By: Simon Haslam
Rachel Luchetti from Luchetti Krelle, a Sydney-based interior design firm, has been engaged to transform the restaurant, bar, reception and relaxation deck at the Byron at Byron resort.
The well-known firm’s past projects include Hotel Centennial, Mode at The Four Seasons, Sake Restaurant and Bar, Banksii and a host of other mainly Sydney and Melbourne restaurants as well as Longrain Tokyo.
Ms Luchetti said that the wonderful feel of the verandahs would be maintained, and that work would focus on the initial courtyard area and the main bar. ‘The resort has never really had a walk-up bar of the quality that you’d expect in a place like this. We’ve put a lot of focus and energy into making the bar a real showstopper. There’s going to be a lot of copper in the bar,’ she said.
‘In terms of the design ethos, we love the whole concept of the verandah, and we are lucky to have inherited this element from the existing architecture; it is part of the Australian vernacular. Too often we try to copy what people are doing overseas; the point is that this is a little treasure that is Australian in Byron.
‘The resort will have the feel of the home of well-travelled people; it would be like the home of a person who has lived in a house for 50 years but updated it, and filled it with objects they have sourced from their travels.
‘Their house would be Australian, but we have sourced luxury furniture from all over the world; we have combined that worldly luxury with the uniquely Australian openness of the existing architecture and breezeways.
‘We are actively creating a courtyard in the currently underused entry ante-room where the trees grow through the deck. We are giving that a sense of purpose, and are putting down paving in a French pattern to create a real courtyard feel.
‘We have commissioned Sydney-based emerging Australian artist Julian Meagher to do a series of specific works of Australian native still life done in a really contemporary way. We also have some Australian landscapes to populate the space, including suspended artworks,’ Ms Luchetti said.
The work is taking place in November and December although with minimal disruption to resort guests, and works are expected to be complete by Christmas.
From January, former Sydney chef Matthew Kemp, who now lives in Pottsville, will join the team, working with head chef Gavin Hughes at The Byron at Byron’s restaurant.
Kemp was originally from the UK where he received his Michelin-starred training and worked at The Square in London, before taking the helm of now-defunct Sydney establishment Banc. After Banc closed he opened his own restaurant, Restaurant Balzac, and Burlington Bar and Dining, and was recently executive chef at Manly’s Boilerhouse and a curator at Moore Park Produce Market.
Kemp and Hughes will be keeping the restaurant’s focus on local produce, using existing producers, and hope to find a few new ones.
The official launch program will commence from January 2018.