Kenwood cafés open once again after flooding on the weekend
PUBLISHED: 11:33 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:46 11 April 2017
The cafés at Kenwood House, favoured by Hampstead’s literati, have reopened to the public after flooding and a collapsed ceiling forced them to shut on the weekend – just a few weeks after the Brew House was closed for major refurbishment works.
The Brew House café and the Steward’s Room, run by caterers Searcy’s, in conjunction with English Heritage, were closed on the weekend and Monday after a water tank leak flooded the kitchen floor.
The caterers also had to repair one of the ceiling panels.
The Brew House was closed from the mid February to March 18 for an extensive refurbishment and upgrade of the cooking facilities.
The café, hosted in its Grade I building, is famous for its informal “morning club”, with past brunchers including Spy novelist John le Carré, Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson, Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher and jazz guitarist John Etheridge.
Caterers Searcys took over from Company of Cooks in 2014.
Sam Cooper, general manager at Kenwood said: “On Sunday we had to close the Brew House café due to a leak from a water tank.
“The leak has not had any impact on the café area, however the floor in the kitchen was waterlogged and we needed to carry out a small repair to one ceiling panel.
“We apologise for the inconvenience the closure has caused to customers.”
Helen Payne of Friends of Kenwood membership secretary is delighted the cafés are back open again.
She said: “It’s a great relief. The Brewhouse and Steward’s Room are critical for revenue at Kenwood House. It’s just the most fantastic thing that we have this wonderful collection of art at Kenwood House which is totally free and the Brew House is really important to support the House. The more they make, the more money goes into keeping Kenwood going.”
The Friends of Kenwood have recently funded new obelisks for the Brew House café which are exact copies of the ones designed in the late 1990s by award-winning designer, Lady Arabella Lennox Boyd.
The original obelisks were made of softwood and over time rotted away, but the new obelisks in the café are exact copies of the originals and made of a very durable sustainable timber from managed forests.