Being asked to redesign the interior of a successful business was going to be a challenge, especially to their loyal fan base…”why change what works?”
The café’s previous style – a 40’s post war, ‘rationed look’ – had appeal, yet it needed uplifting. The new styling had to attract a more youthful market without losing its core customers.
Ultimately, the building’s history and setting guided my style decisions. Once an 18th century hotel, Wynn’s (as it was formally known) was a place where sea captains and merchants gathered to trade. It was a period of great wealth and advances in technology – the Industrial Revolution, a buoyant time when Britain, quite simply, ruled the waves. Trade was my key reference point when styling. Items such as, gold, silver, silks, pigments, even time keeping itself, played a part. I felt the interior needed an injection of character and elegance, and introducing these elements would transform and refine its appearance while maintaining an authenticity throughout.
In recent years coffee sales have overtaken those of tea. However, there is a revolution in tea drinking once again, in part due to a broader selection of herbal and fruit teas, and also to Asia’s growing fascination with all things ‘British’. The Ritz hotel’s ‘high tea’ is back in fashion, it’s about the theatre of the moment. De Wynn’s is exactly that, the celebration of coffee and tea drinking, remembering your first sip like a great wine. Experiences like these, in a crowded market will be more memorable, and will ultimately entice them to return.
De Wynn’s broke its daily takings record within six weeks of launching its new look.