This week we have a guest blog by Anna Ward from Furnished by Anna . Thank you Anna!
We know that what we wear, how we look, ‘our style’, says a lot about us. And the same applies to eating places. In a previous Eat Around Tonbridge blog, Jennie Kenny of Beyond the Grounds explained how, when designing her café, she wanted it to feel homely, as if you are entering someone’s sitting room. Restauranteurs and café owners know how they want customers to feel and work with designers to create that look.
Eat Reviewer has invited me to write a guest blog to discuss how the interior of a restaurant or café wants to make you feel…
Wood, metal and muted tones – that’s what stands out to me when I walk into Graze.
The tables are wooden but look slightly worn and weathered, with sturdy, ‘functional’ metal legs; the floor is wooden; and there is wood panelling on the walls.
The metal accents continue with the chairs, the bar & the vintage, grey pendant lights, the soft greys picked up in the choice of wall colours too. The exposed brickwork behind the bar provides texture and draws the eye, marking it out as different to the rest of the restaurant.
The large, original windows overlooking the High Street let the natural light stream in and ‘natural’ is the theme which brings all these details together. The place feels rustic, stripped back, calm; it feels homemade. To the consumer this says, “Eat here, the food is fresh, natural, made on site, ‘just like mother used to make’”.
You’re not stepping back in time in Graze at all, but in this world of ‘bling’ we live in, the nostalgic ambience with a modern twist is a winning formula: look at Cook!, Gregg’s and even KFC in Tonbridge. All of these places have recently undergone a refit and have incorporated wood and exposed brick. And they’re not alone; this style is global, making us feel safe and secure in what we can expect, even when abroad.
Let’s wander up the High Street to Havet. It also uses grey but this time to create a classy, modern exterior – the double fronted large restaurant creates quite a statement.
Havet’s interiors are not subtle, they’re clamouring for attention, saying fun, glamour, affluence & decadence. How do they achieve that?
You walk into a cool marble restaurant which stretches a long way back – the light bounces off the marble, making the space feel even larger and creating a sense of opulence. They use rich, bold colours (teal and tan) & luxurious leather for the seating. The marble is a muted grey as at Graze but at Havet, it’s offset with matt gold detailing – understated glamour. And guess what? At Havet they also have stone tiled walls (shades of grey) and wood detailing, a nod to their ethos: ‘fresh food daily’.
Two restaurants on Tonbridge High Street that have opened in the last year – contrasting styles but using similar themes to create distinctive eating experiences.
Anna can be found on Facebook, Twitter @fbainteriors and Instagram furnishedbyanna.