Eating at home is a joy for many reasons — not least of which that pants are not required for entry — but if you're going to go out (and you have the cashola), why not make it an evening to remember at a place that's as well-designed as it is delicious? Like, say, one of the winner's of this year's independent Restaurant and Bar Design Awards.
Now in its fifth year, the awards solicited over 670 international submissions — which were culled down into a very winning 27, each offering a taste of very different ways to dine in style. As a dive bar kinda gal, it's tough to imagine settling in someplace as stark and stunning as London's Atrium Champagne Bar — one of the two overall honorees — but there are definitely some cozy contenders too (and ice cream shops! Huzzah!).
Take a look at six of the coolest victors. [ArchDaily]
Tramshed designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects
Situated in a listed building dating back over a century, London's Tramshed — winner of the London Restaurant category — blends the timber-loving style of Waugh Thistleton Architects with an incredible Damien Hirst centrepiece that nods to the ol' formaldehyde shark. Beef and fowl feature prominently on the menu — a fact supported by the fact that the site's url is actually ChickenandSteak — and the restaurant even has its own art gallery in the basement, the aptly named Cock 'n' Bull. Large spaces like this often have an echo chamber effect, resulting in a super loud experience, so if they managed to pull this off it's pretty impressive.
Atrium Champagne Bar (London) designed by Foster + Partners
There's high ceilings, and then there's 24m high skylights that cast natural rays that looked like they're beamed down straight from the heavens. Winner of the Restaurant or Bar in a Hotel category, this incredible space by the legendary firm Foster + Partners is ultimate swank — from the bubbly served to the gently curved sofas along the wall.
Eyescream & Friends (Spain) by Estudio m Barcelona
For the winners of the Awards' Identity category, graphic designer Marion Dönneweg and architect Merche Alcalá, bringing the ample joys of Taiwanese shaved ice to the people of Barcelona meant putting a fun new face on the sometimes messy sweet treat. Each part of the serving process was given its own small station behind the small storefront, and visitors carry out a tray with a cute googly eyed character and a few brightly coloured toppings.
Rocambolesc Gelateria (Spain) by Sandra Tarruella Interioristas
What began as a concept for a dessert trolley to be wheeled around Girona became a permanent brick-and-mortar space with a modernised retro vibe, winner of the European Bar award. Sandra Tarruella Interior Architecture went for a Willy Wonka effect for the ice cream shop, which was started by the brothers who own the popular restaurant El Celler De Can Roca.
Alfred & Constance (Australia) designed by by Derlot
Alexander Lotersztain instilled this Brisbane haunt with an eclectic mix of seaside charm and swap meet chic. It's campy and it's bright and it's a bit goofy, enough to lock up the Australia & Pacific Bar category.
The Feast (China) designed by Neri&Hu Design and Research
It's no surprise that this Shenzhen spot took the prize for lighting; each of the 500 hand-blown pendants looks like a jar with a firefly inside or a starry sky transported indoors. Architects Neri&Hu modelled the space after a village, creating nooks and alleys that make it feel intimate.
What do you think? Did the jury miss anything crucial?