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Preserving Elegance: The Architecture & Design of the Grand Old House

Preserving Elegance: The Architecture & Design of the Grand Old House
07 Aug 2023

Usually, restaurant owners purchase a piece of land to build a restaurant, but at Grand Old House, we transformed our Petra Plantation house into a seaside restaurant retaining the charm of past, present, and future. 

Our restaurant is known to be the legend of Cayman exhibiting a modern touch with a panoramic waterfront terrace giving a tropical and magical vibe as you witness the beaming rays of the sun falling on the crystal clear waters.

It also highlights a timeless Colonial era setting with elegant chandeliers, Windsor and Chippendale chairs, square wooden tables, and more in the indoor dining and private rooms.  

Are you ready to have your curiosity quenched? Let’s dive deep into it!

Elegant Time Capsule: The Architectural Legacy of Grand Old House

• History

The history of the Grand Old House takes us back to 1908, when it was first established and revamped over a Petra Plantation house. Initially, the Petra Plantation House was intended to serve as a prestigious and impressive location surrounded by coconut trees. 

Later, a Boston businessman, William Henry, modified the plantation house and transformed it into the finest Grand Cayman restaurant.

For many years, Lamberts supervised the business and the plantation house. They entertained guests by hosting countless elegant parties. Although in 1925, they left for Jamaica, and their family housekeeper, Olive Hinds, took care of the restaurant. 

In the late 1980s and early 90s, the restaurant was managed by the late Friedman Paul Erhardt, a famous German American chef who starred in ‘Chef Tell.’ For the longest period of time, the Grand Old House was used as a Sunday School for local children, a hospital for wounded soldiers in World War II, a beauty parlor, and a shelter for island residents to shield themselves from storms and hurricanes

In the year 1950, the restaurant was taken over by retired U.S. Army Colonel Pirnie. He even established the first rotary club at the house in 1966. In 1969, Bob and Jeanne Brenton and other partners purchased the restaurant. 

Our fine dining restaurant became the talk of the town, especially in the modern era. We witnessed a significant shift in the economic, infrastructural, and social development of the island.

Since then, there has been no going back. Residents started loving us for offering an exceptional dining experience. We even incorporated a 5000-square-foot waterfront deck while maintaining the classics of the restaurant.  

• Architectural Design

The architecture of the Grand Old House is a beautiful marriage between Colonial heritage, the Caribbean Georgian style, and European architecture of the modern era. 

Let’s give you a glimpse of the elements of Caribbean architecture highlighted in Grand Old House. 

• Wooden Construction

The colonial architecture incorporates wood as a primary means of constructing buildings. You will find a similar adaptation in the Grand Old House. From the waterfront deck to private dining and wine rooms, all of them contribute to the historic charm and aesthetic appeal of the restaurant. 

Apart from the furniture, the walls are adorned with precise wooden paneling, moldings, and trim work. The flooring is typically constructed using wooden planks. In fact, the door frames, window casings, and other architectural details are made of wood. 

The wooden construction enhances the architectural integrity while serving as a testament to the Island’s rich history and culture. 

• Coral Stone Walls

Even though the primary source of construction for the restaurant has been wood, coral stones are also utilized to construct walls offering ancient and exquisite touches while providing freshness and durability. 

You can discover the coral stone walls at the waterfront deck and in the indoor dining space for natural insulation.

• Waterfront deck

The spacious deck at our waterfront restaurant makes it a perfect place for loved ones to hold their hands and relish Caribbean delights while beholding the sun changing its hues from orange to yellow and flamboyant pink and gradually dipping into the horizon. 

The structure of the deck is assembled with multiple elements, including wood and metal. It has a metal boxed deck railing and wooden flooring beautified with outdoor seating tables for a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. 

• Gingerbread Trim

We have used gingerbread trim on the walls to transform the exterior of our premier restaurant in Grand Cayman. This elaborate and intricate design perfectly complements the entire architecture. 

Likewise, the core material of gingerbread trim is wood featuring branched arches and scalloped cuts.  

• Roofing

We have used steep roofing to maintain the cohesive character of the restaurant. They evoke a traditional architectural style portraying prominent and visually appealing roof designs with practical advantages such as resistance against heavy rainfall, winds, and storms during the hurricane season. 

Glimpse into Past, Present, and Future: Visit Grand Old House

Hope this stroll to the restaurant was able to sketch a picture into your mind. To experience the charm of refined island elegance, we welcome you to visit us and immerse yourself in the impeccable services we offer firsthand. 

Our executive chef, Thushara Siriwaradana, will satiate your appetite with mouthwatering Caribbean cuisine in Cayman, such as Lobster Cake, Mushroom Ravioli, Conch Stew, Wahoo, Seafood Curry, Chateaubriand, and so much more. 

No meal is complete without indulging in sugary delicacies, and we have an array of desserts, including Red Velvet Cake, Panna Cotta, Parfait, and Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding, which are sure to transport you to a saporous paradise. 

The list doesn’t end here! We have a separate menu for kids, Bar/Tapas, cocktails, Armagnac, liquor, and wine. 

To prepare the best food in the Cayman Islands, our Chef and his team of international experts use the freshest ingredients, sea-to-table seafood, and Caribbean spices.

For our vegan or dietary-restricted friends, we have a gluten-free and vegetarian menu available for you. 

If you are an aficionado of fine cigars, we recommend you try the cigar rolled by our professional in-house cigar roller, Torcedor, hailing from Cuba. We even have vintage and limited-edition cigars, which can be a great accompaniment to Armagnac.

Taste the History of Cayman with the Grand Old House

From luscious cuisines to awe-inspiring architecture and everything in between, the Grand Old House has a plethora of options for everyone’s liking. To reserve the table, you can contact us at +1 345 949 9333

We are open for —
  • Lunch between Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 AM to 2:30 AM.  
  • Dinner between Mondays to Saturdays from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.