Critically-acclaimed product and interior designer, Lee Broom, has created a brand new venue for London in his design for Old Tom & English, a reservation-only restaurant and cocktail lounge on Wardour Street, Soho.
Designed for brother and sister duo Maria and Costas Constantinou, Old Tom & English offers personally prepared cocktails and twists on traditional English dishes at the basement venue’s intimate tables and hidden rooms. The name references an 18th century English ‘Old Tom’ gin recipe, as well as being a playful nod to Soho’s colourful history.
Lee Broom’s interior design for Old Tom & English is a contemporary take on the relaxed elegance of home entertaining in the 1960s. To gain entry via the heavy slatted wooden door, guests must ring the doorbell and be welcomed through the hidden hatch, before being seated at the bar, lounge or one of the five personal cloisters.
Refuting a conventional bar and restaurant layout, Lee has designed the space to reflect the relaxed atmosphere of a good friend’s apartment for a casual dinner or an intimate cocktail party.
Employing traditional and honest materials such as oak and marble, Lee has created a bar incorporating multiple levels, a post-modern fireplace and striking vertical panelling featured throughout the venue.
The simple grey palette selected for the walls, accessories and upholstery are accentuated with flashes of brass and a vibrant red carpet, which runs throughout the interior.
“I have designed a complete venue concept for Old Tom & English combining all aspects, including the interior, branding and elements of the service concept,” says Lee. “I thought about the kind of personal service I like to receive in a venue and the theatre of creating drinks in front of you or presenting the food in a way, which considers its interior, like you would at home.
“The design has been created around those elements and much like the service informs the design, the design of the interior influences the service. For example, marble features throughout the venue in the lighting, the furniture and right through to the barware and tableware we have created. It is a dream project for a designer and I believe will be a real gem for Soho.”
Old Tom & English’s layout seats up to 75 guests at one time and provides each group of customers with their personal bar area – such as a sideboard, revolving cocktail cabinet or bar cart – from which waiters finish the drinks.
Five arched cloisters provide additional privacy for larger parties of 8-10, all of which are named after infamous ladies of the night, and one features a low cocktail cabinet that, when opened, reveals drinks orders, secretly accessible from the main bar.
Old Tom & English is also the first project to feature Lee Broom’s new Nouveau Rebel marble lighting collection, launched during London Design Festival 2014. The sculptural Globe Light provides a warming glow, Marble Tube Lights frame the bespoke marble fireplace surround and the On the Rock glassware is used to serve signature cocktails.
Lee also integrates bespoke versions of his collection heroes, such as the celebrated Decanterlight and Crystal Bulb, created with new cuts; solid oak ‘OLO’ pendants; and extended ‘Quilt’ sofas to provide ample room and comfort for lounge lovers to relax.