have called in to question City of Edinburgh Council’s statement that its proposed £2 tourist…

    Priory Hotel adopts employee-ownership model

    The Priory Hotel in Beauly, near Inverness, has transitioned to employee ownership to 46 staff members as its founder prepares to retire after…

    Rising costs pose significant threat to Scotland’s hotel sector

    The fear of rising costs – caused by inflation, business rates, staffing and online travel agency (OTA) fees – is the biggest…

    GREEN LIGHT FOR GREEN COLLABORATION

    UKHospitality and Scottish-based organisation, Green Tourism, which helps businesses and attractions achieve sustainability goals, have joined forces in order to raise awareness…

    One Devonshire Gardens

    One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin in Glasgow has seen its bedrooms and restaurant areas transformed and two new luxury townhouse…

    Gleneagles outpost for Edinburgh 

    Press reports that Ennismore is planning a new Gleneagles Hotel in Edinburgh are short of the mark, instead, Communications Director John Diviney…

    DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Spa and Golf Resort

    The former Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort in Cumbernauld, home of Scotland’s only Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course, is now part of a…

    Interview with Robert and Vivien Kyle

    Robert and Vivien Kyle are the husband and wife team behind the Ayrshire-based RAD Hotel Group, which employs 500 people over six…

    HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PAID REVIEW FRAUD

    A landmark ruling over fake TripAdvisor reviews in Italy, known as paid review fraud, has resulted in the world’s first prosecution and…

    ACCOLADE FOR HOTEL INDIGO DUNDEE

    The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Great British Hotels singled out Hotel Indigo Dundee for special mention naming it as Scotland’s best hotel.…

    RICKARD LEADS FAMILY MBO

    Chris Rickard has led a management buyout of the Strathmore hotel group which was founded by his father, Ronnie Rickard, in 1991.

    HOSPITALITY COSTS HIT 12 YEAR HIGH REVEALS NEW REPORT

    New data published by UKHospitality, and Christie & Co, show Government-implemented costs are taking a significant toll on businesses in the eating…