Best New Design category: for the interiors that look good enough to eat or drink
As we all know, money can’t buy good taste. But these spots have used their redecorating budget wisely – to create an interior that makes a mood, has real wow factor, or is reason in itself to make a night of it. These are all a feast for the eye.
Design: Yuna Megre br> Thanks to the talents of Russian-born and British-educated interior designer Yuna Megre, Mari Vanna is a marvel of old-fashioned Russian cooking in a setting that fleshes out the homely fantasy. Waitresses in flowery domestic aprons invite you to eat comfort food in their ‘sitting room’, where flea market curios fill every inch: there’s ornate crockery, French lace, crystal from St Petersburg, lamps draped with fringed shawls, Lenin pins, antique boxing gloves, an old accordion and so on. A visit to the bathrooms, where they play Russian folk songs and have installed old pull-chain toilets, is part of the adventure.
Around £120 for two br> Read Mari Vanna review
Design: Serge Becker and Jason Volenec br> There’s a garish neon ‘sex shop’ façade and a funky ground-floor diner, but it’s in the bookings-only basement restaurant – serving fashionable Mexican-American food – that the designer’s imagination is given full rein.
Around £65 for two br> Read La Bodega Negra review
Design: David Collins br> Acclaimed restaurant designer David Collins has taken us back to a golden era with this beautifully evoked ‘grand café’. See also pXX Best New Restaurant category.
Around £120 for two br> Read The Delaunay review
The King's Cross Filling Station, Goods Way, N1C 4UR
Design: Serge Becker and Jason Volenec br> A far cry from the building’s original incarnation as a petrol station, this restaurant has been cleverly converted into a good-looking temporary dining space, serving smart US dishes of the sort you might find from Miami to LA.
Around £95 for two br> Read Shrimpy's review