Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The 'Governor's Mansion' Before and After

A few more notes re: The Blue Elephant and The Governor's mansion renovation in Phuket City.

A little more research brings a little more clarification to the style and the present owners. The style of architecture in old Phuket town is commonly referred to as Sino - Portuguese by most. Built during the height of the tin mining boom on the island around 100 years ago these buildings are in fact a blend of Chinese and Malay styles known more correctly as the 'Penanakan' style. When travelling throughout Singapore, Penang and even as far afield as Sumatra and Java you can see decorative details including delicate and colourful tile work that is a common signature of the style.

Nooror Somany Steppe is the heart of the Blue Elephant chain of restaurants. Growing up in a family of fabulous cooks in the Province of Chachengsao ignited her life long passion for cooking Thai cuisine. She moved to Belgium after high school to study hotel management where she met and married Karl Steppe. Over 30 years ago, encouraged by friends, the couple opened their first Thai restaurant in Brussels. The Blue Elephant has expanded world wide with 13 branches, the Governor's Mansion is the family's latest labour of love. Their son operates the Governor's Mansion at present while their daughter looks after the Bangkok operation which is also in a 100 year old mansion.

Why the Blue Elephant? Steppe's say the blue is from the Thai flag and if you ever see a blue elephant you would never forget it!

Nooror Somany Steppe, Founding Partner and Director of Blue Elephant International PLC

Some parts, such as the tile floor downstairs......and the tile friezes around some of the walls...

...but the old kitchen needs a bit of work.

Pictures are the before.....this is the roofless kitchen!
pictures via the  book Andaman Style by Ping Amranand, the phuket observer.com and the phuket news


Kathy said...

LOVE this post! I'm going to get there someday...I've saved part of this article for future reference!
Thanks again for the award...I was going to write you about the award button change (since I was passing it off to 5 men..I felt that she needed to be tweaked!) I did send her to them in an email, and gave them the choice.
Have a great week! k

Karena said...

Heather how wonderful. I love to see the changes made in renovations!Your life is wonderful.

Be sure to enter my amazing Giveaway from Splenderosa!

Art by Karena

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Gorgeous restoration!
And I love the name "Blue Elephant".

Stacey said...

Wow! Stunning transformation! Great story too. XX

Reggie Darling said...

Thank you for this series on the restoration of this wonderful and handsome building. The restoration looks to be of very high quality, and respectful, too, of the house's original design without being slavish to it. I love the juxtaposition of the modern with the antique. And great photos, too! Thanks, Reggie

Anonymous said...

just a farang renovation