Mexico modern

Interior designer David Collins Studio and Mexican chef Martha Ortiz join forces on Ella Canta, a new restaurant overlooking Hyde Park

David Collins, the late founder of his eponymous design studio, had a passion for creating joyous spaces in which to dine out. With his mark firmly felt at the Wolseley, Nobu, and the Blue Bar at The Berkeley, Collins’ influential spirit lives on through Ella Canta, The Intercontinental Hotel’s new culinary gem, designed by David Collins Studio creative director Simon Rawlings, in collaboration with firey chef du jour Martha Ortiz. Riding a Mexican wave in London established by the likes of El Pastor, Ortiz serves up a contemporary, theatrical menu – the Impressionist cocktail a must – staged with subtle design notes that refuse traditional Mexican tropes like ‘high contrast’ colours, says Ortiz. Sidestepping the stereotypical, the team were were keen to present a softer take on experiential dining, and design-highlights include the fine, hand-cracked egg-shell tabletopsand a bespoke, barely-there wooden screen that delineates the bar from the dining room. And it works. Ella Canta, which means ‘she sings’ in Mexican, softly hums The Girl from Iponema, rather than belting out La Bamba.

One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London,W1J 7QY; Tel: 44.20 7318 8715;

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms