Bourne & Hollingsworth team to open new bar

Reverend JW Simpson

The team behind London bars Bourne & Hollingsworth and Reverend JW Simpson (pictured) are to open a modern brasserie and bar in Clerkenwell this autumn.

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings is set to open in Northampton Road, just off Exmouth Market, in mid-September, with a 70-cover restaurant and greenhouse, a café area, private dining rooms and a large bar serving cocktails.

The design is a collaboration between the in-house creative team, Lionel Real de Azua from Red Deer Architects and Louise Davies of Box 9 Architects whose other projects have included Riding House Café, Pizza East and Soho House Berlin.

Determined to move away from the “overthought and increasingly faddy design” of some of the more recent bars and restaurants, Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings will feature pared-back, classic interiors that are light, clean and almost minimalist in their design.

Taking inspiration from the faded grandeur of a stately home, the venue’s design will combine rich textures with fresh shades. Throughout the 220 sq m space, whitewashed floorboards, classic cornicing and light walls rendered with muslin will be juxtaposed with bespoke ironwork, warm wood and antique armchairs and sofas reupholstered with thick patterned fabrics such as kilim and hessian.

Its five distinct spaces will include The Bottle Room, a private dining room for 14 people, which will be lined with floor-to-ceiling antique display cabinets full of bottles of boutique spirits and fine alcohol. It will also feature an honesty bar.

The cocktail bar, in the sunny west-facing side of the building, will open onto the street and the leafy park beyond via huge windows and doors. Influenced by classic grand cafés, the bar itself will feature bespoke concrete panelling, an oak handrail, and a white marble mosaic bar top. Behind the bar, geometric ironwork shelving and diamond mirror panelling will cover the back wall.

Other spaces capture the idea of an abandoned country house where the gardens and the state rooms have slowly grown into one another. The café area will feature winged mahogany wicker chairs and high-backed sofas, while the restaurant and greenhouse will mix soft furnishings and armchairs with cane garden furniture and wrought-iron benches.

The whole space will be filled with hanging baskets, full-grown trees and trailing creepers, bringing the outside in.

The food menu has been designed by Parisian-born head chef Alex Visciano, formerly sous chef at London’s Connaught Hotel, as a modern British take on traditional brasserie food.

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