This is the second venture by the group that introduced Peruvian food to London with its trend-setting restaurant, Ceviche in Soho. Together with Here Design, a product and image consultant company, we embarked to create a place that would transport guests to a “Picanteria” (popular diner) in Arequipa, the Peruvian capital of food.
The challenge was to give what used to be a solicitors office in an old Victorian building the look of a colonial Peruvian villa. It was required that the basement also function as a restaurant where there was no natural light. For this, we created a slated ceiling between the floor joists with warm LED lighting hidden over the slats to emulate daylight filtering through the pergola-look ceiling. The lights adjust throughout the day, from brighter to a sunset mood to great effect.
Our aim was to evoke the nostalgia of another century by creating a design that reflected the bohemia of Peru.
We wanted to create a restaurant where customers could drink, eat good food and spend long nights listening to music. It was important to us that the design felt authentic. We didn’t want to simply emulate the Peruvian style; we wanted to create a hidden little treasure in the heart of Soho. As a result, we used a variety of reclaimed materials – including corrugated metal, timber and table tops from the old restaurant – to compose a restaurant that remained loyal to the essence of Peru without feeling too forced.