II Lago dei Cigni is a contemporary Italian fine dining restaurant from the owners of the Buddha Bar St. Petersburg.
The restaurant has been expertly designed by The Gallery HBA, to impress guests through its stylish interiors, with design details weaving Russian folklore with inspirations drawn from Tchaikovsy’s Swan Lake and the idyllic nature of Krestovsky Island, where the favourites of Russia’s tsars once resided.
Nestled into the woodlands alongside a small pond, II Lago dei Cigni is situated next to the swan house, a dwelling for the graceful birds which dot the island’s lakes. Meanwhile, across the lake a white gazebo with a delicate rotunda paints a romantic ambience, further enhancing the natural beauty of the restaurant’s surroundings.
Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows encircle the round footprint of the main dining area, framing the lakeside backdrop, whilst an exquisite central column and chandelier together form the star of the room, creating a shimmering allusion to the Russian fairytales and folklore around maypole dancing.
Peter the Great’s vision for his new capital St Petersburg is also honoured in The Gallery’s design concept for II Lago dei Cigni. During his rule, the tsar transformed the city into the ‘Venice of the North’, investing in palaces, engineering and shipbuilding to create a glittering attraction for European architects, scientists and thinkers. The spirit of intellectual pursuit is interpreted in a contemporary manner with numerous details, including timber cabinets displaying intriguing curiosities. Bespoke art fixtures have been crafted from magnifying glasses placed in front of wine bottle labels, whilst glass domes exhibit mounted beetles and butterflies and bundles of timeworn French manuscripts are bound together with string to form parcels.
The Gallery is the studio within HBA London, dedicated to high-concept bespoke interior design projects for the hospitality and residential sectors. As imaginative storytellers, The Gallery HBA was perfectly suited to work on II Lago dei Cigni, bringing both experience and innovation to the project.
Principal and Creative Director of The Gallery HBA, Inge Moore, said:
“By juxtaposing passion and edginess with tranquillity and heritage, we have created a unique dining experience that is new to the traditions of St. Petersburg and Krestovsky Island and is also a relaxing enclave to see and be seen in.”
Beautiful, natural materials add to the sense of luxury at II Lago dei Cigni. Wide plank teak floors are rustic yet refined, selenite cladding appears again on the facades of the bar and cabinetry, and Italian-made chairs have been upholstered in rich cognac leather and truffle toned herringbone wool.
Modern renditions of traditional Russian fabric motifs usher in subtle splashes of softness at II Lago dei Cigni, whilst scrolled floral patterns in the scatter cushions and embossed metal reliefs recall time-honoured Slavic textile designs. Above the bar, lighting crafted by hand-blown Czech glass casts a warm glimmer, while cream coloured carpeting adds a sophisticated touch of femininity.
Tucked away behind sliding timber doors is II Lago dei Cigni’s private dining space, a cosy haven which glows from the glazed antique mirror which covers the back wall and a Czech glass chandelier. Inside the restaurant’s rarest vintages and varietals are exhibited in bespoke handcrafted wine cabinets.
For guests who enjoy dining al fresco, II Lago dei Cigni presents its stunning upstairs terrace and rooftop bar which benefit from a glass canopy in order to protect diners from the elements. A trellis woven with greenery breaks up the open space of the upper level, forming nooks with a degree of intimacy for dining or lounging on sofas kitted out with warm throws. The outdoor finishes maintain the natural feel of those indoors, with rustic hand-beaten metals, sun-washed timbers, planters of lush foliage and floor lanterns which cast dramatic shadows.
The Gallery/HBA London has vast experience working on prestigious projects such as II Lago dei Cigni, including current and recent projects such as The Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland; The Palm House Resort and Spa, Palm Beach, Florida; and the Royal Suite at the InterContinental London Park Lane, amongst numerous others.