Fera, the new farm-to-table restaurant in London’s legendary Claridge’s hotel, didn't seem to be a natural fit for the hotel at first, however, British designer, Guy Oliver, managed to blend it beautifully by highlighting the history of the restaurant as well as chef Simon Rogan's seasonal cuisine.
Oliver needed to rethink the 1920s-1930s architecture which he felt "lacked refinement" compared to the hotel's Art Deco spaces. He began by removing walls and adding laylights to the 16' ceiling as well as mirrored pillars to reflect the abundant natural light that filters through the windows. The entrance was redesigned with an "Alice in Wonderland" feel by gradually revealing itself by leading guests through a curtain-lined entry to a slightly higher rotunda, before entering the main room.
I love the sketches along the back wall of the bar
Oliver used a band of honey and amber onyx that was used in the original design to line the perimeter and paired it with soft green leather banquettes, sage carpets and drapery, and calm grey walls. He added drama to the space by incorporating a sandblasted manzanita tree in the center of the room.
The walls and columns feature onyx detailing.
I'm smitten with the above view! I love an Art Deco space as I'm sure most of you know. As a designer, this would be a dream job! This is definitely my style. Oliver's biggest design challenge was the open kitchen that was insisted by chef Rogan, something that you typically never see in fine dining restaurants. I can't think of seeing that... ever. Oliver worked the chef's request into the design plan by incorporating the same subtle colour palette into the cooking space as found in the dining room. Then, geniously I might add, created a illuminated frame around the kitchen that is surrounded with a large scale landscape painting. I wish I could find a photo, however, you can partially see the illuminated frame in the above photo and the top photo.
This restaurant incorporates two of my favourite things ~ Art Deco and a farm to dining experience. Now to go to London to experience it...
Photos via AD