The Berkeley has long been the epitome of an up town address. This Knightsbridge landmark exudes class and timeless chic, qualities which attracted highly ranked chef Marcus Wareing. The fine dining restaurant which bares his name has two Michelin stars and reflects the highest standards of this landmark London hotel.
The decision to redesign the interior was always going to be both a prestigious, as well as a daunting task, of revisiting a restaurant which is only one of 11 in London to hold more than one Michelin star. Rising to this challenge was Robert Angell.
This international designer was not a stranger to the Berkeley. His mentor David Collins, who recently died, had left his hallmark on the hotel. Robert has set out on his own launching his own very successful design consultancy but was aware that he was being handed a very cherished legacy. David Collins was a hard act to follow, having left his mark on such famed interiors and the Wolesley and Nobu in Mayfair.
Despite the heavy responsibility, Robert rose to the challenge avoiding dramatic signature flourishes and creating a sophisticated interior – very much in keeping with the David Collins design ethos while leaving his own unmistakable signature. Navigating this course and respecting the Collins legacy, the Michelin-starred cuisine and the reputation of one of London’s greatest hotels was a daunting undertaking. Though not for the faint hearted, the result is a pleasing environment which is a worthy decor successor.
Affable Mr Angell presented his creation to a table of journalists over breakfast answering with care and thoughtfulness questions about the path he took to create a dining environment which is sure to meet the approval of the most discerning of diners. The brief was to make the up market offering more ‘user friendly’ with diners welcomed for a snappy lunch or a leisurely dinner. “I want people to have that feeling you get when you’ve been to a really good dinner party and you come away thinking, ‘Wow, that was an amazing evening’. That’s what we want to reproduce.” Wareing told the Standard. This style reboot is reflected in a name change from Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley to a less formal Marcus as diners are invited to get on first name terms with Michelin standard food.
While formality has been sidelined the cuisine remains stellar and the same can be said of the makeover. Robert Angell has created a worthy successor to the original David Collins interior.
The main dining room is comfortable and stylish but diners can also expect the unexpected. Those eating at the Chef’s Table will be eating off Pyrolave , volcanic lava rock with a crackle ceramic glaze. And the well heeled will also look up from their fine food to see a Bayeux Tapestry eye view of London from 1066 which even alludes to the Black Death. Edgy but offered with subtlety which requires the enquiring mind of the diner to seek out the references.
The main dining room is a mix of tobacco browns and bronze, so far so understated but then their are subtle signatures of five star luxury. The tables legs are hewn from gold rubbed oak timber and the carpet features a David Hicks hexagonal motif of the Berkeley Hotel logo.
Robert Angell has created a worthy successor to the David Collins interior it succeeds. The interior complements and does not compete with the cuisine. This is a space to enjoy fine food in a relaxed surrounding knowing that as your eye wandered the restaurant it will see the fruits of a most thoughtful design and decor.
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