Fettle, Tavolino, Classic Italian restaurant, London, London's Tower Bridge, Restaurant Design, Contemporary space
Photographs: Helen Cathcart

A classic Italian restaurant in the heart of London's Tower Bridge

Fettle has designed Tavolino as a contemporary, yet casual, space

Fettle, the LA- and London-based design studio, has completed work on the design of Tavolino, a new restaurant at a prestigious site overlooking both City Hall and Tower Bridge. The contemporary, yet casual restaurant will serve authentic Italian classics whilst also acting as a standalone bar, allowing guests, locals and tourists alike a place to dine and drink in this popular tourist hotspot.

Drawing inspiration from Milanese coffee bars and traditional Florentine Trattorias, Fettle’s design for Tavolino offers a nostalgic nod to the Italian heritage of the food served with quintessentially Italian finishes and details. The space also includes a few key whimsical elements that add a layer of fun to the space and give it a quiet confidence that sets it apart from its competitors. This includes patterned sheers that wrap around the ground floor as well as lush planting cascading from the mezzanine and bar bulkhead.

At the main entrance of the restaurant sits an elegantly detailed dark timber bar with an aged bronze countertop and an antique mirror back counter. Banquettes upholstered in oxblood leather wrap around the perimeter of this space and provide a seating area for morning coffee or post work cocktails.

Sitting alongside the banquettes are traditional bentwood dining chairs with a pink mohair pad and bespoke timber lounge tables. The bar area extends into the adjacent full height space, providing a combined capacity of fifty covers while also allowing for a bustling night-time scene in one of London’s most vibrant areas. Towering above this space hangs an impressive oversized bespoke pendant light which complements the pendants and wall lights that flow throughout the rest of the room.

Bespoke banquette seating on both the ground and mezzanine dining spaces again wrap around the perimeter of the room, but here are upholstered in an aged green leather. Both floors also include feature booth seating and rope-backed dining chairs upholstered with a tan leather pad. Fettle has softened the modern architectural space with a layer of lush planting behind the banquettes, while all seats afford superb views of the river Thames, Tower Bridge and City Hall. A mottled render finish spans the walls and ceiling, giving the scheme age and depth. Tavolino also offers outdoor riverside dining on the terrace featuring Trattoria-style furniture.

The Italian Art Deco homage continues into the smaller details, such as the signage and branding and is epitomised in a specially commissioned mural that runs up the staircase, the illuminated neon sign hanging over the bar and the futurist-inspired branding used within the logo and the menu.

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