Hermès launches a pop-up café at its London flagship
Over 3000 ping-pong balls on acrylic stalks sway in the summer breeze, like space-age poppies on an alien planet. White bistro tables and stools are dotted between these spherical blooms, while the Cellar Society’s finest waiters flit to-and-fro between the ‘planted beds’, serving breakfast. Welcome to Hermès brilliantly bonkers pop-up café, as if the avant-garde French brand would create any ordinary setting for its retail pitstop.
The café occupies the second-floor terrace of the mid-century modern Grade-II listed Time & Life Building, and is accessible from the interiors section of the store. This enclosed outdoor courtyard was revealed to customers following the extensive 2015 refurbishment of New Bond Street store and with a reclining Henry Moore figure at its heart, it was surely only a matter of time before Hermès would somehow incorporate it into the customer experience.
Creative duo Isabel + Helen, also responsible for the kinetic ‘Michievous Machine’ windows currently on display in the Bond Street, Cadogan and Dublin stores, created the installation which is inspired by British artist Nigel Peake’s porcelain tableware, ‘A walk in the garden’.
‘We wanted to recreate “A walk in the garden” by abstracting flowers into their simplest form. Repeating them on mass to create a sea of undulating colour, transforming the concrete terrace into a surreal landscape,’ say the pair. The warm yellow, pink and orange tones perfectly complement the palette of the Peake’s tableware design, which was launched earlier this year at Hermès’ brightly coloured Salone del Mobile installation. It’s Peake’s first tableware collection, although he has designed textiles and wallcoverings for the brand before.
The Hermès café offers a calm, cool oasis away from the Bond Street bustle below, serving teas, coffee and petit fours until 20 July. §