design et al are delighted to announce that Oliver Laws Ltd are successfully shortlisted in the International Hotel & Property Awards 2015. Fera at Claridge’s Hotel will compete for the Restaurant within a Hotel Award (Global).
The brief was to create a new world class kitchen and restaurant with an authentic atmosphere true to the spirit of Claridge’s art deco interiors, but layered and re-imagined for today’s diners who want to experience Chef Simon Rogan’s sustainably sourced menu.
It was important for the restaurant to feel grand yet understated, welcoming, calm and immediately make guests feel at home with sympathetic levels of lighting for both lunch time and evening menus. Integral to the design brief is the incorporation of the kitchen into the guest experience which should be considered as a front of house space. All diners are invited to see their food being prepared.
All furniture, lighting, metalwork, glass, fittings and carpet are bespoke and unique to the interior. The design includes all elements of the restaurant’s identity including all tableware, signage and uniforms with each element informing and supporting the others. The Maybourne Group is known for collecting and commissioning original art and the interior includes art works commissioned especially for the interior.
One of the key aspects of the project was changing the entrance in order to create an element of theatre and surprise. Guests now enter Fera through a small arched doorway into a tiny curtained lobby (a former fuse cupboard), this is almost like being back stage. From here they step into a beautiful rotunda with striped fluted walls and a period inspired white gold leaf ceiling where they are welcomed by the Maitre D’ with the restaurant in full view behind. Designer Guy Oliver thought it was essential for guests to enter on the main axis of the room whereas before the entrance was oblique and to one side, almost an apology. Now, the entrance to this restaurant is a celebration, and feels almost Alice in Wonderland like- unexpected, like opening a series of boxes.