To conceive a contemporary and spirited Welsh bar that reflects our many, varied travels across the world. An aligned vision for interiors, brand identity, food & drink, vehicle livery, plates and cookware were all part of the brief. Our other challenge was to create a brand that is built to scale and 'tour' itself — firstly in the UK and then internationally.
The worn brass plate screwed onto the crumbling stone pillar to the left of the door in Trelew’s 'Touring Club Hotel' served as inspiration for our brand identity. As well as a logotype we have designed a 'TTC' monogram that serves as a short-form or endorsement to the full brand. The brand colour palette was built out to include the material palette, which subsequently informed our choice of furniture. This sees Welsh farmhouse vernacular meet mid-century Danish and contemporary Dutch design. As with many traditional bars in Patagonia a darker paint colour tracks around all walls to a midway point for both practical and aesthetic issues.
A fenestrated facade that pivots open to form a 180° flat canopy allows guests to face each other on a bar that straddles both the inside and outside of the building. This will be a common feature in all future Touring Clubs as will a large monolithic tiled bar and a fireplace. A simple, open kitchen set immediately behind the bar (and which is at the same height) caters for, on average 30 covers.
‘The Touring Club Hotel’ is a historic hostelry in Trelew, which we've been lucky enough to visit during trips to Patagonia. Our mission was to create a space that evokes the simplicity and purity of many similar establishments in South America. Utilitarian yet comfortable and contemporary — a space that feels part bar, restaurant and home.
Hotel Touring Club
Photo credit (dog image):
'AROS' by Rhodri Glyn Davies
The interiors are very much an extension of the brand identity — simple in spirit, satisfying in quality and timeless in design. A central, sculptural bar is clad in D-tiles from the Netherlands, cork stools are designed by Skram in the US, a Douglas Fir table and benches are from Danish brand Dinesen. The beer tap is salvaged from an old bar in Eindhoven and the Welsh Stick Chair is made exclusively with hand tools by West Wales craftsman Chris Williams.
We worked with local craftspeople to create bespoke pieces such as plates, cups and saucers. These also compliment the vintage pieces we found and sourced over the years.
'The Touring Club' is split into four main spaces that all sit on separate levels and share irregular angles. Our only choice was to embrace and celebrate this. The main bar sits centrally. A cantilevered and sculptural steel staircase leads to an upstairs private dining room whilst another set of stairs lead up behind the bar to a lounge area which is lined with a 5 metre low slung bespoke leather sofa. Directly in front of the bar is the fenestrated area which leads out to a terrace.
We sought knowledge and ideas from a wide variety of chefs, spaces, countries and ingredients.
We wanted to celebrate craft, detail and knowledge wherever we could throughout the space. Objects and products which we have picked up along the way on our travels such as hand painted Grivel Ice Axes and a vintage brass sink/knock box.
Food, Restaurant & Service
Food, wine and beer choices are overseen by esteemed Welsh Chef Bryn Williams and in many ways take the strain away from the guests, in that there are only six dishes available at any one time, including one daily special. Ten reds and ten whites — all available by the glass — and two beers — a Welsh Pale Ale, (brewed up the road), and a Catalonian Pils line-up next to non alcoholic offerings.
In the details
Bespoke plates and cups made by local artist Andréa Anderson feature earth and orange tones that compliment the pans that have been provided by French brand 'Le Creuset'. The beer pump carries bespoke clips that feature a lasered TTC marque alongside the names of the two tap beers hand stamped into brass plates — eschewing typical back-lit plastic 'lenses'. Kitchen knives are predominantly Japanese and French but also feature a custom knife designed by Smörgåsbord and 'The Canton Cutler'.
The worn brass name plate at Patagonia's 'Touring Club Hotel' served as inspiration for our logotype, set in 'Candela Condensed' with supporting copy typeset in 'Founders Grotesk Extra Condensed'. The 'TTC' monogram that serves as a short-form or endorsement to the full brand is bespoke.
The core colours are a deep petrol blue alongside a burnt orange. The secondary palette is made up of predominantly earthy tones that are informed by our material and furniture specification.
The 'Tour' Continues
The 'TC' brand is itself built to scale and 'tour' itself — firstly in the UK and then internationally. Different typographical lock-ups allow us to introduce new bars in new locations as and when they are rolled-out.