Online | Interiors

Homegrown Hospitality

London, UK

At 20 Berkeley, British cuisine and design merge to create a homely Mayfair dining venue that draws on its location’s once-rural roots

When you stand at the corner of London’s Hay Hill and Berkeley Street, just off the famed Berkeley Square, it’s hard to imagine that this was once the border of the city and the countryside. A rural setting with livestock markets has, over time, transformed into the heart of the capital’s luxury dining scene. And yet, when you enter 20 Berkeley, Creative Restaurant Group’s latest opening, it feels like an elegant home that has always been here.

In reality, this space was previously an office and the staircase is the only remaining original feature. The rest is down to some bespoke placemaking by interior design studio Pirajean Lees. Co-founder Clémence Pirajean says their intention was to draw from the area’s history to create an authentically British space, rather than be novelty-focused (like some of its neighbours): “Our vision was to create a sense of understated luxury, taking cues from a typical Georgian home in Mayfair,” she explains. The design narrative is based around the materials – from timber to hand-pressed tiles – all sourced and crafted in Britain, thus connecting the interiors to the philosophy of executive chef Ben Orpwood (ex Gordon Ramsay Group), which is to provide a holistic experience of homegrown hospitality.

The hand-crafted finishes weave a rich tapestry of British design, from the wood panelling and polished dining tables to the stained-glass windows, which were made in north London. “We took inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century, choosing materials that age beautifully and, much like a good wine, get better over time,” says Pirajean.

Fireplaces add to the warming ambience of the rooms. Slanted mirror columns and decorative details offer new vistas and stories to discover, depending on where you sit. “As if you were in someone’s private house, we wanted the space to feel lived-in and intimate,” Pirajean adds. The pantry at the back of the first floor, for instance, is an open space with handmade pickle jars on display, to evoke the sense that guests have happened upon someone’s kitchen.

Downstairs, in the Nipperkin bar, bottles are labelled with handwritten notes and the drop-height cocktail counter welcomes guests to casually mingle; while the private dining room is an exclusive retreat for 14 guests to indulge in the hyper-seasonal menu. 20 Berkeley invites London to reconnect with what once defined this corner of the world: locally farmed produce and architectural elegance.