Public communal eating has been popular since classical times. But the concept of waited tables, a superior kitchen and an extensive cellar of alcoholic drinks emerged much later. Often considered the first real ‘restaurant’, Beauvillier’s 18th century ‘Grand Taverne des Londres’, whilst based in Paris, clearly found its inspiration overseas in the London culinary scene.
To this day, the best restaurant experiences maintain that mixture of cosmopolitanism and localism; and provide an attractive setting for cultures and influences to mingle. Restaurant design is central to achieving that – promoting relaxed inter-cultural fusion, whilst amplifying the proud provenance of certain chefs, clients and cuisines.
We know aesthetics, spirit and atmosphere are central to client desires. But we must achieve that alongside efficient kitchen arrangement and technology, various safety requirements, user ergonomics and tactility, realistic budget constraints, planning priorities, and often the particular requirements of head chefs. The challenge of promoting and balancing these elements inspires us.