Rolls-Royce bespoke picnic set

2 Aug 2010
Rolls-Royce bespoke picnic set

Rolls-Royce has presented a series of bespoke features developed in-house to allow customers to personalize their cars with exclusive accessories. The programme includes a four person picnic set inspired by the 1920s golden era.


Rolls-Royce Bespoke Picnic Set Design SketchesThe Rolls-Royce Motor Cars bespoke programme has delivered an exclusive four person picnic set, taking cues from the past and translating them into a modern and exclusive interpretation for the 21st century.

The idea of an exclusive bespoke picnic set has been first considered during the development of the Drophead Coupé.

The aim was to understand the past and encapsulate the essence of early 20th century designs.

Back in the day, diners could choose from an array of products from suitcase, wicker or front-folded trunks. Then there were the features included to accommodate the type of picnic experience – hot or cold for example – as well as the number of guests to be considered.

Rolls-Royce Bespoke Picnic SetThe set blends attributes of traditional wicker hampers, but in a leather front-folded unit that facilitates air flow while offering the solidity of a trunk.

The team started with oiled teak, a material that complements decking commonly selected as an option by Drophead Coupé owners.

Saddle tan leather originates from a small tannery in Germany while polished aluminium and stainless steel complete the unit to be presented at Salon Privé this week.

Rolls-Royce Bespoke Picnic Set"After opening the set and folding out Indian rosewood tables, owners are presented with Goodwood designed hand-blown and cut stemware, cutlery made by David Mellor CBE and clever design touches like magnets inside chopping boards to hold knives in place."

The set can be personalised through veneer, leather and individual requirements. Oak might be chosen as an option by the owner of a Phantom saloon to match a vehicle interior. And leather can be dyed to match the colour of an owner’s Rolls-Royce luggage set.

The four person picnic set is a commissionable item, made to order. And while the team’s focus was for Drophead Coupé, the first firm customer order came from a Phantom saloon customer in the UK.

The Design

But a 21st century Rolls-Royce picnic set was not a question of mimicking past design. The brief for th design team was to create "the Rolls-Royce of picnic sets".

Rolls-Royce Bespoke Picnic SetResearch began early in 2009. Then in the autumn, the design started to take shape. From the first pencil sketches, a further three months were taken to develop to a computer aided design scheme, then three more to make a working prototype. In total, around six months and 1,500 hours went into the design and creation of the four person picnic set, before its first appearance at Villa D’Este, Italy in April 2010.

Rolls-Royce bespoke designer Alex Innes has commented: “The most exciting thing for me is that an automotive company has embraced a project like this. It’s very non-automotive for car designers to be given the opportunity to sit down and focus on something like a bespoke picnic set. It shows a vibrancy in the brand and makes us unique.”

“We wanted to make sure this wasn’t just going to be another box filled with other people’s products; it had to be designed from the ground up. And we wanted to come up with engineered solutions, demonstrating our innovation."

Rolls-Royce Bespoke Luggage SetAs Rolls-Royce bespoke design manager Gavin Hartley explains, “The creation of a bespoke picnic set was always a question of entertainment, not just functionality. You choose to eat outdoors and you want to do it in an entertaining and elegant way, to make an occasion of the experience. Our design encapsulates that approach.”

“A degree of theatre was particularly important too. We wanted to explore the way the trunk opens in the Drophead Coupé.

"The way things open out, you appreciate a sense of unpacking. It’s exciting and surprising and exceeds expectations. You might think it’s a box, but when you open it out, it presents owners with useful surfaces like drop-down tables.”

(Source: Rolls-Royce)

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