Award-winning hospitality designers, B3 Designers (responsible for Gymkhana, Trishna and Bubbledogs to name a few), have continued their collaboration with the Tamarind Group (owners of Tamarind Mayfair and Imli Street, Soho) to create One Kensington, a newly opened bar and dining venue on Kensington High Street, London. B3 Designers’ brief was to create both the brand identity and the interior look and feel for One Kensington. The 300 square metres, 120 cover dining space is set in a Grade II listed, late Gothic revival Victorian building and consists of a dining area, counter bar and a raised Champagne table.
Overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens, One Kensington offers an exciting and stylish space in which to spend the day eating, drinking and socialising. Having one of the most prestigious addresses in London, One Kensington was originally home to The London & County Bank in 1885, designed by architect Alfred Williams. The Champagne table is named ‘the John Tann table’ after the famous 19th century safe maker, one of whose creations is embedded in the front wall of the building and was uncovered during the refurbishment. B3 Designers’ inspiration for the brand identity is partially drawn from the intricacy and irreplaceable nature of bank notes, by incorporating watermark detailing to the ‘One K’ emblem as background to the pages within the menus. The history of the building as a bank gives a sophisticated, industrial approach to the interiors, evoking the era of Gustav Eiffel and Jules Verne. The menu features global cuisine, inspired by the travels of Jules Verne as is the branding used on the main menu cover, which features a medallion surrounding the logo.
In support to the building story and identity, the aesthetics for One Kensington is drawn from the industrial engineering era of the mid-19th Century. B3 Designers’ brief for the interiors of One Kensington was to combine two offers; Counter Bar and Dining Room in an historical building with inspiration from the era of 1880s, creating a premium, elegant yet functional and accessible dining experience. The overall style of the interiors showcases a contemporary interpretation of the era, highlighting the timeless quality of elegant but hardwearing materials and skilfully engineered fixtures. B3 Designers have greatly attributed this in the refined industrial metal frames, which are balanced with large feature light elements made from delicate smoked glass with accents of antique brass fittings. The use of light duck egg blue with an ocean turquoise on the leather upholstery of the feature banquettes and bespoke loose seating are paired with intricate metal leg frames to recreate the Victorian industrial feel. Other key features include a polished white marble terrazzo floor to the bar side of the restaurant which is laid akin to the original finish of the building; the aged metal bar top with a gunmetal clad facing and in the main dining area, the dark stained oak floor in a herringbone pattern. Being a listed building, B3 Designers were limited to what they could do with the walls. “We wanted to retain the character of the building so we liked the idea of bringing a contemporary/global spirit through colourful, luxurious upholstery and branding materials such as the menus” says Mark Bithrey, founder and Design Director at B3 Designers. The intact Gothic architectural details such as ornate stonework and wood panelling are echoed in the design and contrasted with sophisticated industrial details furniture, fixtures and lighting as well as the overall approach to the branding design.
The menu is designed to suit an international palate and dishes have been created by executive chef Massimiliano Blasone, previously of Nikita Malibu and Apsleys at The Lanesborough, where he was awarded a Michelin star after just four months. The restaurant’s name, One Kensington, is directly related to the venue address – No 01 Kensington High Street. This premium location reflects the restaurant’s service quality and by using a well known London address anchors the refined international approach to cuisine to the heart of London; a fittingly diverse and cosmopolitan city.