Getting dressed up, perhaps with a touch of glamour and elegance, all contribute to the pleasures of a night out at a restaurant. While the food and service are expected to be first-class, it is fair to say that atmosphere and environment should equally play their part in the dining experience. Appreciating great food and wine in a beautifully designed restaurant leaves a lasting impression on diners who will be keen to return. High-quality restaurant design is integral to diner satisfaction and indeed is expected by discerning customers.
Intelligent Restaurant Design
The key to beautiful restaurant design is recognising those key elements that lie at the heart of any restaurant's vision, for example, heritage, culture and origin of the cuisine. Good design will not be carried away on a theme, as such, but rather to seek out those niche aspects of the restaurant that accentuate them where beneficial, or complement them. The Printing Press in Edinburgh has retained the historical atmosphere of the building's original owner, an author described as the Scottish Jane Austen. Modernity blends seamlessly with heritage, materials like glass and wood juxtaposed to create a light, airy environment against the backdrop of traditional wooden furniture. Topped with chandeliers and Victorian-esque gas-lamp lights, the finished effect pays homage to a combination of history and contemporary elegance.
Functionality Is Beauty
For any busy restaurant, an effective design should combine functionality with a pleasing aesthetic and good designers such as Dawnvale consider the working components of a restaurant, taking into consideration where diners enter, the journey of the food from the kitchen to table, as well as manoeuvrability of the waiting staff during busy service. Furthermore, diners should not feel less valued as to where they are seated, good design ensuring that all tables are immersed in the overall design. The House of Tides in Newcastle-upon-Tyne features a 16th-century former merchant's hall with a central exposed beam supported by wooden pillars, allowing each table to benefit from the historical atmosphere. Combined with immaculate wooden flooring, subtle lighting and tall windows that enjoy natural light, the design treats every diner with care.
Imagination = Beautiful Design
Iberica in London uses contrast to notable effect, combining colour and light to create an ambience evoking a sense of cosmopolitan cosiness. Plush, vibrant greens are complemented by lustrous, mother-of-pearl lighting, while Nando's in Harrogate play with striking, dramatically coloured crystal lamp-shades and funky wall tiles to prove restaurant chains can serve up originality.
Restaurant design has never been more exciting or innovative, providing the essential heartbeat to the soul of a restaurant's narrative of great food and service. Dining out remains one of the most enjoyable leisure experiences and customer expectations have risen in parallel to this popularity. The savviest restaurants adopt a holistic approach to dining, understanding the importance of beautiful design as a crucial component of their continuing business success.