Our top five design-led restaurant interiors that offer dishes as stylish as their surroundings
Words Eve Herbert
The Mittel-Europe vibe oozes glamour. Kaffehäuser, with their deco lighting, mirrors and marble, are so stylish that they can even infuse dumplings with a touch of magic. The German Gymnasium in King’s Cross channels the latter, while keeping the actual German food to a token minimum (and playing Weimar cabaret tunes in the loos).
1 King’s Boulevard, N1
A self-proclaimed ‘cocktails cantina club’, Barrio East is not necessarily London’s coolest hangout, but the interior has clocked some points design-wise. Stepping away from our comfort zone, the interior here is vivid and textural, in keeping with the bar’s playful vibe. Go against the Shoreditch grain, sip on a gingerbread colada, and tap your foot to Wham!’s ‘Club Tropicana’.
141-143 Shoreditch High Street, E1
The barbecue is the focal point of the restaurant, while the rest of the furniture is Scandi-minimalist: clean white walls and wooden tables and stools. Specialising in Nordic cuisine, Rök’s name means ‘smoke’ in Swedish, so expect plenty of delectable smoked meats, provided by Cobble Lane smokehouse in Islington.
26 Curtain Road, E1
Taberna do Mercado
Illustrating that there is more to him than just the behemothic Chiltern Firehouse, Nuno Mendes has gone all understated and Taberna do Mercado is the outcome. The interior is uncomplicated, with untreated wooden tables and chairs, industrial-style windows and iron pendant lights.
Old Spitalfields Market, E1
All in candy pink and adorned with quirky prints by David Shrigley, there’s a fun, feminine feel to Sketch. Pink leather banquettes create a luxe feel, while different and changing-themed rooms include The Glade with its decoupage forest and the Parlour with its Louis XIV seating – plus. of course, those space-age pod loos.
9 Conduit Street, W1