We met up with Casson Mann, the prestigious design firm who created our restaurant Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar in 2016.
This week, for part three of our Meet the Designer series, we met up with Casson Mann, the prestigious design firm who created our restaurant Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar in 2016.
The restaurant design required a complete review of a challenging space – the lower level of the hotel which had no natural light.
Roger Mann, founder and director of Casson Mann, explains how he tackled the challenge.
“All our museum experience is about transforming stories into engaging spatial experiences,” Mann explained. Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar was its first restaurant project. “It has been a similar challenge to exhibition design, with a subtle emphasis in the way we link narrative to materials.”
“We set out to craft an interior design concept that reflected chef Eneko Atxa’s vision, values and passion for heritage, traditions and culture,” Mann says.
His palette of textures and materials used in Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar echoes chef Eneko Atxa’s Basque heritage. But unlike his impressive three Michelin star Azurmendi restaurant in Bilbao, his London restaurant is all about convivial enjoyment, in a relaxed, warm and inviting space.
Downstairs the restaurant showcases rich textures such as tables made from local Basque chestnut (specially created by Arkaia) banded stone tiles and scalloped black Mediterranean pine walls. Concealed lighting give diners the impression of being surrounded by natural light. Nine comfortable banquettes in deep chilli pepper red leather frame the dining area.
“The choice of materials, colour, lighting and the harder-to-define factors, such as acoustics and the way daylight penetrates the lower level, is enormously rewarding to observe that we got it right,” he says.
The reward is tangible in fact, as Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar won “Best Restaurant in a Hotel” in the Restaurant and Bar Awards 2017.
We look forward to welcoming you to experience Casson Mann’s magnificent design later this spring when Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar reopens following the exciting refurbishment of One Aldwych.