As the consultation process for improvements to Foregate Street station gains momentum, Midlands-based company Centenary Lounge, is all set to open a stunning new bistro café close by this Spring.
The Art Deco themed, GWR inspired café and restaurant hopes to attract commuters, shoppers and visitors to the City of Worcester; whilst also supporting suppliers of some of the best food and drink produced in the surrounding area.
The five-storey, Georgian, Grade II Listed premises at No. 31 The Cross, near Foregate dates back to about 1730 and a careful, challenging and extensive refurbishment has taken three years to complete. This has been a real ‘labour of love’ for new owner Aasia Baig, who said;-
“ Our vision was to create a strikingly beautiful bistro in the style of 1930s Art Deco, to tastefully recapture the experience and ambience of a First-Class period railway buffet from the golden age of travel. It feels good to have used local contractors throughout the build, to now offer new jobs in the city and to provide a menu that looks first to local producers for inspiration .”
The bistro menu will be created by chef Chris Holland whose own restaurant in Cheshire has been awarded 3AA Rosettes and has previously appeared on the BBC2 series – the Great British Menu.
Centenary Lounge opens on Saturday 6th April and will offer a full complement of breakfast choices from 8am, light lunches, luxury afternoon teas and later dining; as well as quick snacks, hot chocolates, chilled wines and cocktails.
Locally sourced food and drink will showcase the best of produce from in and around Worcestershire; with ales, ciders, smoked fish, cheeses, chutneys, sauces, fudge, cakes and numerous other offerings on the new menu.
For more information about the historical inspiration, other Centenary Lounge bistros in the region, opening times, menus, services and events, go to www.centenarylounge.com
Art Deco – also referred to as ‘style moderne’ – originated in the mid-1920s as a movement in the decorative arts and architecture of the era. It developed into a major style in Western Europe and the USA. The name derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes; an exhibition held in Paris, France in 1925.
Art Deco design – represented ‘modernism turned into fashion’ and symbolised wealth and sophistication through sleek, anti-traditional elegance.
The building – No. 31 The Cross, Foregate Street in Worcester was built around 1730; although there is evidence of stone, brick and other materials from the 1600s being used in its construction. As a Grade II Listed building, a careful and extensive plan of refurbishment now incorporates Art Deco style from the 1920s and 30s into a bright and beautiful 21st century bistro.
Centenary Lounge – is passionate about serving freshly prepared food and drink, supporting local suppliers and purveyors; and providing a beautifully elegant and memorable location for some of the simple pleasures in life.
The owner – As Managing Director, Aasia Baig launched Centenary Lounge Limited in June 2009 with the opening of her first (of two) Art Deco licensed cafés in Birmingham. A short while later, Aasia launched a range of GWR tableware that recreates the stunning and striking Art Deco style of the 1930s.
Interesting . . . the Great Western Railway was founded in 1833 and engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was also known affectionately as “God’s Wonderful Railway” or the “Great Way Round”. For many years, GWR owned and operated a huge network of ships, docks, hotels, motor bus routes and other infrastructure. The liveried locomotives were painted in Brunswick Green and the coaches in two-tone ‘chocolate and cream’ (the colours; not actual food!)