The launch night of The Tuning Fork, a cafe and community hub for a new generation of residents.


Hologram gets a special preview of the new cafe and community space at Houlton



Words and pictures by Jamie Gray



Take a trip down to the periphery of Hillmorton’s Eastern fringes, beyond the Locks and ‘moorlands’, and you may have noticed the ground moving. In fact, thousands of tons of it are being carefully rearranged to create an altogether different horizon. This is a ground-breaking new project which aims to create not just a home for thousands, but an ethos of community and lifestyle.

At the heart of Houlton will be primary schools, a secondary school, shops, community centres, and… for those wishing to visit before these are installed; a new cafe called the Tuning Fork which will serve the community and future residents with food and drink and a place to relax.

tuning fork rugby

The launch evening of The Tuning Fork was hosted by developers Urban and Civic and the team from The Chefs Kitchen who will be running the show at the new eatery. This was a first glimpse of what we can expect – comfy chic furniture, a polished concrete floor, impressive views over the Houlton site, and amazing food and beverages which will be professionally created and served by friendly staff.

tuning fork rugby houlton

There’s some really nice touches around The Tuning Fork – no expense spared to source the right fixtures and fittings. The cutlery, a hefty refined lump of fine brushed stainless steel, is hand-made in Birmingham especially for The Tuning Fork. Our prawn starter came skewered through a tuning fork, specially crafted for the restaurant. The crockery is expensively finished, unique in design and form. The coffee cups are a thing of beauty and are perfect stoneware examples. The coffee tables are small industrial trolleys which hark back to the era when Houlton was a wartime surveillance hub. The room is bright, huge windows overlook the vast landscape of future homes. Right outside The Tuning Fork is an open spacious courtyard which will no-doubt play a part in future events and exhibitions as the site takes shape.

barista machine

Creating Houlton is an exercise in culture as well as house building. There are plans to host craft fairs, art exhibitions, community clubs and workshops, with The Tuning Fork playing a huge part in providing the backdrop.

The Tuning Fork opens to the public on Saturday March 18th. They will be hosting more Supper Club evenings, a chance to meet and network with local business owners, prospective buyers and lovers of good food and community.

houlton rugby

houlton tuning fork cafe
The Tuning Fork


For more information on The Tuning Fork visit their website

For more information on Houlton visit their website

Or pay a visit to the site itself off the A428 Crick Road, between Rugby and DIRFT.



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