Walnut is a family operated restaurant and the product of an English and American couple’s vision to open a venue in a beautiful region of southern France that they now call home. Nestled away in one of the great wine producing regions of France, Dordogne, is a town very popular amongst British expats and our client’s ambition was to connect both the local British and French community, along with the visiting tourists, through a dining experience that provided quality and exceptional hospitality. With this in mind, the idea was to create a space that encouraged socialising through an offer centred around locally inspired platters and fine wines to get the conversation flowing.
Walnut can be best classified as a ‘bistro grill’, serving up a unique fusion of cuisines whilst remaining beautifully uncomplicated and accessible, inspired by local produce and always committed to freshness. The passionate team of chefs build layers of their own innovation and flair over the foundations of simple ingredients producing mouth-watering creations.
This story is echoed through the interior design scheme we have created at the Walnut. There is a modernity and simplicity that runs through the foundations of the design scheme. Honesty lies at the heart of this contemporary scheme, with neutral calming grey tones of the walls and polished concrete floor sweep through the restaurant creating a perfect backdrop upon which warmer layers are then built up through touches of rich red and tan leather-upholstered seats. Beautifully crafted dark chestnut table tops and cabinets soften the industrial feel of the scheme translated through steel elements.
Sleek minimalist furniture and bespoke light fittings add to a further sense of quality, while rustic textures of exposed brick walls, aged mirrors and a feature full height timber block wall, complemented by contrasting accents of green foliage throughout represent a real authenticity – a value present not only in the interiors, but in the food and the passion of the people at Walnut.
The full height back bar is a statement of its own. Displaying a rich variety of wines, it dominates the space and creates a focal point for customers coming in. The feature walnut table in front acts as a bar counter and is the signature of the restaurant, inviting people to socialise over a glass of wine, a sharing platter or a freshly made coffee. Larger groups can also gather around the butcher’s block tables by the windows for a less formal dining experience.
A bit further from the bar, the flexible furniture layout offers more formal dining, whether in the centre of the action or in a more intimate semi-private dining area in one of the many nooks and crannies, screened off by beautifully illuminated wine cabinets. Comfortable fixed benches allow vision out towards the patio and the hand painted tin tile ceiling is illuminated by a multitude of pendants, together with three red statement awnings, attracting the curious passers-by.
The client fell in love with our concept from day one and it captured their vision perfectly. To deliver the project with maximum efficiency we decided to use mainly British suppliers in collaboration with a local French architect who ran the on-site build.
The collaboration with all stakeholders involved has been seamless and a huge success. From the very first opening day, the restaurant proves to be very popular not only amongst the British community but also the French locals.
A second phase for the first floor refurbishment is a now in the pipeline.