It’s Worth The Trip To Manchester – And Not Just For The Food
Northern Lights Illuminating Restaurant Wars
Manchester is a great northern town with many things to boast about. But food has not been one of them. Being born and raised there, I can attest to the tasty but unhealthy and stodgy diet that many Mancunians were raised on. The last Michelin star held in Manchester was for the French at the Midland Hotel in 1974. But now things have changed. Manchester now has not one, but two wonderful restaurants headed by famous, award winning chefs. And to complement the great food, superb interiors with amazing lighting have been designed and installed.
The recent BBC documentary about the openings of Restaurants ‘Manchester House’ and ‘The French by Simon Rogan’ may be called ‘Restaurant Wars‘ but there was no battle when it came to providing the lighting. Northern Lights supplied decorative lighting to both restaurants, helping both parties realise their very different visions.
Working to the brief from design company Keane Brands, they supplied a wide range of decorative lighting to both the Restaurant by Aiden Byrne and the Lounge on level 12 at Manchester House. From minimalist bare lamp ceiling lights and pendants using wicker shades to multiple tube ceiling lights and giant rolled metal table lamps, they all work together to enrich the unique dining concept of Manchester House.
The restaurant and lounge are completely different environments on different floors of the building. The Lounge on level 12 is a monochromatic and dramatic interior with incredible panoramic views of Manchester’s skyline and gorgeous sunsets. Patrons can even book their own private corner terrace to impress and entertain.
The restaurant on the 2nd floor offers fine dining served in an informal, fun and funky way. This is also reflected in the interior; open views of the kitchen at work, unusual luminaires and use of materials, creating individual environments within the total space. The ambiance and experience can change depending on the time of day and where you sit.
Northern Lights also supplied two stunning chandeliers to The French by Simon Rogan, the famous chef’s relaunch of the legendary restaurant at the Midland Hotel. Glamorous yet elegant, these chandeliers complement the sophisticated interior scheme created by the in-house design team of Qhotels. In this case, the team had to wrestle with the familiar problem of keeping the legacy of The French; along with its loyal patrons, but updating the interior to reflect the new menu and direction of the restaurant. This was a delicate balancing act which played out in front of millions of viewers in the TV show. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. And the new restaurant interior managed to blend old and new seamlessly to retain the elegance of yesteryear and the modern, fresh image of a fine dining establishment for the 21st century.
Written by Julie Allen