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Country Escapes

The Pig at Bridge Place

Country Escapes

The Pig at Bridge Place

Country Escapes

The Pig at Bridge Place

The Decadent Escape

Bourne Park Road, Bridge, Canterbury CT4 5LF

When it comes to booking a private dining room for a special occasion it takes more than a carefully curated food or drink menu to stand out from the crowd. Today, restaurants have become outlets for some of the most creative interiors in the world, pulling out all the stops to appeal to aesthetes with cutting-edge design, priceless artwork and lavish décor. Bon Vivant raises a glass to three extraordinary private dining rooms that each provide a truly unique setting for a meal to remember.

Image © Jake Eastham

Nestled in the lap of Scotland’s Cairngorm mountains, this luxury hotel boasts an art collection that will impress even the most discerning art aficionado. The Fife Arms is, after all, the second UK hospitality project of power art couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth, whose art empire spans New York, Zurich, London and Los Angeles. Their loving two-year restoration of this former Victorian coaching inn ushered in a series of contemporary commissions by the likes of Zhang Enli, Guillermo Kuitca, Richard Jackson and Bharti Kher, as well as Scottish artworks that celebrate the Highlands’ rich heritage, such as a watercolour of a stag by HM Queen Victoria and wildlife paintings by Archibald Thornburn.

Image © Jake Eastham

Image © Jake Eastham

Image © Jake Eastham

With such a colourful array of artworks housed under one roof, every corner of The Fife Arms has been wholly transformed, including the hotel's dining spaces. Inspired by the interiors of a traditional Scottish croft – an agricultural estate that is particular to the Highlands – the Fire Room seats up to 12 people for a private dining experience like no other. Dark wood furnishings, unfinished stone walls, sheepskin throws and monochromatic décor is offset by the room’s spectacular centrepiece – a specially commissioned chandelier by Indian artist, Subodh Gupta, comprised of steel buckets, sieves, and ladles which are interspersed with coloured light bulbs.

Diners get a taste of Scotland in the cuisine created by Executive Chef Robert Cameron. Cameron’s menus are seasonal and undeniably Scottish, showcasing the very best produce and specialties of the region. “To understand where our food comes from is such a phenomenal experience,” Cameron says. A sample menu includes Scottish squid risotto, Inverurie wood pigeon, Shetland mussels, loin of Highland venison, and Burnside farm pheasant.

Image © Jake Eastham

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

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