With the UK restaurant scene booming, the chance to stay out of the kitchen after a long day at work is proving hard to resist for the British public. A recent survey by Mintel revealed that almost a quarter of consumers eat out at least once a week. But what’s informing their choices? That same research found that attractive décor is one of the most important factors when it comes to deciding where to eat, topped only by high-quality cuisine, friendly customer service and location. With so many people now sharing photos of their restaurant choices on social media, recommendations not only consider how delicious the food is but also the ‘instagrammable’ potential of the space. In this section, we showcase five cool venues that are bound to get diners snapping…
Pigsty – Bristol
Pigsty, a new neighbourhood restaurant and bar on Bristol’s Gloucester Road, has opened for business, with all interior design and graphics on the scheme created by Bristol-based hospitality and retail specialist, Phoenix Wharf. The interior concept mixes town and country via old and new industrial elements, butcher’s shop tiling (some dating from around 1920, from an original pork butcher on the site), plus warm green herringbone timber and playful pink-grouted green ceramic tiling and graphic slogans.
The Alchemist – Cardiff
Macaulay Sinclair’s £1.5 million refurbishment has transformed a Grade II listed former NatWest bank into a two-storey bar and restaurant spanning 6,500 sq ft. The site contains copper, brass, mild steel and dark oak flooring, as well as textured plasterwork and oak cabinetry. Warm peach and bronze mirrors are part of the bespoke brass and amber lighting scheme, added to by a copper wall to kitchen pass. Bespoke metalwork can be found throughout the lobby and bar area, including a spectacular steel and glass back bar with a blackened steel geometric front and specialist brass finish bar top. A recessed and LED-lit geometric ceiling feature to the rear of the space is situated above the 189-cover bar and restaurant.
The Florist – Liverpool
Liverpool restaurant The Florist has been dubbed the most beautiful restaurant in the country by the Daily Mail. And it is thanks, in no small part, to Hale-based I Want Plants, which was tasked with creating the stunning floral displays that have everyone talking. The family-run firm handcrafted realistic blossom trees as well as flower walls, hanging flower frames and a cascade of draping roses throughout the staircase. The look was completed with salvaged troughs filled with replica flowers and a window display of more than 20 birdcages packed with a variety of blooms.
Hans’ Bar & Grill – Chelsea, London
Hans’ Bar & Grill, a new neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea’s Pavilion Road, has opened for business and features a striking, contemporary interiors scheme created by leading hospitality and F&B design firm Goddard Littlefair. The bright and airy café-bar space has a clean and contemporary feel with a monochrome colourway along with interesting, textured finishes, such as white slatted timber wall cladding and an original, exposed, yellow-stock brick wall to the left, plus white tiling behind the bar, where vertically stack-bonded Solus Ceramics tiles create a great hand-crafted feel.
The Man Behind The Curtain – Leeds
Spatial DDB was invited to be design lead on the relocation of Leeds’ only Michelin starred restaurant, The Man Behind The Curtain. Working closely with the infamous Michael O’Hare and award-winning contractor Absolute Commercial Interiors, Spatial faced many challenges posed by the new basement location. The solution? A thoroughly modern dining hall of marble and mirrors, polished plaster, subtle lighting and, of course, skateboards.