Hebburn firm RDA cooks up a storm

Claire Grainge
Claire Grainge

South Tyneside restaurant design specialist RDA has served up a stunning new look for a family-run garden business.

The Hebburn firm was appointed by Whitegates Nursery, in West Rounton, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, to transform its existing tearoom into a country kitchen-style cafe.

RDA's design for the new cafe at Whitegates Nursery.

RDA's design for the new cafe at Whitegates Nursery.

Whitegates was established more than 50 years ago and takes great pride in the quality of the plants that it grows across its 15-acre site, the standard of customer service and its individuality.

It was this uniqueness that led owners Claire and John Grainge to approach RDA when they were looking to renovate the existing catering facilities.

“I wanted something different to the traditional bland look and feel of many garden centre cafes,” said Claire.

“I was immediately attracted to what RDA could offer and liked that they were a like- minded, family business. I really felt they understood the brief and was confident that they would create something special whilst retaining the individuality and family atmosphere which has become synonymous to Whitegates.”

The RDA design team worked with Claire to bring her vision to life creating a warm and welcoming country kitchen restaurant environment with a contemporary twist, using a combination of lounge and dining furniture, warm ambient lighting and a mis-match of colours and materials.

To represent the botanical surroundings, green was the predominant colour, with olive tones and more delicate shades, contrasted with bold- coloured furniture such as dark teal, violet blue and blush pink chairs, statement floral fabrics and raw wooden panelling.

RDA also designed and installed a newly-built kitchen, which included a four-door refrigerated counter, cooking suit with extraction canopy, microwave, Baine Marie, Merry Chef, soup kettle and wash station.

Claire added: “We wanted to create an area within the garden centre for our customers where they could gather and chat about gardening. A cosy yet luxurious and welcoming space where our customers could stay and relax, perhaps read a magazine, or a book whilst enjoying our home-made goods.

“I feel RDA has encapsulated that perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier.”