Chucs serves up authentic Italian classics alongside international favourites to both locals and tourists alike. Chucs Café Kensington, located on London’s Old Brompton Road, marks the group’s first foray into casual café dining.
The timeless and elegant interiors of Chucs Cafe Kensington are inspired by the splendour and effortless glamour of 1950s’ Italy with a sumptuous colour palette that evokes the spirit of the Amalfi coast. PREMIER HOSPITALITY spoke to Andy Goodwin Director of Fettle Design whose team worked on Chucs Kensington. He said:
“This was our first time working for the brand. Before this site, Chucs already had four existing locations; Mayfair, Harrods, Westbourne Grove and Serpentine. They’ve recently acquired three new sites which we are incredibly excited to be working with the team to develop. Kensington represents the first of these sites with the further two sites due for completion later in the year.
Westbourne Grove and Serpentine have a unique offering, but the Mayfair and Harrods interiors were the starting point, and the base from which we began to develop our design narrative.
Inspiration wise we referred to the clients’ original brief developing some of the more successful elements of the existing schemes whilst injecting additional colour, softness and layering to the space. We developed a detailed and varied material scheme and palette, adding marbles, book matched timbers, and tone on tone fabrics to complement the other interior finishes.
Despite the site being relatively compact the scheme we developed is incredibly detailed. The terrace furniture is dressed in royal and pale blues that sit alongside soft yellows and orange tones inspired by the Amalfi coast. Being a corner site, we added two royal blue awnings with a bespoke scalloped valance detail and set this against the lighter blue paintwork of the building facades. The floor is a mixture of timber decking and tiling that has been laid in a classic chequerboard pattern updated with modern colourways including blue, yellow, white and pink tones.”
The interior of the café is fresh and inviting, creating an environment that is welcoming during the day whilst remaining warm and intimate during evening service. The signature feature of the space is a curved, marble topped bar with an angled oak under counter featuring brass detailing. Above the bar hang three oversized burnished brass and opal glass pendants. The timber framed back bar includes ribbed antique mirror panels with timber and brass shelving. Fettle has also designed a series of bespoke bar stools – upholstered in pink leather with a fluted black base – that sit in front of the counter.
The walls of Chucs Café Kensington are clad in oak panelling, similar in tone to the teak used in classic Italian car dashboards and on the decks of yachts. At low level, panelling is tongue and grove, whilst above, the timber includes inset panels of antique mirror and Pierre Frey’s Yangzi Ocean wallpaper.
Andy told us about the challenges of working in a small space:
“The challenges of this project came within the basement space as the site was relatively compact. The existing staircase was widened, and we worked alongside the team to re-design and re-allocate the back of house space. The kitchen was enlarged, and an additional WC was integrated whilst existing under pavement spaces were tanked and repaired to provide additional storage space.
Due to its size, the ground floor interior was challenging but with some careful space planning we managed to achieve twenty-two covers internally. The beauty of the site is that the large windows make the eight covers on the front terrace and the further twenty-two covers on the side terrace feel very connected to the interior of the restaurant and provided a great variety of seating.”
“This was a very important project for us with it being such a great client and prestigious area of London. Chucs’, as a client, were brilliant to work with as their vision and ours in regards what makes hospitality projects successful is well aligned. They were very receptive to our ideas and worked with us to develop the design scheme in a very beneficial collaborative manner. We are very much looking forward to completing the next two sites in this series of refurbishments.”
Forest Contracts specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of high quality contract furniture and high-end residential furniture.
Forest Contracts has been manufacturing in the UK for over 20 years and has grown organically from the start to now serve a range of clients both domestically and abroad. The company can provide solutions for a vast range of project types. This includes 100+ room casegood projects, unique public area interiors, custom solid timber work and tailored metalwork fabrication, as well as stone and composite surfaces right down to hand crafted detailing.
Forest Contracts does not operate on a catalogue basis, meaning all of its products are bespoke and designed exclusively for its clients.
The company has worked a number of high-profile projects, including Novotel Heathrow, One Aldwych, Voco St John’s, Solihull and the 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel.
More recently, it was involved with the new Chucs Café in Kensington.
A spokesperson for Forest Contracts said:
“We pride ourselves in a number of things when it comes to our work and our team, but above all else we can take pride in the fact that we will do absolutely everything above and beyond the call of duty to ensure our clients are completely satisfied with our work.”