The Distillery, London Bankside

Staging the bar

Located on a site that was once an essence factory and a depository for the Bank of England, The Distillery is housed within the Hilton Bankside and shares a street entrance with the Oxbo Restaurant behind. Its design is a carefully thought-through synergy of refined details from the hotel reception next door, elements which connect with the restaurant and hints of an old-world charm all of its own.

Lack of volume was a challenge which we overcame with a vaulted ceiling clad in antiqued mirror, obscuring plant and establishing, at a glance, the theatricality of the space. Floor coverings, from tiles and fumed oak parquet to a William Morris inspired carpet, together with collections of seating, from smart contemporary bar stools to leather upholstered chesterfields, vary the tempo.

By night, industrial style lighting and the many reflections through glazed walls and doors prove a seductive canvas and, in a playful nod to the past, an artwork of 16,000 pennies shimmers next to the bar.