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How we restored 18 fireplaces at Chateau Denmark, one of London's most unique hotels

How we restored 18 fireplaces at Chateau Denmark, one of London's most unique hotels

April 5th at 12:00am

We’re thrilled to provide additional information about one of our most exciting projects to date, where we restored 18 fireplaces over a 12 month period at the (now) superbly refurbished Chateau Denmark hotel.

With the hotel situated on Denmark Street (perhaps better known as Tin Pan Alley), which features a number of historic music buildings built before the Great fire of London in 1666, we knew it was going to be a labour of love worth undertaking — with each fireplace needing to be restored by hand in situ.

For those not already familiar, Denmark Street was a key stomping ground for the likes of The Kinks, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, and many more. If you pay a visit to number 6, you can even see cartoons on the walls drawn by Johnny Rotten — now with listed status.

A location famous for its music

Denmark Place, a location famous for its rich history of musicians and artists, bears an iconic British blue plaque to mark its cultural significance

Pictured in the third image, a member of the Grate Expectations team against the listed Johnny Rotten cartoons

The work undertaken by Grate Expectations at this distinguished location included restoration of all the Victorian inserts and cast-iron hob grates (which in the Victorian period would have been use to warm teapots and the like, visible in the images below).

A key consideration when completing the work was the Grade I listed status of the building. 

The listed status meant the fireplaces could not be removed, so everything done to be done by hand in-situ! This involved a great deal more effort, but given the rich history of the property, we were more than happy to undertake such a labour of love and ensure the building and its stories can live on for future generations.

Visible in the below images is one half of our team (David and Jack) hard at work, using heldheld sanders and additonal tools to peform the required repairs and integration with new surrounds.

A closer look at the restorations

These images provide a closer look at the restoration work, including a before/after example of a cast-iron hob, now risen from the ashes

Also pictured is a member of the Grate Expectations team cleaning a Victorian surround

Another challenge the team had to overcome, given the age and status of the building, was the many uneven surfaces.

For example, all of the inserts and hob grates were originally handmade, with each being unique. This made it particularly difficult to fit repairs, with bespoke adjustments essential.

On one particular occasion, where a replacement grate had to fit a non-standard size, David had to cut it into seperate pieces, remove a segment from the middle, and weld the remaining pieces back together into a smaller final shape. Fortunately, Grate Expectations had a spare Victorian grate to hand ideal for the job.

Showcasing the stunning result

Here's a closer look at the unabashedly flamboyant punk-meets-lux design by Taylor Howes, with beautifully refurbished fireplaces by Grate Expectations

To book your stay at Chateau Denmark visit their website.

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