I love food. I love reading about it, watching it, cooking and of course eating. In fact, eating out I would list as one of my favorite activities to do, especially when we are travelling or in a new city. This passion runs deep!
Eat out recently announced the 2016 Boschendal Style Award winner which honors the most stand out restaurant interior in South Africa. Naturally I was interested as that is a large part of the eating out experience, and I have always loved restaurant interior design- it is such a creative specialization where you can really delve into concepts and branding, push the boundaries and have a bit of fun.

I have to say, I am seriously impressed with the interiors of the finalists. It is so inspiring to see such beautiful interiors designed by South African designers, using iconic products and furniture from some of the best creative’s in our country such as Mervwn Gys (ceramics), Haldane Martin (furniture) and not to forget the amazing artists and art.
The 5 finalists were:
Marble (Johanessburg) – WINNER
Fire is the main element of the restaurant, not just in the cooking (there is live grill taking centre place) but also in design elements through-out the interior like the Mervyn Gys wood fired tiles, photographs by Kristjan Rossouw and wooden grains on the welcome desk and bar. This restaurant just oozes style, from the sophisticated yet understated colour palette to the finishes and materials used. Love the brass detailing behind the bar.

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Marble Resturant
Marble Resturant

Ash Restaurant (Cape Town)
With an interior painted in charcoal, of course I love it! Ash has a very minimalist interior with an open kitchen. There are some emerald green pops (a colour to watch next year!) and marble tops, so some sophisticated detailing to complete the look.

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Ash Restuarant
Ash Restuarant

EB social bar and kitchen (Johannesburg)
This interior was designed by Silvio Reich and Lesley Carstens, a husband and wife team whose philosophy to architecture and design I have long admired.
I just love the industrial loft-like interior that has been created in the airy space. Contrasting this and providing pattern and warmth to the interior is wall of Mediterranean-inspired tiles and warm timber furniture which gives a great bohemian feel to the space.

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Shortmarket Club (Cape Town)
This is a Luke Dale-Roberts (of The Test Kitchen fame) restaurant. It has a distinctive sexy New York flavour about it which I just love! The interior has the feeling of a club with leather and wood used extensively and it is dark. I love that too. And it has the most magnificent wall of butterflies which was created by Peter Eastman and conceptualized by Mark Rautenbach. The butterflies are all lasercut from photographs and plans of other Dale-Robert’s restaurants. Very Clever.

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Urbanologi (Johannesburg)
This is a fascinating interior where a giant lasercut yeti is suspended from the ceiling!
It is fun and playful but oh-so-cool. I love all the red accents and graffiti artworks but my favorite detail would have to be the flooring where the herringbone parquet runs into cement. Just love that.

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With interiors like these my list of restaurants to eat at just gets longer and longer……(hopefully not my waistband!)