Do you ever find yourself in an amazing environment and suddenly start reverse-engineering all of the design details to figure out how it all works together so well? That's exactly what happened when I visited NOPI in London while I was traveling with one of my friends in October of 2019. She is a huge fan of all things Ottolenghi, and based on our previous travels together, I knew to trust her restaurant recommendations without question. And boy, was I in for a treat!
The effortlessly chic Middle-Eastern vibe was enhanced by the white washed walls and warmth from the marble floors, comfortable wooden seating, and brass fixtures and fittings. Every design detail was considered, down to the brass napkin ring. We were there for lunch, so natural light was streaming in from the front window, complemented by a louvered skylight at the back. The brass pendant lights provided a beautiful indirect glow on the ceiling. Not a glary downlight in sight, ahhhh.
But the real surprise was the bathroom. Oh my! Little did I know I was about to be propelled into a universe of endless, distorted reflections! Every vertical surface was covered in undulating mirrored glass. I stood there for a second taking it all in and wondering, "Wait, where are the stall doors?!" With a little detective work, I managed to find them. Luckily, the sign on the floor provided a welcome hint to the exit. (Not recommended for those who are a bit tipsy…) A delightful surprise, and definitely worth a visit!
The food was divine, as you would expect from Ottolenghi, served in small plates, perfect for sharing.
Sourdough with early harvest olive oil
Roasted sweet potatoes with figs, balsamic and goat cheese
Roasted corn risotto with spinach and feta
Mackerel with pistachio sambal and Thai basil
What are your favorite London restaurants?
xo, lighting designer in the wild