Tulipwood on the menu in new London “gastro” pub
Auteur : David Venables in Species focus
A chance visit this week to the Grazing Goat, a newly opened gastro pub, just off Portman square in central London proved to be more than just a good culinary experience.
For a passionate hardwood connoisseur such as myself it was also a visual treat and a very encouraging find. Why? As we sat down to eat I realised the whole place was panelled from floor to ceiling in unfinished solid American tulipwood. Having spent the last ten years trying to persuade European markets to see the potential of tulipwood as an attractive fashionable hardwood option it was a real joy to see it used in way that showed off all its natural characteristics and colour variations. Freshly sawn tulipwood can display a variety of marbled tones created by the contrast between the creamy white sapwood and light brown or sometimes greenish hue of the heartwood. Dramatic colour differences like this can make specifiers and manufacturers nervous so traditionally much of the tulipwood used in Europe has been painted or stained. For example the Italian door industry has used it to achieve cost effective high quality walnut and mahogany finishes for decades. But attitudes are changing and the rustic or character use of hardwood is more in fashion especially in restaurant and bar interiors. I shall be returning to the Grazing Goat on a regular basis not just for the steak and ale pie! But also to see how the tulipwood panels mellow and darken over time (the effect of exposure to light) to transform the pale greenish brown interior to one that is warm, rich and dark brown. Two looks for the price of one, now that is what I call good value!
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