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Experience The World Through Restaurant Interior Design
Claire Mulreany | 22 Apr

Alongside the best quality food and service, interior design plays a vital role in creating a dining experience to arouse the senses. The visual, tactile and audio nature of your establishment is as important as the product offering to successfully engage the customer with your brand.

Culturally inspired interior design is a great way to enhance your product offering and to create that all-important authentic experience.

We’re not referring to the recreation of shrines or the implementation of man-made rivers in Thai restaurants, for example, but rather a careful consideration of interior design to evoke emotions associated with that particular culture and its traditions.

Let me take you on a trip around the world. Here are some superb examples of restaurants here in London with impressive interiors inspired by culture.


Starting our journey in Europe, Polpo is a fine example of Italian-inspired interior design. This qua­­int, Venetian-style restaurant on Beak Street in Soho is an urban delight. Delicious food and wine at affordable prices isn’t all that Polpo has to offer.

The interior reflects the raw beauty of Northern Italy. Set within the walls of a beautiful eighteenth century building, the interior design is based on the bacari or wine bars found in Venice. The exposed brickwork, tin ceiling and Victorian tiled floor come together to create a truly characterful, eclectic and texturally intriguing space.


From affordable to extravagant, Momo is situated in the heart of Mayfair and offers a true taste of Morocco. Renowned for its glamor, this high-end restaurant is definitely worth a visit – it’s an experience not to be missed.

Music plays an essential role in setting the tone. Momo’s beautiful guests dine to a soundtrack of classic Meghrebi beats against a backdrop of Marrakech-style interior detailing. Ornate metalwork lanterns and latticed windows create a seductive ambience and the small, tightly packed tables add to the intimate, sociable buzz.


Across the Indian Ocean, Lantana is inspired by the laid-back, outdoor culture of Australia. This little ray of sunshine is situated on a cute side street close to Tottenham Court Road.

Characterised by its modern, minimal interior and lively atmosphere, mismatched chairs and pockets of artwork on whitewashed walls add to the overall charm. It’s understated and the opposite of try-hard.


On the other side of the world, Cabana restaurant reflects the vibrant energy of South American culture. Consistently across all branches of Cabana, the interior design successfully brings together the rawness of the favela and the glitz of carnival to create a scheme that shouts Brazil.

Walls covered in graphic streetside-inspired posters, up-cycled lamp shades made by locals and tables created from corrugated iron – there have been no short cuts taken with this design. Every finer detail has been carefully considered to transport the customer to the streets of Rio!


Let’s head north to Mexico (or at least as far as Sloane Square)! Tonteria’s interior exists as a modern take on a traditional hacienda. Characterised by distressed features, hand-made decorative tiles, foliage and plants, colourful chairs, booth seating and hammocks, this place is something special and has been known to attract the likes of Prince Harry. Particularly noteworthy is the toy train that delivers shots direct to your table – danger!


Finishing our tour in Asia, Hakkasan is a Michelin-starred restaurant located in Mayfair. Its greatly celebrated interior still awes its visitors through the unique fusion of modern and traditional Chinese design elements. A rich material palette implemented in conjunction with authentic decorative paneling and an innovative lighting scheme of illuminated walls and lanterns combine to transform this space into an intimate, intricate Asian-infused experience.

Go out and experience the world right here on the streets of London. London is a multi-cultural city, one that celebrates diversity. Clever interior design is one way to bring other cultures to life and to create authentic experiences for your clientele.