The story of Felix Warley
Transforming a tired Essex pub into a premium dining destination
In 2018, DesignLSM had the pleasure of working with Stephen Li and Cliff Fox on their second Felix venture, this time in Warley Essex; a significantly bigger project in both scale and ambition. Originally a tired old brick and tile Essex pub, this building has been transformed by the DesignLSM team internally and externally.
Speaking about the project, DesignLSM Associate Designer, Sally Williams said: “We were tasked with undertaking the architecture, branding and interior design of the project. Our brief was to turn an uninspiring building into a luxurious and exceptionally unique all-day dining venue, which reflects the high-quality and sophisticated persona of the Felix brand. Stephen and Cliff’s aim is to be the best in Essex and we needed to ensure that the restaurant we designed was beautifully detailed inside and out – bringing a new and outstanding dining destination to the area.”
The existing entrance to the restaurant has been relocated, a new double height glazed atrium now offers impressive views into beautifully lit lobby space. Enveloped in a traditional shiplap cladding, the façade is softened by layers of intricate golden manifestation that have been designed to reflect the natural light whilst creating moody internal shadows.
A sculptural helical staircase crowned with a striking chandelier of knitted wire orbs captivates guests as they enter the restaurant. The bespoke lighting creation created by Brighton based artists Steven and Amanda. Dining is experienced on the ground floor and reflects a subaquatic feel, referencing Felix’s famous seafood offering. A gentle palette of marine green, blues and stunning textures, combined with opulent touches creates an enriched and elevated ambience. The low level ceiling has been clad with playful waved fins to further enhance the Felix experience, taking guests on a visual journey through the restaurant space.
“The brass netted round seating booths are definitely a stand out feature in the main restaurant space,” said Sally. “They add intimacy and further elevate the experience for diners.”
In contrast the first floor provides a different F&B offering serving breakfast/brunch in the daytime in a relaxed lounge setting. In the evening, the space transitions into a vibrant cocktail bar serving speciality spirits, sake and cocktails. A palette of rich materials couples with a ‘dusk sky’ ceiling and stunning art installations by Studio 2c to create an intoxicating and exciting atmosphere within the space.
DesignLSM started work on transforming the site in March 2018 and completed in December of that year.
Sally added: “Stephen, our client, said that he couldn’t have asked for more, which is the best feedback to receive on such a challenging yet exciting project. Felix is booked up every weekend until the end of the year and is already setting Essex’s restaurant scene alight with people commenting on the exquisite setting and beautiful detailing.
“This has been an incredible design journey. We loved working with the amazing team at Felix again and Blue Crow Contractors amongst many other great suppliers that were involved. We are truly delighted with the results and look forward to seeing the restaurant flourish.”
Felix Warley is open Tuesday to Thursday from 12 Noon to 2pm and 5:30pm until 9:30pm, Friday to Saturday from 12 Noon until 2pm and 5:30pm until 10pm and Sunday from 12pm until 5pm.
For more information visit: https://www.felixrestaurants.co.uk/