If ever there were a catalyst for mulling over your brand, then winning four AA-rosettes, a Michelin-star and Michelin’s Welcome and Service award, all in the space of two weeks, would be it. At least, it was for Peel’s restauranteurs James and Fjona Hill. It was a series of fortunate events that brought them into the foodie spotlight, and it was that spotlight that illuminated the need to finesse their brand.
In 2008 hoteliers Jan and Derrick Hill invested in Hampton Manor, handing its renovation and stewardship over to their son, James, and daughter-in-law, Fjona. With plans in mind for a corporate space, the foodie direction came from left field. Fjona divulges:
Peel’s, the Manor’s restaurant, has spent the last 11 years inventing itself on spec, and then re-inventing itself around a strong, foodie, brand identity.
Fjona explains the tensions within the business following the boom of a star and four rosettes:
And so they embarked on the development of a new brand identity to wrap around the entire business, creating their own brand script and consistent collateral; an experience which brought a deep understanding of what brand is. James surmises his insight:
This process accumulated in the refurbishment of the Lobby and reveal of a commissioned piece of artwork; Chris de Souza’s The Table. This is an illustration depicting their core value of creating memorable moments around the table. James elaborates:
We ask Fjona for her advice to restauranteurs hoping to embark on a similar venture:
And so Peel’s Restaurant and Hampton Manor thrive. With firm brand roots, the Manor has flourished in its ventures; reviving the Victorian Walled Garden, opening Manor Cottage on its parameter and renovating the greenhouses for smokehouses and pickling sheds. They embody our mantra that sometimes we have to prune before we can grow.