Martin Williams, CEO and founder of the M Restaurant group fell in love with the style and design of venues such as Mezzo, Quaglino’s and The Ritz. Wanting to recreate the experience and theatricality of these restaurants, he enlisted high-end interior designer René Dekker, who is known for his attention to detail and focus on perfection, for his own venues.
Having been commissioned to carry out the restaurant interior design of the hugely successful first M restaurant in Threadneedle Street, René was asked to put his skills to work on M Victoria Street, which opened in 2015.
This venue boasts a Wine Store on the ground level with a wine tasting mezzanine; and downstairs, are the restaurants M Grill (serving steaks and sustainable seafood), and M Raw, a vegetarian and gluten-free experience. In addition, there is also a cocktail bar, private dining and a private members’ bar.
Although very different in look from its M Threadneedle sibling, which is decked in jewel shades of teal, M Victoria still has the same luxurious feel. On entering the venue at the Wine Store, floor to ceiling windows create an instant sensation of light and space. To enhance this atmosphere, René chose large format Porcelain tiles from Solus Ceramics. Expertly laid, not only do the large tiles create a clean, uninterrupted look, they also have a slight sheen to them, which bounces light back up into the room. This offers a neutral yet sophisticated background for the Wine Store, creating a calm atmosphere in which to peruse the shelves of quality products.
Up on the mezzanine, full-length curtains in a soft silver grey provide a sense of glamour to the area and these are complemented by button-back banquette seating. Scatter cushions with piping in copper tones tie in with the shapely hexagonal tables that fit neatly together, as well as the deep shade of rust in the flooring. Again using tiles, René chose a range called Metallica, also from Solus Ceramics, which have been laid in a stylish herringbone configuration using the latest technology to create the desired shapes. These tiles add warmth to the seating area, where customers can relax while experiencing tastings from the extensive and superlative wine list.
The high-end interior atmosphere created by the décor matches the quality and expertise of head sommelier, Zack Charilaou, who at just 26 years of age, won ‘Best UK Sommelier/ FOH’ at the 2015 Harpers Awards.
The Metallica tiles were also used in the private dining area, where clean white walls and shelving are highlighted with elements of black. The same shade of grey was used here for the dining chairs to add a sense of continuity to the dining room, as well as to echo the mezzanine tasting room upstairs.
In the restaurants (M Grill and M Raw) the colours are repeated with soft silver greys and touches of copper. Here, wall-to-wall banquettes sit comfortably opposite two-tone dining chairs. The flooring in this area is the Concreta range, again from Solus Ceramics, which suggests a Mediterranean feel, and although the tiles are neutral in colour they have an element of interest with a subtle embossed detail.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the Porcelain Flare collection was used for the flooring. Not only do these tiles come in a variety of colours, they also boast an anti-slip finish, which is perfect for a working environment and areas of high traffic.When it comes to the M experience, whether it’s the food, the wine or the interior design, it’s all about quality. As Martin Williams says: “It’s more like a hotel or private members’ club than just a restaurant.”