Architecture, gastronomy and art come together to give a new life to an old Queen Anne church on St. Thomas Street, at the foot of the London Bridge. An almost divine experience.
The old church of St. Thomas has gone from being a temple of worship to a gastronomic temple. The idea is part of the Cantonese restoration group Duddell’s, which from the first moment was clear that, if he wanted his first restaurant outside Hong Kong did not leave anyone indifferent, he had to work with a powerful architecture studio, expert in interior design and of the latest artistic trends. To do this, they commissioned the project to Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd, from the studio Michaelis Boyd.
The design of the restaurant extols the rich history of the building and highlights the difference between the old and the new. The architects have opted for relaxed luxury, keeping in mind the constant concern for the sustainability of all their projects, and have taken full advantage of the natural light and the heritage elements of London’s Queen Anne architecture to give a new life to the old church.
To design Duddell’s London, the architects were inspired by the traditional Hong Kong tea restaurant of the 60s and made use of color and design to create a retro space with a contemporary touch.
The restaurant consists of two floors in which are distributed an open kitchen and a cocktail bar. The ground floor stands out for the original altar of the old church, in dark wood, while the mezzanine has views to the outside through a transparent glass balustrade. In the upper part, the kitchen is built with pink terrazzo and white shavings, which provides a subtle contrast with the green tiles, and the bar contains some brass shelves that are in tune with the large lamps of the same material that hang from the high ceilings and that were successfully introduced by Michaelis Boyd.
To match, the geometric floor contrasts with the dark oak lining that covers the entire interior of the restaurant, while combining perfectly with the blue leather sofas and poufs. These, being located near the windows, cause the client to enjoy the natural light while drinking their coffee.
The result? An incredible place for vintage tea, with an artistic social life as inspiring as that which existed in the 60’s in the tea rooms of the old English colony. In addition, as in the Duddell’s of Hong Kong, the London brand will regularly exhibit works of contemporary art, which will turn the restaurant into a partial gallery.
Duddell’s London: 9A St. Thomas Street.