Evolving the Brasserie Blanc interiors design concept and brand design across the UK.
Blacksheep were approached by Brasserie Blanc in 2014 to create a new brand concept and design for multiple Brasseries across the UK. Following on from the successful refurbishment & rebranding of the Beaconsfield and Charlotte Street sites earlier this year, Blacksheep’s undivided attention turned to Brasserie Blanc, Cheltenham. Housed in the old ballroom of the Queen’s Hotel, the 19th century architecture was key to the design brief as the client sought to respect the heritage and character of the building & reveal traces and legacies of its past.
From the outset, it was fundamental that the venue appealed to a younger, informal crowd without alienating their core clients. Blacksheep were tasked with aligning people’s expectations of food & price point with the interiors by deformalising the venue & creating an environment of restful simplicity, a place that feels like home. The aim was to invite customers into the home of Brasserie Blanc, where generations of Blanc family ‘savoir faire’ is celebrated through authentic French food, cooked with heart.
Blacksheep set about implementing a range of different and unique settings within the environment in order to deliver on the brief. Areas have been zoned thus giving customers the flexibility to appreciate different experiences within the restaurant – from friends wishing to enjoy drinks after work, to families seeking the perfect place to catch up at the communal kitchen table. Painted patterns on the floorboards, referencing the Georgian tradition of chalking intricate designs on Ballroom floors, aids in effectively zoning the space.
The team took inspiration from the fact that over time, we accumulate a rich and varied collection of inherited, objects, wisdom & experiences from the places we inhabit. Together these create the world of Brasserie Blanc. Found throughout is an eclectic collection of furniture & fittings, all with their own story to tell, all symbolic of the fact that over time, we inherit such items. Objects are a mix between utilitarian pieces and prized possessions that may be handed down through generations.
A number of key design elements were applied to the setting to ensure the essence of Chez Nous was translated across all touch points. Natural and worn finishes, a simple material palette, character timbers and heritage colours are all used throughout to create a comfortable, relaxed environment, in a sense, a home away from home.
A key introduction to the space is the dedicated Cheese & Wine counter, a prominent experience in Cheltenham. A preparation area by morning and an intimate dining experience by evening, the Cheese & Wine counter celebrates this quintessentially French pairing. Glass fridges and open shelves showcase the produce and provide a visual backdrop to chefs preparing platters. The bar counter extends into the dining space to accommodate the cheese & wine counter and is accompanied by a French dresser style back bar. The French Dresser holds a beautiful collection of Eau de Vie bottles. Paired with special dishes on the menu, Eau de Vie, introduces a very French tradition into the Brasserie Blanc experience.
Another new feature aiding in the creation of this informal atmosphere has been the introduction of Le Gouter (the time of day in France when parents and their children enjoy an afternoon snack, typically after school.) Traditionally chocolate on bread or a simple pastry, Le Gouter is enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is an opportunity to be playful and put a little more fun into food.
A key design feature includes a communal kitchen table that encourages more casual dining & drinking. It greets you the moment you enter the restaurant and adapts to different needs throughout the day. It can be a place to read the paper with a morning coffee, enjoy a snack for Le Gouter with your children, or sit down with a glass of wine and olives before dinner.
- Concept & strategy
- Visual identity
- Art direction
- Interior architecture
- Spatial philosophy
- FF&E direction