Hospitality design specialists DesignLSM have unrecognisably transformed a former brick and tile Essex pub into the premium-dining destination – Felix Warley. Following the success of the first Felix seafood restaurant in Billericay, Stephen Li and Cliff Fox appointed DesignLSM to undertake the Architecture, Interior Design and Branding for their new venture. Felix Warley offers an elevated all-day dining experience within a luxurious and exceptionally unique setting for its patrons.
Felix II – transforming an uninspiring building into a beautiful space
Set within a semi-rural location in Brentwood, the sites exterior has been redesigned to deliver an attractive and appealing presence that echoes the sleek and sultry look of the interior scheme. The existing entrance to the restaurant has been relocated, a new double height glazed atrium now offers impressive views into a 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.
Inside, the existing 1st floor ceilings have been removed to reveal a dramatic 5-metre-high roof space with structural frameworks bridging the void. From this structure hangs an abundantly stocked drinks gantry, which crowns the fabulous oval shaped cocktail bar below.
On the ground floor the original structure has undergone a huge transformation to create an elegant dining environment featuring new decorative screens and walls, placed to provide pockets of intimacy.
The ‘Felix’ Experience
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 Follen references a subaquatic feel, which has become a dominant design narrative throughout the scheme. A calm palette of marine greens, blues and indulgent textures make up the ground floor restaurant interior with opulent touches such as brass nets that enclose intimate round seating booths. The dark ceiling is clad with playful waved fins that alter the guest’s perception as their Felix journey unfolds.
The restaurant restrooms do not hold back on luxury, the walls are adorned with dramatic floral embossed wallpaper, the basins are sculpted from dense Brazilian black slate to form rock pools within the strata. Beautiful brass wear delivers a striking contrast against the authentic black stone; sitting alongside plush pink tones of velvet upholstery that create a sumptuous and feminine aesthetic.
The first floor delivers a different Felix dining experience serving breakfast /brunch in the daytime in a relaxed setting where natural light floods through the new windows illuminating the imposing copper clad oval bar. Customers will find the bar dressed with homemade pastries and other breakfast delights to accompany the artisan coffee and fresh juices on offer.
In the evening, the space transitions into a sumptuous cocktail bar serving speciality spirits, craft beers, sake and cocktails. Rich materials coupled with a ‘dusk sky’ ceiling and stunning art installations create an intoxicating and exciting ambience for guests.
The result is an elegant fusion of interior and exterior design that signals a contemporary approach for dining destinations outside of London.
Sally Williams, Associate Designer, DesignLSM said,
“Felix Warley has been an incredible design journey…We have 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.”