Jewel in the town: Saint Pauls House in Birmingham

Saint Pauls House dining

Adrian and Sharon Harvey have opened new hotel, bar and restaurant, Saint Pauls House, in Birmingham

Saint Pauls House, a new boutique hotel, bar and restaurant in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, has been a “labour of love” for Adrian and Sharon Harvey. The couple spent a year transforming the building with an opulent, contemporary design influenced by the “casual yet contemporary buzz of Shoreditch” while looking back to the Jewellery Quarter’s heritage as a centre for craftsmanship.

The site was most recently home to the Rope Walk pub but, working with leading hospitality designers Tibbatts Abel, the Harveys have transformed it into a hotel with 34 suites and a ground-floor bar and restaurant that is a destination in itself. With an emphasis on comfort and style to complement the boutique bedrooms, the bar and restaurant’s design draws on the area’s heritage. “Being in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, Saint Pauls House celebrates local craftsmanship and expresses design details that highlight this important history,” explains Mimi Fisher, senior designer at Birmingham-based Tibbatts Abel. “Each and every supplier for the venue was a locally based company which adds to the authenticity of the bar and restaurant.”

saint pauls house bar

The logo incorporates traditional jewellers’ intricate tools while furniture hints to craftsmanship with stud details and metalwork. Inspired by the rope factory that once stood on the site, rope has been used heavily in the scheme, adding a rustic element. Wheels, pulleys, wires and metal tubes provide the basis for picture rails, display units, balustrades and book shelving.

Reclaimed earthy brickwork creates a warehouse-inspired backdrop to the bar and restaurant area, with intricate, subtle ivory signwriting on the walls – again highlighting the jewellery trade that has been in the area for over 200 years. The space is punctuated with oversized bold pendant lights in earthy linens and bright yellows, with retro-style furniture in sunshine yellow, poppy red and racing green to add a playful note.

saint pauls house lobby

This vintage feel is enhanced by traditional-style painted panelling, crackled distressed leathers and reeded glass screens. “The overall aesthetic is relaxed and comfortable with vibrant punchy colours which create a cool, contemporary vibe, bringing the rich and diverse history of the building into the 21st century,” Mimi adds.

Saint Pauls House’s restaurant offers casual and formal dining throughout the day. “We offer modern European, with attention to provenance and freshness,” Sharon says. “We have an excellent grill section and a wide range of sharing plates, allowing you to sample a bit of everything that you fancy. The way that the venue has been designed lends itself perfectly to intimate or group dining, and the private dining room is perfect for something a bit special.” A new outdoor dining area has also been created, decorated with festooning lighting and foliage. With a retractable roof, it has an outdoor TV screen and its own service bar.

saint pauls house bartender

To create a stand-out drinks selection, they have brought in head bartender Soroush Ghaffari, who previously worked behind the bar at Birmingham restaurants Fleet Street Kitchen, Praza and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill at The Cube. Alongside classic cocktails, the bar offers a list of signature cocktails such as the Chased, made with Chase Marmalade Vodka, fresh watermelon and ginger ale, and the Golden XO, a combination of Hennessy XO cognac with edible gold leaf and tobacco syrup.

Within the space, the bar takes centre stage, with traditional metro tiles to the front counter alongside weathered reclaimed timber floorboard detailing and wired blown-glass pendant lighting. Intertwining, weaving ivy grows organically around the back bar, providing a beautiful setting for the glassware and bottles of spirits and liqueurs. “A lot of time and research has been put into our drinks range,” Sharon adds. “We want to ensure that we are able to offer our guests something that they can’t get elsewhere as well as making sure we have all the old favourites that never go out of style.”

saint pauls house bar

Adrian and Sharon have drawn on extensive experience in the licensed trade, with their business Suburban Inns running The Royal Hotel in Sutton Coldfield and The Village in Moseley, both in the Birmingham area. “A great love of design and hospitality along with a passion for Birmingham have driven what can only be described as a game-changing project,” Sharon says.

Saint Pauls House, 15-20 St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1QU
Tel: 0121 272 0999

saint pauls house exterior

Behind the scenes
Design and architecture: Tibbatts Abel
Contractor: Belfords
Lighting: 3Ci
Furniture: HF Contracts

Interiors photography by Richard Kiely. Food and drink photography by Jack Spicer Adams

saint pauls house cocktails

Originally published in the June 2016 print edition of Bar magazine.

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