The Perfectionists’ Café
The Perfectionists’ Café, one of four establishments for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, has been a popular destination for travellers ever since it opened its doors within the newly developed Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport.
The chef, famous for various TV series showcasing his unique take on cooking, is also owner of The Fat Duck in Berkshire; which has been voted Best UK Restaurant, has won three Michelin stars and received consistent full marks from The Good Food Guide since opening in 2007.
The Perfectionists’ Café opened in Terminal 2 on 4th June 2014, otherwise known as ‘The Queens Terminal’ of the London airport. The café followed on from Heston’s hit BBC TV series which first aired in 2007 ‘In search of perfection’ and is aptly named to follow suit. Having operated to great success for over three years now, The Perfectionists’ Café recently underwent some minor work with a reupholstering of its seating.
The Perfectionists’ Café aims to add a touch of glamour to the airport experience, taking a nostalgic point of view, referring back to when air travel was deemed glamorous and travellers wore their best clothes to fly. The café’s audience is the customer who wants a meal quickly but is fed up with junk food offerings.
The menu celebrates the best British dishes, whilst embracing British mechanics and eccentric ways in Heston’s usual manner. Beef burgers are made grinding meat in one direction, fish and chips are served in a traditional crunchy batter and pizzas made in a classic wood burning oven.
During the TV series ‘In Search of Perfection’, Heston and his team travelled to Italy in a bid to discover how to make a perfect pizza. Heston’s team recorded everything required to make the best dish, from the exact temperature the wood burning oven should be, to the perfect base. The specific details are apparent in the restaurant, which serves up only the best quality foods.
The design of the building, done by Afroditi Krassa is based around the concept of pace. The seating is arranged based on the experience the café’s customers want. The front of the café has quick, easy access; a combination of high seats, flexible tables and hard wearing surfaces. The main feature of the design is the propeller shaped communal table, a subtle nod to the location and travel in general.
Going further towards the rear of the restaurant, away from the rush of the departure lounge, the pace slows to a more relaxed dining experience, with softer furnishings for added comfort. In addition, Afroditi Krassa designed observer booths. Customers seated in these areas have a clear view of the airport runway, watching airplanes take off and land before taking off on their own flight.
Afroditi, founder of Afroditi Krassa explained in 2014:
“This restaurant design extends beyond the layout, colour and finish; it’s the sound of space, the smell of kitchen, the weight of furniture and the clever lighting on the dishes that accentuate the creativity behind the cooking. We picked up on the multi-sensorial element of Heston’s cooking and set ourselves a brief that challenged the boundaries of restaurant design. I wanted this restaurant not to feel like a compromise, as so many restaurants do, but a destination; a place that has a real sense of arrival and a buzz of optimism running through its DNA, just like the food you are about to be served.”
The kitchen design is divided into sections, there’s an ice cream parlour creating Heston’s iconic liquid nitrogen ice cream, a bar with a bakery and deli offerings followed by an exposed wood fire oven. In keeping with Heston’s unique ways, both the ice cream parlour and the open oven were firsts in the airport industry.
The café’s signage, a large mechanical clockwork knife was said to be an idea that came from nowhere, when Heston Blumenthal and designers were looking for something that clearly insinuated good food, rather than ‘fast food’.
Contratti offer comprehensive manufacturing, supply and installation services, providing quality furniture to the leisure and hospitality industry, together with office, educational and retail outlets. The company has been in operation for more than ten years, recently undergoing a re-brand in April 2017.
Over the years, Contratti are proud to have contributed to a number of major projects, providing a wide range of fixed seating, furniture and upholstery. The list includes Dirty Martini London, Dirty Martini Manchester, Dirty Martini Leeds, Club One Ascot, Cloud 23 Manchester, the Fab4 Café Liverpool and Aqua Worthing, amongst others.
Every project has a different requirement and Contratti are able to improve facilities by making custom furniture to meet the design requirements of the venue.
Recently, Contratti has supplied furniture to The Perfectionists’ Café.
Bobby Fitzpatrick, Contratti, said:
“In order to build a long term relationship with suppliers, contractors, architects and interior designers, we pride ourselves in making sure we can produce a complete seating project to exceed expectations and meet budget and timescale requirements for our clients.”
“As fixed seating specialists we can add that extra bit of sparkle to any venue. We are renowned for environmental best practices and are particularly focused on waste reduction, efficient use of natural resources, re-use and recycling.
“All these elements, combined with our exceptional customer service and high levels of professionalism, make us one of the UK’s leading contract furniture & upholstery specialists.”