LOXTON: THE FULL TOUR

Tomorrow, it will have been exactly one year since we got the keys to the second restaurant and what a year it has been! Writing this post makes me feel such a sense of nostalgia and, somewhat unexpectedly, a bit of a sense of relief if I’m perfectly honest. The big news is that my time working with Arthur, Cédric, Mathias, Steve and Vincent at Loxton, the second restaurant we opened together, has come to a natural end. I’ve decided to gently remove myself from the team.

It is no secret that restaurants are huge amounts of work, and after almost a year of managing the decor and the Instagram account, it is time for me to let go. I want focus my energy on my design and decor work, and continue to share my journey here on the blog.

We had lots of fun building this space together and building up the reputation that the restaurant now has, and I will always look back on this past year with fond memories. Once again, I am so proud of what we managed to build together and I’d like to thank all of the guys for trusting me with this beautiful space.

After all the love, sweat and tears poured into these four walls, it felt appropriate to write a little blog post to regroup some of my favourite photos of the space I designed. I have no doubt that many things will change as the restaurant continues to evolve (and rightly so), but I want to freeze my design in time for my own memories.

To give you a bit of context, we each had a specific responsibility at the creation stage and but worked together to bring the ideas we had to life. My involvement was predominantly anything to do with visuals and design. I worked on things like the logo and the business cards, advising the choice of crockery and glassware, choosing and ordering furniture, re-purposing and painting old tables, wiring the huge hexagonal lamp, picking out plants, tiles and paint colours, and lots more.

My visual guideline for the space was natural materials, plants, and textures (e.g. rattan, terracotta and a collection of exotic plants), contrasting with thin black lines that can be found in the original stair railing, the lamps and the chairs.

Now let’s get going with a full restaurant tour!

The downstairs space was designed as a takeaway. For operational reasons, it hasn’t been fully functional as of yet, but I know there are plans to open properly at the end of the summer so stay tuned for that and make sure to pop by in early September.

At the top of the stairs, there are three pendant lamps from Ekkla.ch that hang down the middle of the stairwell. I often get questions about these lamps on Instagram, and the small, medium and large Aver lamps are still up on their e-shop, if you’re interested.

The upstairs corner is designed as a low-seated waiting area, decorated in collaboration with IKEA. The idea is that as you walk up the stairs you are welcomed by lower furniture so as not to have people towering above you. We felt this was important as you are entering a first floor restaurant, and I like the idea that the initial view of the restaurant is not blocked by crowds of people.

For this corner, I selected a mixture of Etsy prints, vintage prints, black and white postcards, and original ink artwork for the gallery wall.

For the selection of IKEA pieces, the sofa is the LANDSKRONA model, the table is a BURVIK coffee table, we have two VEDBO chairs, a LOHALS jute carpet layered with a SILKBERG unique carpet (only available in store), and a few different sized RIBBA frames mixed in with some flea market finds.

We found this gorgeous old shop till in the cave (basement) of the restaurant. Someone was on the verge of taking it to the dump as the basement was being cleared out, but I’m so glad we saved it and put it on show. It’s one of my very favourite pieces in the restaurant, and I love how it contrasts with the modern IKEA furniture.

I’m a bit of a clean freak usually but I find that there’s almost a certain charm to the grime stuck between the keys of the till. You can tell that it was used and loved in this space long ago.

The chosen scent for the restaurant was Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir which diffuses a sensual and almost smoky scent around the restaurant. I knew I wanted a food product as the base for the scent, and this works perfectly for this kind of setting.

For the business cards, we chose a recycled paper that’s hand printed by the absolutely incredible Nicolas Regamey from Atelier Typo. He has a workshop in the old town in Lausanne with antique printing machines. Check out his Instagram page for a peek at the sort of machinery we’re talking about. It’s incredible! One of my favourite moments was going to the atelier whilst the cards were being printed and cut.

In the main restaurant area, we kept the feet for the tables that were in the space originally, but sanded and painted a few of the tabletops and ordered some terrazzo to have a mix of wood and lighter stone.

The chairs I actually ordered from a wholesaler but unfortunately they are no longer in stock. We often get questions about these chairs and I refer people to Maisons du Monde as they have quite a few similar rattan chairs (these are the closest I could find).

The plants and dried flowers were originally all from L’Attribut d’Iris, a shop that I love, mentioned in a previous blog post.

I think it’s a nice idea to have fresh flowers during the summer months when they are growing naturally in the region, and swap over to dried flowers during the winter months.

The painting on the wall is a vision I initially had for the space that Martina brought to life in a wonderful way. It will always be one of my favourite things that we’ve worked on together. It started out with a few very rough sketches at Le Pain Quotidien, and turned into one of the most iconic features in the restaurant.

The crockery and glassware all come from all sorts of suppliers for the restaurant sector specifically, but I absolutely love these Olympia Kiln coffee cups that Steve chose.

There are a few areas of the restaurant that I now realise I don’t yet have photos of. If I get the chance, I’ll add them to this post but for now, I hope this give you a good enough overview of the space.

I’ll miss pottering around in here and sitting sipping on tea looking around for little things we can work on to improve the customer experience.

As you may already know, I filmed three decor vlogs tracking the whole process of the restaurant renovation. I’ve put a link to them all below if you’re interested in seeing how the space was transformed. I’m really kicking myself for not having taken the time to film a final video with a full tour, but this blog post will have to do. I think I was sort of waiting for the space to be completely finished, and for the takeaway area to open, but we all know, a space is never completely finished.

There are a few things that have recently been installed that are less my style so I feel I have missed the opportunity to make a final video but I’ll keep it in mind for the next project.

Thank you ever so much to Arthur, Cédric, Mathias, Steve and Vincent for trusting me with the decor of this space and for all the fun times we shared as we built it up. I will never forget the countless hours wiring the hexagonal lamp and the months of coughing from all of the inhaled saw dust – we all know better and will wear masks next time!

And lastly, thank you all for following my journey along the way. It has been incredible and I’m excited to have two big projects that are currently on the go that I cannot wait to share with you. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for those up-and-coming videos and I hope to see you back here soon.

Big bisous. xS

Selection of photos by Nicole Hertel, Hannah Shan, Mike & myself

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