London is a bustling, modern, multi-cultural city. It’s also known for its eclectic and immensely varied architecture; with Georgian townhouses competing with new skyscrapers and Victorian pubs. Just as the exterior of London restaurants are varied and of every style, so are the interiors. We’re going to look at some of the best restaurant interior designs across the British capital, to find out what makes them so outstanding in this design-centric city.
The Restaurant and Bar Design Week may be a long way off, all the way in October, but we think Spring is the perfect time to appraise the innovative and inventive designs of London restaurants, as people head out to enjoy the longer evenings and the tourists come flocking in.
Restaurants are a natural gathering place, a place where people come together to share both food and each other’s company. A restaurant should feel welcoming and relaxed; some restaurants foolishly neglect their interior design, while others make fabulous use of it, staying innovative and inventive, turning their restaurants into experiences in themselves. Restaurants are a great place to not only showcase but shape trends and design fashion, in the Instagram age people don’t just want attractive food, they want it in stylish and eye-catching surroundings too.
We’ve previously written a blog focused on industrial urban design at home, so we’re going to start by showcasing a couple of the leading London restaurants to embrace the industrial aesthetic. The Factory House, nestled in Lime Street in the heart of the city of London is a wonderful transition of industrial detail and home comforts, with a vaguely theatrical flair. Upon entrance, the customer is guided down a beautiful bespoke helical staircase into the underground space that mixes patinated copper and exposed metallic ceiling supports with reclaimed elements and plush upholstered seating. Beagle, with their simple British menu, is located under railway arches in-between Hackney and Shoreditch. Embracing simplicity in their food and design, Beagle’s wide open-plan floor space and curved exposed brickwork walls and ceiling create an airy and relaxed atmosphere, accentuated by their contrasting pendant lighting choices. A delightful environment to enjoy a meal with friends and family, you can replicate Beagle’s aesthetic with the wide range of pendant lighting available at NOXU Home.
Plentiful restaurants make use of pre-existing buildings, some are lucky enough to have buildings sculpted just for them. The Magazine Restaurant in Hyde Park is one of them, with a spectacularly curved shell designed by the renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid. Inside The Magazine is just as spectacular, embracing minimalist white design, accentuated by splashes of natural green, kept bright by the sunshine through wide window spaces. The Magazine is a truly spectacular restaurant that has to be seen to be believed.
Some stylish London restaurants go for particular quirks and design choices that make them stand out from the crowd with impressive flair. Berners Tavern, in the upmarket Fitzrovia district, is a perfect example. An upmarket restaurant known for drawing a celebrity crowd, it has a ballroom feel with intricate cornicing and chandeliers. The most eye-catching element is the walls; resplendent with majestic large paintings and mirrors, covering almost every available space, apart from the eye-catching illuminated wall to ceiling bar cabinet. Berners Tavern demonstrates how quirky style can be embraced even in the most elegant of environments.
You need not have an ultra-high-end formal restaurant to stay stylish, Pizarro in Bermondsey is a Spanish restaurant with just as high-quality food, but a more relaxed design style. Pizarro embraces traditional Spanish design elements such as extensive wooden paneling and communal bench seating to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere. With its unassuming exterior, Pizarro demonstrates that you can make a restaurant magical in any location.
We couldn’t write about London restaurant design without mentioning the German Gymnasium in vibrant King’s Cross, which won the award for the world’s most beautiful restaurant in last year’s Restaurant and Bar Design Week awards. Once upon a time England’s first purpose-built gym, built in 1865, the German Gymnasium is a truly stunning restaurant. A vast and cavernous space, the German Gymnasium embraces sleek modern style while embracing the natural wood elements of the original building, including the stunning roof-panel ceiling. Beautifully elegant, the German Gymnasium epitomises all that makes the design scene of London restaurants so outstanding.