British designer Tom Dixon has been creating iconic spaces and furniture since the 1980s. From designing Italian brand Cappellini’s ‘S’ chair, to modernising British homeware store Habitat and establishing his own eponymous line, Tom Dixon has played a large part in contemporary British – and worldwide – design. In 2007 he launched Design Research Studio, an interior and architectural design studio that has worked on the likes of Shoreditch House and Sea Containers House on the bank of the Thames.
In 2016 the studio turned its hand to new London restaurant Bronte. Located on The Strand, the centrally-located restaurant offers a menu inspired by the Pacific and Antipodes, with the odd influence from the Middle East and southern Europe.
Overlooking Trafalgar Square, the restaurant is named after Lord Nelson, the first Duke of Bronte (and the man that’s now in statue form on top of the square’s famous Nelson’s Column), with the interiors taking inspiration from the rich history of the area, Victorian explorers and eccentric collectors.
In true Tom Dixon fashion, Bronte is a mix of minimalism and eclectic, expressive design. Walls are neutral in pale brick or clean white, with floor to ceiling windows bathing the space in natural light. Bold pieces throughout the restaurant are found in a pink concrete breakfast bar, green leather booths, pewter cocktail bar, green granite kitchen and dusty pink armchairs. Dixon’s Fade pendants are found clustered over the bar and in the double-heighted main space, while his Plane wall lights – complete with square brass-plated steel frames – provide soft light throughout the restaurant.
Playing on the theme of explorers and travel in the 16th century, an eclectic range of objects and artefacts is displayed as though in a cabinet of curiosities throughout the space.
Bronte can be found at Grand Buildings, 1-3 The Strand, London, WC2N 5EJ.
Words by Angharad Jones. Images courtesy of Tom Dixon and Design Research Studio