Despite the recent rise of app-based food delivery services such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, the UK’s restaurant scene is thriving. A foodie revolution since the turn of the millennium has reinvigorated the sector, waving goodbye to the boring, tasteless food and uninspiring spaces of yesteryear. Nevertheless, restaurants now have to meet a range of new demands encompassing greater choice, convenience, quality and consistency. UK consumers are more sophisticated, seeking out specific dietary requirements such as veganism and gluten-free foods as well as the casual dining offered by night markets like London’s Street Feast. In this section, we showcase some of the most exciting restaurants to open in the UK in 2018 to see how they are adapting to these trends and adding their twist to what is a hugely exciting space.
The Beech House, Amersham
Harrison were approached by Oakman Inns and Restaurants to convert a large retail unit in Amersham into a new generation Beech House. The Beech House concept is a ‘family’ of bespoke venues, each of which has its own personality, always linked to the local community. The design needed to reflect the brand personality, which is confident, unconventional, intelligent, relaxed and trusted. Having opened in March 2018, The Beech House has already established itself as the destination in Amersham, attracting custom from a wide catchment area, delivering a warm and friendly welcome to all.
The Dormy Clubhouse at Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland
The Clubhouse and Dormy Restaurant has reopened at Gleneagles following a complete redesign by interior architecture and design studio Macaulay Sinclair. Taking care to retain the traditions of the prestigious Gleneagles estate, the design team was challenged with creating an interior that evoked a sense of nostalgia for the clubhouse that was originally built in the 1920s.
Duck & Waffle Local, Haymarket, London
Set in the recently redeveloped St. James’ Market, the décor of the 120-cover restaurant reflects the playfulness of the menu. Designed by O1 Creative, featuring lighting by Enigma, the interior takes inspiration from farm-to-table dining – with a twist – merging polished concrete flooring and timber fittings with contemporary sculpture and handmade bespoke glazed tiling. The curved corrugated metal ceiling and red open kitchen offer a subtle nod to the original restaurant, while sculptural farm machinery hanging overhead reinforces the casual eatery’s playfulness.
Famously the winner of Gordon Ramsay’s the F Word in 2009, Lasan has been delighting Birmingham diners since 2002 from its home in the historic Jewellery Quarter. The agency responsible for its recent transformation is Faber Design& Architecture. A key part of this customer-focused metamorphosis was a total rethink of the bar area. Originally located in the main dining room, the layout gave the impression it was for diners only. In its new position, the dramatic U-shape design with nostalgic brass detailing has become a real focal point.
Glovers Alley, Dublin
The beginning of February saw the much-anticipated opening of Glovers Alley, a brand-new restaurant located at 128 St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. The design of the restaurant is by award-winning London based Project Orange, led by Christopher Ash. The design concept for the new restaurant reimagines Pullman Class dining through a contemporary lens. Fluid lines and luxurious materials unite a sequence of intimate spaces in an elegant whole.