Boutique caterer Harbour & Jones has been appointed to create a £5.5m café at the Cutty Sark, in south-east London.
Opening in April 2012, the new café by Harbour & Jones will feature an offer of British treats made with ingredients that reflect the heritage of the location.
"It's a real honour to have been awarded this contract by Cutty Sark Enterprises and we're looking forward to designing a menu that tells a story, and which throws the spotlight on tea and cake and plays on the unique nautical features of this iconic attraction," explained Nathan Jones, director of Harbour & Jones.
"We'll remain particularly true to the Cutty Sark's legacy as a merchant tea vessel and we will be creating a café underneath the ship, two external kiosks and an attractive events and parties offering on board the ship."
In reference to the Cutty Sark's famous cargo, and to differentiate the Cutty Sark café from the saturated local coffee shop scene, there will be a menu aimed at tea aficionados featuring numerous varieties of the quintessentially British brew.
The 19th-century tea clipper, closed since it was ravaged by fire in November 2006, is in the final stages of a £50m restoration project. On completion the Cutty Sark will be able to generate multiple income streams, reducing dependency on visitor income alone.
Commenting on the decision to award Harbour & Jones the contract, Julia Parker, operations manager at Cutty Sark Enterprises, said that Harbour & Jones stood out from the crowd.
"Their reputation for service and their incredible creativity with food is exactly the positioning we want to achieve at the Cutty Sark. During the day the ship will be a focus for learning, an exciting day out for the family, a revived and rejuvenated ship ready to welcome back old friends and impress new visitors," she explained.
"At night it will take on a truly enchanted atmosphere, making it a unique venue for all manner of community events and functions. Corporate visitors will be able to entertain their clients at an exciting new venue and London will have an impressive new location for hire for parties, wedding receptions and other events."
By Janie Stamford
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