San Carlo Gran Café

Selfridges, Manchester

Located in the heart of the Selfridges store in Manchester, Gran Café by San Carlo combines well balanced seafood and European-inspired dishes with a plethora of exquisite desserts, making it a treat and a must-visit for keen shoppers who want to indulge themselves during a shopping break.

When the San Carlo brand engaged our interior and restaurant design services for this particular project, we knew we had to find a balance between exploring and showcasing the brand itself, while keeping it contained and in line with the overall Selfridges vision due to the restaurants location. This saw us spend a great deal of time mapping the floor plan and footprint of the restaurant, both in terms of its kitchen space and dining space, to make the best use of the available room and find effective ways to create a business within a business.

The design that we landed on is extremely simple and lends itself seamlessly to the vast amounts of natural light which flood into the space from the skylight above. With shoppers able to look down onto the top of the restaurant space, we wanted to create aesthetic grandeur from all angles and so channelled focus into an ornately tiled floor as well as the subtle decorative wallpaper, the reflective gold pillars, and the soft green counters with the warm pink logo set on the front.

As is so often the case in European inspired restaurants and dining spaces, the ingredients and dishes become part and parcel of the decoration – with this particular design project no different. As a dedicated café and patisserie, the desserts on display draw customers and diners in, while the multitude of wine bottles on display behind the counters help to create that opulent and grand atmosphere which suits the Selfridges vision and vibe.

All of the tables were finished with a white marble effect surface, and the padded blue chairs ensure optimum comfort as well as style that floods throughout the space. A celebration of light, timeless style, and delicious desserts, this project allowed us to think outside the box and create something special in the heart of an iconic department store.

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