21 Eccleston Street, LONDON SW1W - United Kingdom


The brief of this project specifically requested to enhance the Mediterranean origins of both proprietors (native of France and Italy), their desire to return – after many years of pretentious “tra-la-la” imposed by nouvelle cuisine – to the traditional and nearly peasant gastronomic culture of their regions, and to a common memory of a childhood spent close to the sea; all this without neglecting, of course, to optimize the space they disposed of. To hit this last target the two access to restaurant and staircase, formerly separated, have been unified, while the toilets and cloakroom area, formerly oversized, has been reduce to its minimum. From the decorative point of view the feeling of the clients was interpreted by designing a place where any detail was meant to have the same taste as old good ordinary things, of old fashion country houses or of the convivial places of any Mediterranean province, attentively trying to avoid easy and cheap reproductions. Simple and traditional materials were here widely used, as like solid recycled wood (as for the shopfront, inner doors, bar counter, floor boards and pieces of furniture) and lime and natural pigments based plasters which entirely cover the walls, split into an upper area defined by a warm and deep shade of yellow, and an high ultramarine-blue dado, along the upper edge of which is a naïf decorative stencilled band formed by recurrent roughly geometrical figures meant to remind the different shapes of Italian pasta. Along the lower side of each wall runs a terracotta handmade skirting which systematically rises up to frame each door opening. In the middle of a wall of the rear dining room is a full height opening giving access to toilets and cloakroom lobby. Beyond such doorway, visible from the dining room, is the vertical garden of herbs, a quotation of those step-shaped shelves where any southern Italian housewife who had the privilege of disposing of a sunny terrace used to grow up their ready-to-use herbs.