Outdoors goes indoors at The Lawn Club in Manchester

lawn club manchester

Keep Left Events has unveiled an all-new look for The Lawn Club in Manchester

After a successful first year, The Lawn Club in Spinningfields in Manchester closed in January. Required to shut while redevelopments took place in Hardman Square, the hiatus was used by operator Keep Left Events to carry out a complete rebuild and redesign in partnership with property owner Allied London. It has now been reborn in a 3,100 sq ft space with its own 2,300 sq ft private lawn for picnicking, games and lounging.

Described as a “quintessential British retreat”, it is now separated into four spaces that take you from interior to exterior, designed to capture the British seasons. The aim was to create “a light and airy tranquil space where you can while away a few hours, sheltered from the busy city”, explains James Darwent of James Darwent Architecture which led on the design and build. “The concept takes inspiration from our colonial and nautical past and allows the building to serve as a clubhouse to one of Manchester’s few remaining green spaces.”

The interior styling by Igloo Design is sleeker and more elegant but maintains the cool and relaxed “British clubhouse” environment. “We were inspired by nature and the colonial lawn clubs of India, using natural materials in both the architectural and interior finishes,” explains Soo Wilkinson, creative director at Igloo Design. “The aim was to bring the outdoors indoors. We’ve used palms and Lloyd Loom furniture alongside contemporary items and lighting to create a modern twist on the lawn clubs of the 1920s.”

lawn club manchester

The main bar area, with a nine-metre bar, is light and spacious, naturally lit by day from large skylights. The drinks list, developed by bartender Mat Lake, ranges from craft beers, wines and champagnes to seasonally changing cocktails with “quintessentially British” influences – with a focus on gin. “Gin has its own section on the menu and will remain ever present throughout the seasons,” Mat says. “Our ‘Extra Fancy’ section is where we’ve taken influences from some of our favourite bars from Manchester, London, Edinburgh and New York. It’s also where we’re experimenting with infusions, dehydrations and smoking liquors – producing drinks that are unique to us. The ‘Classics’ section is a collection of our regular after-work drinks – personal favourites we want to share with our customers.”

After collaborating with chef David Gale on the bar food last year, Keep Left has reunited with him for The Orangery – the new 60-cover restaurant area. Described as “beautiful and easy-going”, his dishes feature fine ingredients sourced locally from the likes of Mettricks Butchers, fruit and veg supplier R Noone & Son, Caffeine & Co, and Neve Fleetwood fishmongers.

“This new incarnation is an exciting progression,” says James Wrigley, director of Keep Left which was set up by mobile bars and drinks company Fluid Bars. “We enjoyed huge success last year and worked hard to develop the food and drink offerings, events and indoor/outdoor space design to create something that wasn’t ‘just another bar’. This time, we’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic local companies, alongside Allied London, to create something that’s even better – something that we feel is ‘by Manchester, for Manchester’.”

The Lawn Club, Byrom Street, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3JE
Tel: 0161 914 7830

lawn club manchester

Behind the scenes
Design: James Darwent Architects
Contractor: Helm Joinery
Interior styling: Igloo Design
Bar fit-out: Dawnvale
Furniture: Lloyd Loom

Originally published in the September 2015 print edition of Bar magazine.

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