Throughout The George in Rye, you’ll find an array of reclaimed and salvaged materials. Their sense of history and character are palpable, but it’s in the stories behind their origins that the design really comes to life.

Our original plan for the restaurant was to clad the walls in red leather folio cases that were salvaged from a London museum for our showroom stock. However, we decided that having a reference to Rye’s seafaring history felt more fitting…

Instead, we worked with the enormous sails from a Thames barge. Our upholsterers were conveniently based at Manston Airport which meant there was enough space to spread them out and strategise a cutting layout that would make a feature of the original stitching and minimise waste.

Reclaimed Victorian leaded windows, sourced by Adam for Retrouvius stock, were used internally to divide space. These pieces were salvaged from the facade of a Tudor building that was being restored to a ‘historically accurate’ state by removing more recent additions.

Throughout the public spaces you can spot these fantastic cast iron tiles, reclaimed by Adam from a factory floor. At the serving counter, their geometric form is paired with enamelled pressed steel found by the George’s co-owner Katie Clarke.

The tables in the courtyard, crafted locally by Harbor Designs, are made of teak that was salvaged from Hastings Pier after it was destroyed by a fire in 2010.

More reclaimed timbers were used for flooring throughout the public spaces, with off-cuts from the reclaimed ballroom floor artfully transformed into table tops by a local joiner.

One of the most enchanting spaces are the restrooms, adorned with the designs of artist Blott Kerr-Wilson. Maria has been a fan of Blott’s creations since the early 1990’s and they’ve since collaborated on several Retrouvius projects. Bringing Blott’s charm to Rye felt like a natural choice, and the installation has been crafted using shells native to the South East coast.

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