The Limewater Bistro & Bar project has been especially meaningful one for Hay, as she and her husband Robert, a long-time builder and finish carpenter, and now an architectural draftsman on her team, have partnered to design the restaurant for their youngest daughter Isabelle, a sommelier, and her husband, Axl, the chef. The four of them worked together to create a space that honors the historic architecture of the Glen Willis House and the gracious hospitality for which the south is known.
The interiors of the dining rooms are purposely neutral, providing a backdrop where the food and the guests become the stars of the show. The soft greens and beiges mimic the colors of the landscape just outside the door. Adding to the family affair of the project is their older daughter Madeleine, an artist, who Hay commissioned to create works of art evocative of the lush landscape on which Limewater is situated.
For the bar, the team created a cozier vibe with a touch of glam; the walls are covered in a woodgrain wallcovering and the accent wall behind the bar is composed of antiqued, mirrored tile, providing a reflective effect. Dramatic palm leaf pendants punctuate the space and hand-woven raffia animal "trophies," representing species indigenous to the area, hang over the fireplace - a whimsical ode to the days when buffalo roamed the trace and the original house on the property was a log cabin.
The porch will allow for gracious dining with glorious views of the verdant landscape rolling gently down to the banks of the Kentucky River. Hay loves to incorporate whimsy into her designs, so added a mural to the entry foyer entitled "Southern River." The magical reproduction of a river scene captures the flora and fauna of the south and provides a wonderful and welcoming focal point as guests enter the space. The bathrooms further capture the whimsy with walls clad in " Cocktails," a charming illustrated paper by British brand Cole & Son.
It is fitting that historic Buffalo Trace distillery is spitting distance to the restaurant. Once owned by the "father of modern bourbon," Colonel E. H. Taylor. Robert and Isabelle are direct descendants of EH, a man know for his good taste and fine hospitality. He would be proud of Team Hay continuing his tradition of fine and gracious living in a city he loved.