All aboard for Rail House Café
One of 2017’s most anticipated London restaurant and bar openings. Rail House Café, launched in Nova Victoria, London in March, unveiling an innovative and striking interior design and international menus.
Nova Victoria is an architecturally striking development that will create a new link between Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace, which in turn leads to the Royal Parks.
Rail House Café is the latest from Village London – the team behind the popular Riding House Café in Fitzrovia, and Village East, the beloved Bermondsey restaurant and bar at the forefront of the area’s gastronomic revival when it opened 10 years ago.
The design for Rail House Café was created by Village London Founder Adam White, working with Lou Davies from Box 9 Design.
Themed on a metropolitan station, the venue is innovatively conceived as a series of interconnected hubs, which evolve throughout the day from fine dining to dates, to remote office working.
Lou Davies said: “I have worked with the client on previous projects, so we have a long standing relationship.
“The client is delighted with the design – in fact he said that this is the most beautiful restaurant he has ever seen! We have also had comments from people reflecting the impression that we wanted the restaurant to create. We aimed to create something with a slightly industrial feel which also reflected the age of travel in British colonial days – and this is what people have picked up on.
“We worked together with the client on the design. The main challenge was that the restaurant is located within a large glazed modern commercial-type building and we wanted to create an old-established and timeless feel, so we needed to establish a completely different atmosphere.
“The venue has a centrepiece feature bar with a theatre kitchen situated kitchen beyond. We also installed a new staircase designed to appear authentically old – in keeping with the interior design.”
Tucked behind the staircase is a more intimate lounge. Seating with the main area is in a variety of styles including high tables for drinking on one side of the bar, with low casual seating and tables to the other side, and more formal dining of tables and chairs nearer to the kitchen, with each area ‘flowing’ seamlessly into the others.
Lou Davies said: “Lighting around the facade is quite high impact, with the interior lighting being much softer, warm and intimate, with the use of a palette of natural materials adding to the overall effect.
“This is an important project for us, as the previous projects we carried out for this client really hit a chord within the industry and it was important for us to do the same again. In addition, since we were also working for a client with a high profile within the industry, we were aware that all eyes were on this scheme.”
HCM Interiors was the main contractor on Rail House Café.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality, Jason Beedle, HCM Interiors, said:
“Here at HCM Interiors we were delighted to have been given the opportunity to be the main contractor for the exciting development of the new Rail House Café. It was a pleasure working with Box 9 Design Ltd along with the client. In all we are very happy with the end result and wish Rail House Café all the best for the future.”
The venue’s breakfast menu features dishes such as ’Shakshuka’ baked egg with tomato, feta, avocado, parsley, and sourdough toast; ‘Green Tea waffles’ and a super-healthy ‘Quinoa & Coconut Porridge’. Also on offer are juices and smoothies including ’Avo Smoothie’ with avocado, homemade pumpkin seed, milk, cacao, banana, coconut oil, dates and vanilla.
The ‘Brunch’ section introduces the world to a unique Benedict-burger hybrid: ‘Burgerdict’ – poached egg, beef patty, hollandaise, American cheese, and an English muffin. Then there’s ‘Hot Smoked Salmon & Avocado’ – perhaps with a ‘Rail Pale Mary’ cocktail.
At lunch a ‘Raw’ section is filled with artful raw compositions such as ‘Sea Bass Ceviche’, plus a delicious range of sandwiches such as buttermilk-fried chicken, harisso aioli and a novel ‘Wellington Burger’ with chips. A flavoursome ‘Chargrilled Octopus’ salad makes the most of the restaurant’s open plan Robata grill.
For dinner, offerings include 24 hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder and ‘Wild Bass & Truffle’.
Rail House Café’s bar, Puffing Devil, is also a significant feature with cocktails such as ‘Saffron Spritz’ with Saffron gin, Rhubarb liqueur, tonic and Chandon Rose, and ‘The Seoul Train’ with Sangsom rum, jinju 24, lime juice, watermelon juice, and coriander – plus an extremely good craft beer selection.