Dezeen Magazine

London restaurants: Folie by Studio Ko

Eight new London restaurants where design is as important as food

With new restaurants opening in London all the time, Dezeen editor-at-large Amy Frearson picks out eight where the interior design is just as interesting as what's on the menu.

London restaurants: Folie by Studio Ko
Photo is by Yann Deret

Folie, Soho, by Studio KO

Having previously designed the notorious Chiltern Firehouse, Studio KO aimed to resurrect "the sensuality and glamour of the 1960s and 70s" in this Soho eatery, which features a menu inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine of southern Italy and France.

Curves are everywhere, in the sumptuous leather banquettes, blue velvet armchairs and in a striking floor that combines colourful terrazzo with patterned carpet.

London restaurants: Spiritland Royal Festival Hall
Photo is by Ed Reeve

Spiritland Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, by HOK

Acoustics are everything in this restaurant geared towards music lovers. Located in the Royal Festival Hall, the space has a more theatrical interior than the original Spiritland in King's Cross.

Designed by HOK, the space features velvet curtains, leather seating booths, perforated wooden wall panels and stripy lighting fixtures. Visitors can order sharing platters as they enjoy varied performances.

London restaurants: Hélène Darroze at The Connaught by Pierre Yovanovitch

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair, by Pierre Yovanovitch

To mark the 10th anniversary of this already prolific hotel restaurant, French designer Pierre Yovanovitch has completely overhauled its interior. Furnishings in shades of egg-yolk-yellow and deep red are set against a backdrop of bleached wood panelling and salmon pink walls.

The design is intended to match the "refined yet comforting" cuisine of Michelin-starred French chef Hélène Darroze.

Find out more about Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

London restaurants: Padella Shoreditch

Padella Shoreditch, Shoreditch, by DayStudio

Shade of ochre and burgundy are paired with multi-hued marble surfaces, richly toned wooden furniture and golden details in the second branch of this popular Italian restaurant. Design office DayStudio wanted the colour palette to be reminiscent of the Riva boats that can be found dotted along the Amalfi coast.

An open kitchen allows diners to watch chefs hand roll the fresh pasta every day.

Wilder restaurant by Kirkwood McCarthy for Terence Conran

Wilder, Shoreditch, by Kirkwood McCarthy

Legendary British designer Terence Conran is behind this basement restaurant, located beneath the Boundary London hotel.

As chef Richard McLellan uses many wild ingredients foraged from around London, architecture studio Kirkwood McCarthy designed an interior featuring earthy surfaces and grassy sculptures. High ceilings and a wall of impressive brick vaults give the space a sense of grandeur.

Find out more about Wilder

London restaurants: Kolamba

Kolamba, Soho, by Studio Fils and Whitebox London

The tropical modernism of Geoffrey Bawa is recreated inside this Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho. Designers Studio Fils and Whitebox London chose stripped-back materials, including aged brickwork, raw plasterwork and dark wood.

Other references to the island country include installations by batik artist Sonali Dharmawardena, paper-style lighting pendants, decorative ceramics and verdant plants.

London restaurants: Cafe Murano Bermondsey

Cafe Murano Bermondsey, Bermondsey, by GS Contracts 

Chef Angela Hartnett serves up simple, regional Italian dishes in this third branch of the popular Cafe Murano. In the same spirit, the interior is simple and spacious, yet made up of a rich palette of materials and textures.

Designed by GS Contracts, the space features vertical glazed tiles in green and white, textured glass, a timber-panelled bar and industrial-style chandeliers.

Ozone Emma Street by Box 9

Ozone Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, by Box 9

Custom-made plywood benches and tables create cosy seating areas inside this converted warehouse restaurant, the latest venue opened by New Zealand-based coffee roaster Ozone.

Chefs prepare seasonal dishes with a focus on sustainability. The interior design, by local studio Box 9, follows the same approach. Simple tables are accompanied by Snøhetta's S-1500 chairs, which are made from recycled fishing nets.

Find out more about Ozone Bethnal Green