Let’s take a tour of Amethyst. The new Mayfair restaurant, designed by Laura and Sahand Jalali, uses Caesarstone surfaces to dramatic effect
Amethyst restaurant, opened on Sackville Street by acclaimed chef Carlo Scotto, has been designed as an intimate dining space with room for only 36 covers across both floors. The upstairs dining area consists of one long and uniquely shaped table, which seats guests within full view of the chef’s pass. This clear view of the pass makes eating at Amethyst more than just a dining experience and the 12-course tasting menu comes with a heightened sense of theatre and entertainment given this close connection.
“The main challenge was creating a space that retained intimacy in a somewhat communal setting.” explained Sahand, “Laura came up with the initial concept for the table and after a few more iterations on paper and mock-ups we finally managed to perfect the design.”
The table is, in itself, a reason to visit Amethyst. This design features real amethyst crystals flowing down the middle of cleverly cut Caesarstone Airy Concrete. The combination of the raw natural beauty and vivid purple of the amethyst, paired with the rugged matt finish of urban-inspired design Airy Concrete makes a striking contrast.
Irregular in shape, this table seats just 21 diners, each with a full view of the pass, the almost hexagonal shape of each joined section allows each party their own intimate space whilst still encouraging an interactive dining experience.
Airy Concrete, part of the Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection, gives an airy feel to real concrete with its swirling clouds of both light and darker hues. Its deeply textured surface, inspired by the weathered patina of real concrete, sits in juxtaposition to the smooth, shiny surface of the amethysts that flow down the middle.
“We love creating tactile environments in our designs and wanted a fresh, concrete look but with the resistance of quartz. Throughout the project we naturally gravitated to Caesarstone’s finishes, because we feel they create the deepest and most natural textures with their quartz slabs that no other manufacturer seems to be able to come close to. Airy Concrete, alongside the amethyst, created a beautiful colour palette match in our eyes. Interestingly, it was the first sample we looked at and after scouring through piles of samples, we floated back to the original choice that looked even more perfect with time. The slightly rough, concrete texture allowed the polished amethyst ‘crack’ through the table to really explode to life, both in colour and feel,” said Sahand and Laura.
Airy Concrete was also chosen for the chef’s pass, helping to create an intimacy between the dining table and kitchen area. In an extremely busy kitchen, the material used was a key consideration. Caesarstone surfaces are known for their durability; scratch and stain resistant, heat resistant and are non-porous ensuring they are easy to clean and therefore remain very hygienic.
When asked about the performance of the Airy Concrete chef’s pass Carlo Scotto said, “There have been many times where I’ve had a panic attack spilling vividly coloured ingredients and liquids like my Amalfi Lemon and Violet Liqueur Sorbet all over the pass, tempted to call the Jalali’s to beg for forgiveness, but a little bit of elbow grease later and the pass comes up spotless every time. It has performed phenomenally to my surprise and we’re so happy it does, as through the material finish being the same as the chef’s table the diners feel that little bit more inside the kitchen. This was why Sahand and Laura were so eager to have the same finish on the pass. The Caesarstone pass allows us to have a surface that performs incredibly well under the stresses of the kitchen, without the cold, harsh look, sound and feel of stainless steel.”
The lower ground floor of Amethyst houses the Wine Cellar showcasing an extensive collection of fine wines and rare vintages in addition to seating around 15 diners. This area was designed by Laura and Sahand to be a secluded spot, away from the busy streets off which the restaurant lies. The bar itself was created using Caesarstone’s 4046 Excava. This surface is characterised by its earthy mix of auburns, chestnuts and copper tones sweeping across its unpolished surface – making it a perfect choice for the rustic underground bar area.
“In all honesty”, Laura and Sahand explain, “Excava is probably our favourite Caesarstone finish and we had always envisaged including it from the outset. The wine cellar in the lower ground floor is a really intimate experience for those who want to feel completely away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. We gave it warmer tones and used much more wood in the design than we did upstairs. Caesarstone’s Excava was the connection that married the Airy Concrete chef’s pass upstairs with the cave-like feel of the wine cellar, but included the warmer, naturally flowing, gorgeous veins of brown into the mix that we utterly loved and love even more in the space.”
This is a beautifully designed and unusual interior and it’s clear that Caesarstone surfaces are more than up to the challenge of a busy, restaurant kitchen environment. Further reassurance comes in the form of Caesarstone’s 10 year commercial warranty across all of its products.
(Photo Credit: Chris Snook Photography)