Elana Castle checks out a new London Brasserie with a unique design touch.
September 30th, 2011
The Riding House Cafe, in Fitzrovia is Adam White and Clive Watson’s 3rd addition to their growing stable of London brasseries. White, a New Zealander, is a product designer but turned his hand to the restaurant industry a decade ago, bringing his savvy design skills to each project.
The Riding House Cafe, like his other establishments, was envisioned as a local brasserie that would serve an existing neighbourhood community.
“We are trying to create local institutions, so I wanted to create something with a hefty shelf life,” White explains.
White’s exuberance for design and a love for “found” objects has resulted in an eclectic space defined by a clear layout and some standout design elements.
Working with Lou Davies, White sourced a range of quirky pieces, like stuffed squirrel and bird wall lights, which populate the walls and shelving throughout.
The primary features are the snaking subway-tiled bar, the bright orange banquette seating and a display area enclosed with with reclaimed glass and doors which anchor the design.
The “lived in” look is further underscored by the brasserie’s shell – bare brick work, rough concrete and a pseudo vintage parquet floor, the result of a process invented by White to “age” the floor boards, ensuring they chimed in with general worn-in aesthetic.
White’s favourite pieces are the blue leather bar stools. The seat is based on an existing design but White added wings, transforming it into a traditional bucket seat, “a bit of a juxtaposition,” he explains. White, the supplier – Christopher Howe – and the manufacturer worked together to develop a base of mild steel steel which further enhanced the juxtaposition.
It’s pieces like these that take White’s interiors from mere ensembles of “found” objects to ones which display his originality and design skill.
The Riding House Cafe has just been named runner-up in Time Out’s New Restaurant Design Awards
Lou Davies – Box 9 Design
Riding House Café
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