What’s a museum, no matter how new or bold-faced its credentials, without an equally tempting dining room in which to rest weary feet, and to dismantle the blockbuster show you’ve just swept through? It’s a gastronomic question that applies equally to the Design Museum’s new home in John Pawson’s freshly renovated former Commonwealth Institute in London.
Located on the top floor of the building, Parabola – a reference to the swoop of the copper roof – is awash with natural light and soothing views of Holland Park’s green swathe. By the looks of it, Universal Design Studio has spared no expense in its fit-out, installing long stretches of polished pewter and populating the floor with collaborative designs by the likes of Flos, Vitra and Benchmark.
In the main restaurant, waiter stations are built of blue stained ash, window banquettes with green leather, whilst the bar is lined with stools designed by Barber & Osgerby for Vitra. Meanwhile, the members’ room extrapolates the pewter mood-board with blue and black sofas alongside wood benches and seats, again by Barber & Osgerby.
But what of the food, you ask? Well, restaurateur Prescott & Conran has installed a series of guest chefs, the first of which is Rowley Leigh who is on kitchen duty until 28 January. He delivers familiar favourites like the Parmesan custard with anchovy toast; pike sausages; partridge served with cabbage chartreuse; and steamed oysters with beef jelly.