Designed by 32 mq, The Coco Retro bistro brings French flair to Royal Tunbridge Wells, a large affluent town in Kent, about 64 km south-east of central London.

The brief was to create different inspiring places for each floor of the building for three different dining experiences. The ground floor is an informal and relaxed brasserie; the first floor – an elegant and stylish Royal restaurant; and the lower ground wine cellar (currently under development) is dedicated to the wine collection of the owner.

Guests enter through a lobby-bar area marked by a circular shiny brass counter that appears as a huge column dominating the space. A black and white checkerboard floor leads through a woody and glassy screen from the bar to the brasserie. Here the existing brick walls has been left exposed between shelves and dark wooden panels that bend to form the ceiling from which lighting is suspended.

A dark-black staircase leads to the first floor which is bright and brilliant in contrast with the moody and saturated atmosphere of the ground floor. The space here is gently divided with a light timber column screen frame, separating the existing fireplace area from the rest of the restaurant. The existing ceiling has been removed to show the roof structure. The double height space is crossed by pendant lightings through the timber beams, giving a vertical orientation to the space. A black and white custom made triangular patterned flooring gives a touch of modernity to a space that romantically faces the train station clock through a horizontal leaded window.

The side wall have were decorated by silhouettes reproducing street scenes, adding a touch of playful intimacy to the tables area. These illustrations were born from the collaboration with the local artist Chris Burke.


Related Post: Stories On Design // Illustrated Interiors.


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[Images courtesy of 32 mq. Photography by Alan Williams.]


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