Even if you had no idea what type of cuisine was on offer, the décor of most Chinese restaurants—loud swaths of crimson and gold, ornate calligraphic Hanzi, and perhaps the odd tasseled lantern—would instantly give you a clue. Not the case at new Cantonese locale, Duddell’s London, an outpost of the Ilse Crawford–designed, Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong, where nary a splash of red can be seen.
Instead, architects Michaelis Boyd opted for a more soothing palette for the London iteration, housed in the historic Queen Anne–style St. Thomas Church in London Bridge. Sea-green tiles clad the cocktail bar and open dim sum kitchen, while sky-blue banquettes sit elegantly against dark oak. Overhead, dramatic brass light fittings offer a contemporary interpretation of traditional church illumination.
“We wanted to work with the strong spatial elements of the church,” Michaelis Boyd cofounder Alex Michaelis says. “We used vibrant colors in the bar and kitchen as a focal point when you arrive. The lights have materiality reminiscent of ecclesiastical elements and are set at a height that allows you to see the space, but also brings the volume down to a lower level, much like church lighting often does.”