Replacing the existing cafe on the second floor, Arthur’s is a stylish 100-cover restaurant serving contemporary British cuisine. The name and identity of the restaurant fittingly centres on the founder of this iconic store – Arthur Lazenby Liberty.
“Arthur Liberty broke the mould and this restaurant is an extension of his spirit,” explains Roy Westwood of Forward Associates. “Arthur’s is as much about great cocktails, as it is about a three-course lunch, or an afternoon tea.
“With no set dining times and multiple seating styles, we put the guest in control and capture the freedom offered by Liberty.”
For the interior of the restaurant, architect Nick Leith-Smith primarily drew from the store’s artistic beginnings during the Arts and Crafts movement, as characterised by William Morris and Philip Webb.
Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted by an inviting row of scalloped shaped banquette seating, picked out in alternating blue and green upholstered velvet and semi-circular tables of dark timber trimmed in brass. Feature globe pendant lighting hands overhead.
Warm metal hues, with brass and copper details, harmonise with the dark timber and velvet upholstery in midnight blue, teal green and dusty pink.
Circular Italian marble-topped tables and Thonet coffee house chairs are a classic nod to the era, while a striking geometric wall design in vintage pink brings drama to the space.
The centrepiece of the restaurant, however, is an oversized marble-topped bar with brass detailing. Wrapping around the restaurant, the bar is adorned with handmade glazed tiles arranged diagonally, which graduate in colour from dark blues, burgundy and metallics to a softer palette of pinks and greys. Elegant bar stools upholstered in cameo pink complement the palette, while the dark metal gantry overhead is delicately draped with ribbons of copper.
“The bar plays on the idea of placing the exaggerated within the confined,” Roy explains. “It changes the dynamic between front and back of house and brings the preparation of food and drink centre stage.The bar is a celebration of craftsmanship and everything that is good about Liberty of London.”
The prestige that surrounds a venue such as this was not lost on Nick, who was cautious to maintain the store’s longheld commitment to inspirational, well-crafted goods.
“Given the store’s storied heritage, re-imagining the new Arthur’s restaurant at Liberty is a huge privilege,” he says. “The space is welcoming and elegant – an evocative way to experience Liberty – and in keeping with its esteemed relationship with craftsmanship and design.”