Dezeen Magazine

Red banquette seating at Ottolenghi Chelsea

Alex Meitlis uses plaster and terrazzo to create pink tones in Ottolenghi Chelsea

London deli chain Ottolenghi has taken a new approach with its latest venue, styled by interior designer Alex Meitlis with a palette of warm pink and red hues.

Ottolenghi Chelsea features bare plaster walls, pink terrazzo tiles, red upholstered seating and rattan seats.

The look is a departure from the other Ottolenghi delis, where the design is typically more bright and minimal.

Chairs and tables in Ottolenghi Chelsea
Pink and red tones feature throughout Ottolenghi Chelsea

Meitlis has been behind the design of all the other delis, as well as sister restaurants Nopi and Rovi, which all feature the food of Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi and business partners Noam Bar and Sami Tamimi.

Here the idea was to make more of a statement, using colours that match the Ottolenghi tableware collection recently launched by Serax.

In the same spirit, the shopfront and exterior signage bring in vibrant shades of yellow, blue and turquoise.

Ottolenghi Chelsea
Clay plaster walls are left exposed

"I take my approach from looking very closely at Yotam's approach to his food," said Meitlis, who has studios both in London and Tel Aviv.

"It's about taking very basic ingredients but using them in a slightly different way."

Deli counter at Ottolenghi Chelsea
Pink terrazzo features on the walls and floors

The clay plaster on the walls was made using recycled bricks, which provide the warm terracotta colour.

The multi-tonal character of this material is emphasised by curving walls that offer a play of light and shadow.

Meitlis worked with artist Ivo Bisignano – who also designed the tableware collection – to create the restaurant's distinctive floor, where pink terrazzo alternates with white tiles to create a striped effect.

The same terrazzo also features on wall surfaces at the front of the space and behind the deli counter.

Entrance and waiting area in Ottolenghi Chelsea
Upholstered banquettes have a graphic feel, with cylindrical cushions

The upholstered banquettes bring a geometric element to the design, combining blocky seats with cylindrical cushions. The choice of red fabric allows these to become the most eye-catching elements in the space.

They are paired with white circular tables and Mies van der Rohe-designed MR Chairs, which introduce more curves.

Clay plaster walls in Ottolenghi Chelsea
Curves are integrated in the walls

Other elements include the familiar deli counter, where the cakes, pastries and salads create an appetising display.

"We usually start from scratch; almost all elements of the design are made specifically," Meitlis told Dezeen. "The only items we bought were the iconic Mies chairs."

"Once again, it's about mirroring the brand's attitude; all the food is made in the kitchen, with few elements pre-prepared."

Exterior of Ottolenghi Chelsea
The facade features shades of yellow, blue and turquoise

Ottolenghi Chelsea opened in January 2022 and is located on Pavilion Road, in a converted Victorian stable building that is now home to various independent retail brands.

Dishes for Ottolenghi delis and restaurants are developed at the brand's test kitchen in Holloway, which was recently overhauled by Studiomama with pops of saffron yellow and raspberry red.

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