We had a tough time judging the incredible entries for this year’s Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2016, and the final decision will be revealed tonight! The awards ceremony takes place at London’s ultra cool Old Truman Brewery, hosts to Tent London and Super Brands London during the London Design Fair (September 22 to 25), part of the celebrated city-wide London Design Festival (September 17 to 25). As the venue closes its doors to one round of prestigious designers and industry pros, it opens its doors to 800 more, who will attend the eighth edition of the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. We will be there ready to congratulate the winners of each of the 34 categories, which range from best UK restaurant to best Asian bar.
Nola in Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ Armada BlueBay Hotel is designed by Stones & Walls and has become popular with the after-work crowd. The exposed ceiling is a relatively new and cost-effective trend in ceiling design in the UAE, that’s caught on across the industrial-style commercial spaces in Dubai Design District.
Noir by Bassos Design and Aukett Fitzroy Robinson International upholds the more sumptuous design aesthetic that Dubai is well known for: marble floors, over-sized glittering chandeliers, Arabesque screens, and tactile velvet armchairs. While this complements the decadent design of the hotel it’s located in, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, we prefer the more contemporary bar designs to win in this category.
Little Black Door by Bishop Design and founder of Sheikh Zayed Road’s Conrad Dubai, Yasin Saleh Mohammed, is another of the hotel’s hidden gems. Its very name LBD is understated yet elegant. Knocking on the large black door grants you access to an eclectic lounge, with Bavarian chandeliers hanging from leather ceilings, Baroque chairs, vintage Chesterfield sofas, and distressed brick walls.
Elements in the Four Seasons hotel, Doha, has a contemporary Arabesque take on the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. While the concept isn’t unique, EDG Design has implemented strong interior architected details, bronze accessories, modern lights and art, and honey wood overhead, which creates a comfy day-time feel. We don’t think this bar will win, however, it is certainly worth visiting for lunch or dinner if you’re in the Qatari capital.
One of two fabulous venues nominated for best bar in the Middle East category, Cameo is located in Tel Aviv’s old train complex and has an easy-going al fresco feel. The venture by famous local chef Eric Kiel , and designed by Weiss Shahar and Ran Nir, is a sensory experience with Rococo dining nooks, and a calm, white, Ibiza-beach-style outdoor terrace, with both indoor and outdoor areas sporting a central feature bar, perfect for summer parties.
Lastly from the Middle East bar offerings, we look at Tel Aviv’s Bellboy cocktail bar designed by Alona Eliasi, with a cool underground vibe. We love the mix of fashionable chevron parquet wood floors, distressed walls, antique reclaimed chairs, and a melange of eclectic accessories, such as vintage leather baseball gloves, bronze candelabras and pumpkins.