Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2015 / by AMRIT NARU

The current ‘foody’ and hospitality culture means that when it comes to eating and drinking out, there are a lot of amazing places out there. Not just in the UK, but right across the globe.  As you can imagine, eating and drinking is no longer confined to standalone restaurants, bars and cafes. Everywhere from museums and galleries through to airports and atriums now compete for cuisine savvy customers.

We’re therefore thrilled that one of our architectural and interior design projects, Sohe Newcastle, is featured among the ‘best of the best’ in the forthcoming Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. These awards are the world’s only event dedicated exclusively to the design of food and drink spaces.  With over 3,800 entries from the UK and 70 other countries in the past six years, the Awards attract the world’s top designers, hospitality operators and judges.

Our brief for Sohe was to design a bold and progressive pan-Asian bar, restaurant and private dining facility independent from the adjoining hotel. In particular, we were tasked with creating an opulent, yet relaxed, vibe.

The challenge was turning an existing tired and ‘boxy’ function room into a workable, visionary space, including overcoming the issues of the existing structure and its services. By re-inventing the space we looked at incorporating distinct yet cohesive zones: a cocktail bar area, a private dining facility; restaurant capable of over 80 covers and a fully functional open plan kitchen.

The result is individual yet unified areas, each with their own decadent vibe. The ambitious futuristic circular island cocktail bar is imposing, yet welcoming. With its crisp white marble tops and undulating gilt ceiling to floor mushroom-like sculpture, the bar features shimmering opulent mosaic tiles inset with real gold pieces.

The adjacent open plan dining area with its solid wood parquet effect flooring, features different coloured woods. Views into the open kitchen at the heart of the restaurant allow diners to get up close and personal to the head chef and his team at work. Bold patterned coffered ceilings complement the flooring.  The secluded, light-filled and leafy private dining area has planted walls. A cosy cave area with suede booths and feature wall lights provides a relaxed intimate atmosphere. Restrooms have also been given the 5 star treatment with ultra modern fixtures, shimmering chrome tiles and ‘selfie-friendly’ lighting! 

The 2015 Awards ceremony will be held in London on October 1st 2015 - wish us luck!