The-supper-club-welcomes-a-new-7f8b1082

BERT & MAY HOSTS SUPPERCLUBS ON A BARGE

Bert & May founder, Lee Thornley and Lionel Real de Azúa of Red Deer Architects talk inspiration and the thinking behind their collaboration on a new earthy kitchen range. In celebration of the new launch, they’ve been holding monthly supperclubs featuring rotating guest chefs

Words: Rachel Mantock

Committed to using natural, raw materials that result in premium products that blend seamlessly with nature, Bert & May’s new kitchen range was never going to be anything short of exceptional. They collaborated with Red Deer Architects to produce architecturally designed, British made kitchens that are made to order and entirely bespoke. Bert & May’s founder, Lee Thornley, describes the new range as ‘a celebration of the materials used; brass, concrete, timber, marble and birch faced ply’.

To launch their new kitchen range, the team at Bert & May have created a supperclub, which takes place once a month on their barge, docked at Regent’s Canal by Hackney East, offering gourmet delights against the backdrop of rustic interiors, while guests can marvel at the new kitchen range.

The supperclubs are a great opportunity to get to know the people in our community, those interested in design, and to eat some fabulous dishes

The tasting menu on offer focuses on seasonal produce, with a new guest chef announced each month, preparing the feast from one of Bert & May’s state of the art kitchens. Thornley wanted potential clients to see their showroom and meet their team in a relaxed environment, with the supperclub serving as the perfect way to achieve this. ‘We see it as a great opportunity to get to know the people in our community, those interested in design, and to eat some fabulous dishes prepared by different chefs each month,’ he explains.

Bronze, copper, brass, concrete, timber and marble all feature in Bert & May’s latest range

Lionel Real de Azúa of Red Deer Architects attributes the distinctiveness of the kitchens they helped produce to a lack of fear, explaining: ‘We are not afraid to use and explore materials that one wouldn’t typically associate with a kitchen. We use a lot of reclaimed timber, which by its very nature is an irregular material that doesn’t typically lend itself to a kitchen finish.’

We are not afraid to use and explore materials that one wouldn’t typically associate with a kitchen. We use a lot of reclaimed timber, which by its very nature is an irregular material that doesn’t typically lend itself to a kitchen finish

Bert & May, along with Red Deer Architects, have explored bronze, copper and ageing brass in their raw forms to produce worn finishes. Real de Azúa says: ‘We really wanted to push the boundaries of these materials to help the kitchens stand out, but for it to feel natural at the same time. That was the ambition. Where we could, we tried to introduce an element of nature and earth into it, just to give it a bit more character.’

On the topic of sustainability, Real de Azúa takes a realistic and logical stance, explaining that he doesn’t like the ‘greenwash approach’ that has become so apparent in recent years. ‘Sustainability is almost just a buzzword now,’ he says. ‘Most of the materials that we use are reclaimed and are sourced locally. Everything we do is sustainable in this sense. We are in a natural position when it comes to being sustainable, as opposed to using sustainability in a contrived way.’

READ MORE 5 WAYS TO OPEN UP YOUR KITCHEN TO THE GARDEN TONY RODD ON MASTERCHEF & FOODIES FESTIVAL THE SALT YARD’S BEN TISH ON WHY SPANISH IS BEST
*

 

Referring to the kitchen design market as oversaturated would be an understatement, yet Bert & May have managed to thrive and set themselves apart from the start, with humble beginnings in Spain as a reclaimed tile company. Arguably, they never lost this quintessential, country Spanish edge, something that is still so apparent in everything they produce today.

When asked what distinguishes them from other companies, Thornley says: ‘We challenge ourselves to think differently. We have a strong identity and aesthetic. We don’t conform; we try and set our own trends. We also collaborate with some incredibly talented designers, architects and craftsmen to produce unique products that tie in with our story and quality.’

With a strong sense of community and a constant interaction with the London design industry, Bert & May have even tapped into the residential market, posing a potential solution to London’s housing crisis with their prefab homes, known as Bert’s Boxes, which are luxuriously designed with outstanding finishes and mod cons. Food for thought, indeed.

Find out more at bertandmaykitchens.com

Most Read