Award-winning London design practice A-nrd Studio have completed the interior of Pearly Queen, the highly anticipated new opening from Michelin-starred chef Tom Brown. Located in East London, the concept for the contemporary 40-seat seafood restaurant took its design cues from the contrasting textures and tones of an oyster shell and its prized pearls.Located within the heart of Shoreditch on Commercial Street the relaxed eatery which is set across two floors stands out from its neighbours with a white-washed façade and traditional ‘oysters’ signage. The interior concept is modelled after NYC-style Art Deco oyster bars with an East London edge that references Brown’s background and is an exploration of texture and nuanced colour by A-nrd Studio who have created a space that is as expressive as the menu. The interior architecture of Pearly Queen has an elevated industrial rawness with floor to ceiling timber framed arched windows, original metal columns and exposed brickwork paired with limewashed walls and poured concrete floors. In contrast, the use of marble, brass and glass across furniture and lighting add Deco elements to the design which combine to create an organic and harmonious mix of neural tones and rich, textural materials, layered together by A-nrd Studio and brought to life.
A dual-purpose cocktail bar and open kitchen counter is the focal point to the ground floor plan which adds a buzzy, theatrical element to the space. Crafted from luxurious solid Italian terrazzo in a neutral tone and paired with rich chestnut upholstered leather bar seats, the design features a bespoke back bar in a mix of materials including mirrored glass, bronzed brass and vintage oak panelling and a raw steel wine gantry.Mirroring the bar, a large terrazzo counter table looks out on to the buzz of Shoreditch and is a prime spot that adds to the convivial atmosphere of the space. At the rear of the plan custom booth seating crafted from vintage oak with chestnut leather upholstery designed by A-nrd Studio line the rear wall. Bespoke terrazzo tables with a vintage oak frame that seats 2 and 4 continue the cohesive and concise material and colour palette. Tables are paired with vintage oak upholstered leather armchairs.
Lighting plays a key part of the design with A-nrd Studio choosing a varied mixed of styles to punctuate and illuminate the space. Across the bar architectural matt black track lighting is functional yet sleek, whilst polished brass wall sconces frame the back bar. Tabletop lights with a shapely opaque glass shade and a modern 3-drop chandelier of Deco-esq spherical pendants also in opaque glass glisten like pearls. Adorning the rear wall of the restaurant the phrase “the world is yours” written in Brown’s handwriting is captured in hot pink neon art, whilst Deco style wall sconces are mounted on dark terrazzo picture rail with bronzed brass accents.Decoration is minimal and provided by numerous pieces of art curated on behalf of A-nrd Studio by art curator Despina Watton, some of which were commissioned by chef Tom Brown. Prints, original paintings, and ink drawings on a variety of media from artists including Rugman, Fee Greening and Soozy Lipsy sit alongside two portraits by contemporary British artist Poppy Ellis, one depicting Tom and one depicting Tom’s hero Anthony Bourdain.
Downstairs at Pearly Queen the material and colour palette continue with a richer, atmospheric feel. A vintage distressed oak parquet floor warms the exposed brick and limewashed walls on this lower level. Bespoke booth seating again designed by A-nrd Studio in a deep moss green leather curves around the main space with intimate tables filling under stairs niches and tucked away corners. Custom antique effect mirrors framed in vintage oak panels designed by A-nrd Design and Deco globe pendant lights work in harmony to gently bounce ambient light across the basement plan.A semi-private dining room is a hidden gem within the lower level, enclosed within an arched cavern and hidden behind a curtain it offers a surprising pop of colour. Here bespoke booth seating is upholstered in a plush terracotta velvet with a bold corduroy-like pattern. A curved mustard coloured terrazzo table and bespoke wall mirror echoes the curved architecture of the space which is painted in a deep teal and illuminated by luxurious pearly marble lighting.
In Pearly Queen A-nrd Studio have successfully juxtaposed styles and materials to create an interior that holds its own within the fast-paced Shoreditch restaurant scene. A contemporary interpretation of a traditional oyster and champagne bar, Pearly Queen combines the intimacy and casual atmosphere of a local neighbourhood eatery with elevated elegance and sophisticated detailing.On the project Alessio Nardi, A-nrd Studio founder commented: “It was fantastic working with Tom Brown and his vision for Pearly Queen. Creating an interior that referenced the edginess of East London whilst channelling the Art Deco style oyster bars of New York allowed us to experiment with contrasting textures, juxtaposing materials, furnishings, and fixtures, fusing the rough with the smooth and the raw with the refined to create a space that feels familiar, yet fresh and contemporary.”