A Historic Bar with an Iconic View

The White Lion Restaurant and Bar, part of the historic Avon Gorge hotel, has reopened after a six week interior redesign by Dexter Moren Associates. This refurbishment marks the first stage of Malmaison Hotel du Vin’s major investment programme into the historic property.

With its famous panoramic terrace view of the river Avon and the Brunel designed Clifton Suspension Bridge, The White Lion Restaurant and Bar has been given a fresher, more contemporary feel. The grade II listed building retains all the character of the original venue, but with the ambiance of a modern restaurant and bar.

The design concept references the industrial history of Bristol and the mechanical materials and form of the bridge. An iron antique style station clock hangs behind the bar with hanging spoked brass light fixtures resembling suspension. The walls have been painted charcoal grey, complemented by the brass topped bar and reclaimed artwork frames. The soft lighting, wooden tables and old original stained hardwood floors combine to create a cosy atmosphere, contrasting with a striking central mosaic feature floor. The bathrooms reflect the era when the bridge was erected, with Victoriana style tiled floors, urinals and toilets, inset porcelain basins, satin brass taps and antique style mirrors.

DMA Interior Designer Anya Gordon Clark added;

“The White Lion was an exciting project for us to work on as it’s a very well-known bar with such an iconic view of the suspension bridge. We aimed to incorporate the essence of this heritage in the redesign, focusing on industrial style features with a contemporary twist.”

Redesigned and improved, the composition of the bar has increased spatial efficiency; by moving the entrance slightly closer to that of the hotel and by replacing the old central bar structure with a new brass topped focal point bar in line with the wall. Additional seating has been created including long communal, poseur and high tables.

The White Lion will be followed shortly by the next phase of DMA redevelopment, including the hotel’s restaurant and the addition of a new terrace bar.