Artesian-Arts

Dine on Design: London’s best-looking restaurants

From Latin American splendour to a chic French corner, London’s most stylish venues put presentation on a par with cuisine.

With a selection of places to eat, drink and feast on fabulous design, we celebrate the spaces that don’t compromise on ingredients or decor.

A glamorous pub conversion, a lower ground fine dining experience and a concept store meets restaurant with a Seventies twist are in the mix.


Whether you are seeking interiors inspiration or fancy a delectable dinner these are the spots to know…

Casa Cruz

Where? On leafy Clarendon Road in Notting Hill.

Design details: The vision of charming restaurateur and designer Juan Santa Cruz, this vibrant haunt is wonderfully glamorous. Cruz left behind a career in finance and business to pursue his passion for hospitality and interiors much to the delight of everyone who visits his super stylish restaurants. The early Victorian property had a previous guise as a pub. The building’s original details stand strong, including the tall, dual aspect window cornices on the upper floors which were spared during the Blitz.

Inside blends the traditional and the contemporary. Copper, a signature of Cruz’s native Argentina, glistens from the moment you enter the two-storey venue. It lines the walls and railings and is offset with infinity mirrors (even in the bathroom) to create a twinkling environment. Seating is a sumptuous emerald green and there is a sunburst design woven into the carpet. Each floor has a statement bar and there is a heated outdoor roof terrace.

This is a place worthy of your favourite new outfit as you sip on a glorious cocktail and savour the beautifully prepared South American and Latin cuisine under the helm of new head chef Gaz Herbert (formerly of Ikoyi). A joy in every sense.

Delicious dishes: Vesuvio tomato with burrata, violetta artichoke, langoustines, paccheri cacio pepe pasta, casarecce pasta with Devon crab, roast wild sea bass and blackened chicken. Leave space for chocolate gateau and dulce de leche ice-cream.

Tipples: For cocktails try the Casa Cruz 2.0 or a classic Negroni. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is a big, bold winner as a dinner accompaniment.

Book: casacruz.london

Cha Cha x Sister Jane

Where? Just off the antiques haven that is Golborne Road.

Design details: With vintage-inspired womenswear label Sister Jane on the upper floors and restaurant Cha Cha taking up residency downstairs, design studio Sella has transformed a four-storey corner building into a characterful multi-use space.

There is a 1970s influence which is especially prevalent in the vintage pieces including Gio Ponti chairs and Guzzini pendants. Furniture comes in the form of a scalloped banquette and glossy orange hexagonal tables. Fabrics are from Kvadrat and Ludvig Svensso. It is set against an autumnal palette of burnt oranges, creams and walnut timber.

The star of the show is a hexagonal bar with a sweeping curved front and a high gloss grey finish. Fringes on the banquettes, table tops, curtain trims and ceiling features enhance the glamour. There is even a secret room. Follow the velvet-clad banisters down to a mirror-panelled basement terrace and spot the Italian carousel horses. Fun and fanciful, it is little wonder the Notting Hills set is flocking to this vibey new installment.

Delicious dishes: Salt cod croquettes, beetroot carpaccio, tuna tiraditos and Dover Sole.

Tipples: Kick things off with a Cha Cha Margarita then enjoy a bottle of 2018 Petit Chablis, Domaine George.

Book: sisterjane.com

Frenchie

Where? On the cobbled Henrietta Street in Covent Garden.

Design details: Exposed brickwork is warmed by brass, copper and zinc accents. Leather banquets are matched with grey fabric bar stools and salmon chairs.

A striking staircase has been brought into the design, forming a smart link between floors, while an original 19th Century marble fireplace makes a statement.

Delicious dishes: the short curated menu from Paris chef Gregory Marchand (who was given the nickname Frenchie by Jamie Oliver when he worked with him at Fifteen) has highlights including the buttermilk fried chicken, brandade croquettes and the infamous bacon and maple scones. Bigger dishes to try are the Welsh lamb saddle and seared Cornish cod. Be sure to indulge in the Banoffee pudding.

Tipples: the Frenchman in NY is a refreshing cocktail to start with and the very knowledgeable sommelier can guide you through the extensive wine list. Venture into the selection of natural wines with the Staffelter Hof Little Bastard. Even the label is fun.

Book: frenchiecoventgarden.com

Kahani

Where? In Chelsea, below street level and close to Sloane Square station.

Design details: Kai Interiors are behind this townhouse to restaurant conversion. The decor has been influenced by Hindi storytelling and India’s national bird with the private dining room named The Peacock Room. Low hanging woven lights offset brass lamps. The walls merge patterned wallpaper with cushioned fabric and artwork to create an eclectic cocoon style. Deep reds and blues are the overriding seating palettes.

The ladies’ bathroom is a pink fantasy with cute tiles and wallpaper in different shades. Stone sinks and copper taps are a pretty touch. An elaborate glass wine cellar and exposed-brick fireplace adds a hint of grandeur.

Delicious dishes: Acclaimed Indian chef Peter Joseph puts his twist on classics. We enjoyed the soft shell crunchy crab with Mangalorean spices, seared scallop, smoked Malabar prawns, Tandoori Somerset lamb chops, Kerala fish curry.

Tipples: The Gulab Martini is a refresher whilst the SW1 is a smoky sensation…we won’t spoil the surprise.

Book: kahanilondon.com

Farmacy

Where? In the heart of Westbourne Grove

Design details: The plant based restaurant extends its environmentally conscious philosophy with a considered design scheme by CADA. Untreated woods and natural fibre is used in the furnishings.

There is an outdoor/indoor style with plants adding a lush green colour base throughout the dining areas. A bar forms the centrepiece, merging metallics with woods. High ceilings create a bright and breezy atmosphere. Ceramic vegetables that have been handpicked from flea markets around the world celebrate artisanal craft and apothecary jars decorate the bar reflecting the Farmacy philosophy ‘food is medicine.’ A great brunch or early dinner spot.

Delicious dishes: Biodynamic vegetables are delivered daily from a plot of land in Kent so everything is super fresh. Our favourites are the Pad Thai, Middle East bowl, garden pizzetta and chef’s curry.

Tipples: Try the Mezcal Mary, the Americas or High Green.

Book: farmacylondon.com

This guide will be updated as we stumble across more stylish places. Get in touch with @thedesigneditor for ideas and suggestions.

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