Winners of the seventh annual Restaurant and Bar Design Awards were crowned this week in London, where The Jane, a temple of high gastronomy, was named the best overall restaurant for 2015. Converted from an old church, the Antwerp restaurant is helmed by chef Sergio Herman, best known for having opened – and closed – the triple Michelin-starred eatery Oud Sluis in the Netherlands.
Diners at The Jane will recognise its past as the chapel of a former military hospital in the architectural skeleton of the building, with its second-storey balcony, soaring stained glass windows and towering dome.
But in place of pews, saints and crucifixes, the Dutch designers at Piet Boon hung an illuminating skull from the ceiling; inserted window panes featuring plates of drumsticks, hardboiled eggs and smiling sunflowers; and replaced uncomfortable wood benches with leather sofas and chaises.
Other big winners at the RBDA include Australia’s Archie Rose Distilling Co. for Best International Bar, and the Tom Dixon-designed Dandelyan at the Mondrian Hotel in London, which won the title of Best Overall Bar with its green marble bar and flamingo pink, leather banquettes.
Less than a year after opening, head bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana also snagged the title of International Bartender of the Year for his botanics-inspired concoctions at the industry event Tales of the Cocktail.