The Buzz of Dining In

The FT How to Spend It Restaurant has been London Design Week 2021’s buzzy social hub, kicking off the reopening of indoor dining in style. Set in the heart of the Design Avenue and centred around a lavish oval bar, the space has been designed to have an indoor-outdoor feel, thanks to lush planting and wallcoverings that have two quite different takes on botanical-inspired design. Pierre Frey’s ‘Patio Exotique’ evokes a sunny tiled Mediterranean wall with palms growing in front of it, while Arte’s ‘Botanic’ wallcovering shows the technical skill that the Belgian brand is known for, with a textured surface that resembles inlaid threads arranged to form a tropical leaf design. ‘Double Paris Frey’ and ‘Spanish Olive’ paint by Zoffany bring subtlety and softness to the scheme.

The menu focuses on fresh, seasonal cooking. including Wye Valley asparagus salad, torn burrata and white peach salad, artichoke heart tortellini and smoked salmon with Jersey royals. Breakfast pastries, sweet treats such as mini strawberry tartlets and a tempting bar have kept visitors returning, whether they’re catching up with friends they haven’t seen in months or having a working lunch with a client.

Elsewhere in the Design Centre, cafe and dining spaces have been refreshed to reflect new design directions. In the South Dome Café (below), Schumacher’s ‘Darya Ikat Sidewall’ wallcovering, and ‘Pemba’ wallcovering from Jane Churchill at Colefax and Fowler, have been incorporated, with Zoffany’s ‘Velvet Blue paint uniting the two together tonally. The Design Centre East Café & General Store features stools upholstered in Rubelli’s ‘Burano’ fabric, paired with Sanderson’s ‘Newby Green’ paint.

Arte, Second Floor, Design Centre East
Colefax and Fowler, Ground Floor, South Dome
Pierre Frey, First Floor, Design Centre East
Rubelli, Ground Floor, Design Centre East
Sanderson, First Floor, South Dome
Schumacher, Ground Floor, South Dome
Zoffany, First Floor, South Dome