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The George Hotel Colchester

With a history reaching beyond 500 years, The George sits proudly in the very heart of Colchester's thriving town centre.

Interior designer

Jayne Nelson Interiors




The hotel is part of a collection of 13 venues – Surya Hotels, which have other hotels in Essex, such as The Kingscliff Hotel in Holland on Sea.

Fittings supplied

Solti single, twin and bidirectional wall lamps. Bronze leaf pendant. Milo bar pendants. Hilliard, Castro and Bartok wall lighting in the suites. Aurelia pendants in the restaurant.

Photography credit

Richard Blaxill

Having been such a prominent fixture of the high street, until recently The George has been closed for restoration works, but the wait was certainly worth it.

With Surya Hotel Group now at the helm of the operation, the hotel has been completely revamped whilst working with Colchester Council, a team of designers, restorers, and specialist contractors throughout the renovation process. There are 49 rooms, all full of contemporary and rustic touches, period features and exposed beams. 


Northern Lights was thrilled to realise the vision of Essex-based interior designer Jayne Nelson for the carefully curated hotel by providing bespoke lighting from our ever-growing catalogue of handmade fixtures. The lighting specified for the project had to complement the vibrant palettes that change from room to room, which include beautifully woven patterns and luxurious furnishings.


Our focus was based mainly on bedroom lighting and various other public areas throughout the hotel. In the Claudius Suite, our Hilliard wall lights are displayed on either side of the charmingly decorated bed. The elegant Old English Brass details are paired with hand-applied plated nickel backplates and completed with pearl linen drum shades. Placed beside the mirror in the bedroom is our showstopping Bartok wall light. Handcrafted Old English Brass meets matt opal glass to form a touch of opulence that rounds the room off perfectly.


In the Boudicea Suite, our highly sought after Castro wall lamps sit flush to a contemporarily decorated wall and provide a stark contrast to the intricately woven headboard of the bed. Our Castro wall lamps originate from a classic design incorporating Italian brass cast cones, backplates and bases. Finished in our rich bronze patina, the lamps play with the room's scheme by marrying with the brushed light switches and picture frames. Our Castro lamps can also be found in The George Suite.


Elsewhere, our bespoke bronze leaf pendant with laser-cut leaf details sits above a social area with beautifully arranged crushed velvet and leather seating. The intricacy of the pendant's leaf shapes and the gaps within the shade provides an incredibly complex lighting display that catches the eye from afar. A reeded glass box light is fixed to a pillar nearby, providing further illumination to the intimate seating area. Our Solti Twin wall light also appears in another corner of the room, matching perfectly with the rustic wooden details displayed through the coffee table and tan leather furniture. 


In the restaurant, our Bartok wall lamps and bidirectional, single and double Solti wall lamps complement each other effortlessly. Georgian brass meets exquisitely crafted clear fluted glass to create a subtle yet warming source of light. The Bartok's Old English Brass provides a heavy contrast to the elaborate floral pattern of the wallpaper behind it. The upstairs dining area is a cluster of our Aurelia pendants. Inspired by textile designs from the 1950s and then abstracting the shape into a fluid Art Nouveau form, the cluster of laser-cut fixtures are displayed in flamed blackened steel, a modern yet painterly finish with different depths of tone and elements of bronze within the patina.


Finally, the bar area is adorned with rich hues that perfectly evoke Colchester's rich history. Hanging above the picturesque bar are our Milo pendants, finished in a hand-applied smoke finish. Using the shapes of Victorian glass pendants as a starting point for our designs and then abstracting them to create something more contemporary, these free-blown fluted glass pendants are finished with oiled bronze machined bosses and provide a warm ambient glow. Our Solti single wall lamps complement the pendants, which sit on either side of the incredibly decorated fireplace.

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