Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Christopher's, a stalwart of the Covent Garden dining scene, has reopened with an opulent new interior designed by De Matos Ryan working in close collaboration with Christopher’s owners. Eschewing the current climate of austerity and abstinence the sumptuous new interiors hark back to a bygone era of glamour and revelry, celebrating the ornate and exceptional character of the existing building and the atmosphere of heady decadence embodied in the very fabric of the place.

Originally opened in 1991, Christopher’s has become a much-loved institution amongst London’s media crowd. It occupies a Grade II listed building in a prominent location opposite the Lyceum in the heart of London’s Theatreland.

In creating sumptuous interiors De Matos Ryan has evoked the real and imagined history of the building, which was built in the 1860’s to house a Victorian social and sporting club and was re-established in 1870 as London’s first licensed Casino.

Christopher’s comprises three distinct areas for drinking and dining; a ground floor Martini Bar offering cocktails and informal dining, an elegant dining room on the first floor and a club room for private events on the lower ground. Each of these spaces has been characterised whilst establishing a clear tonal and material palette continuity throughout. The entrance hall sets the tone with its charcoal grey walls, restored marble floor and domed ceiling highlighted with warm silver ornament.
 
The Martini Bar is conceived as a theatrical and atmospheric drinking parlour, with a palette of materials expressing the rich patina and alchemy of cocktail mixology. The double height space is dramatised by a 6.6 metre long onyx sharing table leading up to the main focal point of the room, a gold mirrored and brass clad bar. Bottles are displayed against a faceted smoked gold mirror backdrop cut with the repeat abstracted motif of a martini glass. Light levels are kept deliberately low with a dynamic installation of suspended sculptural lights hung at varying lengths animating the gold mirror backdrop. The sharing table enables convivial at-the-bar drinking whilst upholstered banquettes tucked under a canopy of dark sumptuous teal buttoned velvet offer a more intimate experience.

The dining room is located on the first floor and comprises two interconnecting rooms. Diners arrive via a grand spiral staircase, dramatically lit by three large glowing faceted pendants. In contrast to the Martini Bar this is a much brighter space with expansive windows overlooking London’s Theatreland. The classic contemporary two-tone grey panelled walls are framed by a theatrically lit silver gilded ceiling cornice. This is reflected in antique mercury mirrored panels and accented by flashes of warm gold velvet in the predominantly grey leather upholstery. The furniture is bespoke and includes individual soft back dark wood chairs and booth seating, carefully arranged to create intimacy within the larger dining space and maximise magnificent views across Waterloo Bridge from the smaller dining space.

 
Slender black metal wall and ceiling lights punctuate the two dining rooms and complement the dark tones of the painted timber floor allowing the original architectural features and the food itself to take centre stage.

The Club Room for private events is concealed within the basement, accessed by a discreetly lit reconditioned former service stair. The dining space is classic and restrained with mid-century inspired pendant and floor lamps. Mirror lined walls give the illusion of greater space in this more intimate setting and a ‘gold nugget’ polished brass bar adds drama.

Bondset Ltd

De Matos Ryan
Brand Consultant: We Are The Council
Furniture design: De Matos Ryan

Building Contractor: McGoff & Byrne Ltd
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×

Photographer: © Hufton + Crow

Christopher’s by De Matos Ryan | Café interiors ×