Belle Vue Brighton – Simply spectacular dining
One of the newest and most exciting restaurants in Sussex, The Belle Vue Brighton is a destination brasserie located at the base of the spectacular new British Airways i360 tower on Brighton seafront.
The world’s tallest moving observation tower, British Airways i360 is a gleaming 162-metre-tall vertical tower which opened in August 2016.
Surrounding the tower is a fully enclosed glass observation pod, which gently lifts groups of up to 200 passengers to a height of 138 metres, offering 360-degree views across Brighton and Hove, the South Downs, the South Coast and the English Channel.
Eleven years in the making from design to reality, British Airways i360 is the brainchild of architect-entrepreneurs David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects, best known as the practice that conceived and designed the world-famous London Eye.
The stylish, contemporary new Belle Vue restaurant has extensive sea-facing terraces, offering stunning views of the West Pier, and caters for a wide variety of visitors throughout the day, from breakfast through to lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
The menu is created from superb ingredients, many of which are reared, grown, caught and brewed within the viewing radius of the British Airways i360 pod.
David Marks, chairman of British Airways i360 said: “We have one of the best locations on Brighton beach and have worked closely with Heritage Portfolio to develop the restaurant concept from the idea of ‘social dining’; accessible to all, tourists by day and locals by night, serving the finest ingredients in a menu that is adaptable, local and based on quality, unique dishes.”
The restaurant was designed by R2 Architecture, working together with Marks Barfield Architects. The fit out was carried out by D3 contractors.
Richard Eastwood, director at R2 Architecture said: “We worked closely with Marks Barfield Architects to deliver the restaurant design.
“The interior, which features a neutral colour palette, includes a spacious dining area with a striking central 6m diameter circular bespoke bar as a key feature. The shape of the bar echoes the circular shape of the British Airways i360 viewing pod. The bar itself is also quite spectacular, with a frontage in polished stainless steel and a Corian bar top. This was a challenging design to produce and was delivered by Dawnvale.
“The remainder of the space is fairly open with concrete flooring and a concrete ceiling – so quite raw materials – complemented by walls clad in limed oak to reflect the look of weathered sun bleached seaside timber. Lighting is again simple, comprising stainless steel pendants.
“Banquette seating has been installed along one of the limed oak walls, with a row of high booths featured along the other limed oak wall to the rear of the venue. These tie in visually with a limed oak frame which has also been installed in the rear section of the restaurant.”
The remaining dining space is furnished with moveable seating and tables.
Another element of the project included the installation of a full catering kitchen.
R2 Architecture also delivered corporate identity material including logos, menus and signage – all designed to echo the shape of the tower’s viewing pod.
Richard Eastwood added: “We needed to keep the design simple to maximise flexible use of the space, which is also available for functions.
“For this reason, we included 1.2 m wide dining tables with flip tops, which fold for easy storage when not required, together with stackable chairs to allow for different configurations according to requirements.
“This flexibility of layout enables the venue to avoid the look of a ‘bland’ function room and to retain its character.”
Richard Eastwood concluded: “This was a prestigious project for us and it was great working with British Airways i360 and Marks Barfield Architects.
“Dawnvale were really the heroes of the contract, producing what was really a difficult to manufacture bar in just six weeks.”
The menu at the Belle Vue Brighton includes main dishes, sharing platters, gourmet burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and more.
Main courses on offer include The Belle Vue cheeseburger with fries and celeriac slaw; Harvey’s beer yeast battered South Coast cod, chips and pea mayonnaise; South Coast cod pie and British Pork Belly with crackling, smoked cauliflower puree, charred courgettes and rich apple jus.
British Airways i360 head chef Alan Parker was tutored by Michelin starred French chef Christian Tetedoie and went on to work at top restaurants including The Mirabelle in Eastbourne and The Savoy in London.
He said: “All our core ingredients, such as meat, fish, cheese and bread are sourced locally from the best farms and artisan makers, and I have my own pastry chef on site. Our goal is to create high quality food and drink that makes British Airways i360 as much a food destination as a magnificent tourist attraction.”
D3 Design specialise in commercial interior design and build projects, providing full end-to-end solutions from concept design, supply and the installation of bars & kitchens to furnishings & fittings, bespoke flooring work and building work, including mechanical and electrical installations. D3 Design has been in operation since February 2008 and within this time has worked predominantly with contract catering companies such as Centerplate, Pabulum, WSH, Caterlink, Baxterstorey, ABM Catering, and Alliance in Partnership.
Past projects have included the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Whitehall; schemes for Southampton FC, Millwall FC, Sunderland FC, Tottenham FC, Watford FC, Celtic FC and Leicester Tigers; and Twycross Zoo. D3 Design has also been involved in various school and college projects, including Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College, Winstanley College, Homewood School and Bacons College – Rotherhithe, to name but a few.
Most recently, D3 Design was involved in the Belle Vue BAi360 project. D3 were initially commissioned to design the kitchen, bar, finishing kitchen, the Toll Booth Cafe and the store areas of the venue during summer 2014. D3 Design constantly reviewed the design process with Marks Barfield Architects and Centerplate through to early 2016 when we they were then awarded the contract to turn this project from a design concept into reality.
D3 Design of Mike Morgan, said:
“BAi360 is a prestigious, innovative project and as a forward thinking, progressive company we relished the opportunity to work together from concept to the final product.”
What sets D3 Design apart from other design and build organisations is the emphasis the company puts on relationship management and the time taken to truly understand what their customers want to achieve. D3 Design doesn’t just deliver off the shelf solutions; they work closely to ensure that every project is bespoke and exceeds the expectations of their valued clients.
“We have a proven track record in delivering quality installations, completed on time and to budget.”