Wellbourne, White City

Brass detailing and terrazzo flooring carry the scheme through the contemporary interior of Wellbourne, White City. 


This is the third establishment we have designed for Wellbourne; teal and stainless steel accents have been taken from the other restaurants creating a strong connection between the three sites, the brand and the food offering. 


The curved bar and striking petrol blue gantry showcase Wellbourne's large wine collection, forming a focal point on entering the restaurant. Mesh screens with glass inserts divide the restaurant creating a considered balance between formal and casual dining spaces, an exclusive dining area is zoned with dusty pink walls, velvet seating and geometric flooring. 


Careful considerations have been made to form a balance between materials throughout, minimal brass lighting, clean lines in the steelwork and contemporary French inspired seating create a look and feel that echoes the elegance and simplicity of the food offering. Contrastingly, the concrete flooring, textured wall tiles and oak furniture add rusticity to the design.  


Our Restaurant & Bar Design Award Entries!

We recently entered into the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards and thought it would be a good opportunity to share our entries and reflect on completed projects of 2015.

Although it's not all of them it's a nice summary of what we've been up to! 

Nando's: Cribbs Causeway, Bristol 

Nando's: Cribbs Causeway, Bristol 

This was our first design for Nando's; a refurbishment at The Mall in Bristol. Adopting the Nando's heritage of African Portuguese we set out to channel a new lease of life in to the space using vibrant colours, bold patterns and a mix use of textures. Set within a Mall complex it was important to draw attention to the space situated on a mezzanine level, lighting was carefully considered and used to create visual presence. 

Nando's: Yate, Bristol  

Nando's: Yate, Bristol  

Our second design for Nando's, a new build within a leisure complex on the outskirts of Bristol. As with every design the challenge was to bring new design elements across all aspects of the interior, determining the best use of space. Lighting, signage, texture, pattern and colour were carefully deliberated throughout. Bespoke, well considered lighting creates zoned areas with a combination of fixed and loose seating for flexible dining. 

The Hydrant, London 

The Hydrant, London 

Located near Pudding Lane where the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, the design of The Hydrant draws inspiration from the history associated with this location. Many of the elements are bespoke reflecting the fire theme; the first floor private dining room is enclosed with bespoke fire station doors, other features include a wall installation made from old fire hose, up-cycled lighting using old fire extinguishers and hand painted signage. 

Sun & 13 Cantons, London 

Sun & 13 Cantons, London 

Once the hub of the Soho based film and television industry in the 20th Century, The Sun & 13 Cantons is named after links with the Swiss watch making community that worked in Soho in the late 1800's. The design embraced the heritage of this famous old Soho pub, maximising the best use of space across both levels and retaining traditional features. The venue hosts a superb music and drinks venue with a pop up restaurant offering, serving eclectic foods from around the world. The interior draws on traditional Soho pub design from the turn of the century giving an atmospheric gin palace feel. 

The Wellington, Bristol

The Wellington, Bristol

We focused the design on creating one continuous space, connecting the bar and restaurant for a better use of space for both drinking and dining. Drawing on the original characteristics and charm of the building, we added to the space using many bespoke design elements. Many of the bespoke items were individually sourced, a gramophone pendant lighting feature takes centre stage in the restaurant area with each light pendant individually sourced. Although this was a challenge, they are features that can't be successfully replicated.

The Cambridge Arms, Bristol 

The Cambridge Arms, Bristol 

A traditional city pub in Bristol, the venue itself is quite small so we used a variety of soft and hard seating to make best use of space and create flexibility. We updated the dark bar and heavy rich woods whilst maintaining the traditional pub look, limited edition art prints from local and national artists bring interest and colour to the walls. 








The Litton

Located in Litton, the former Kings Arms is undergoing a full refurbishment and we are excited to be the designers assigned to the job. 

Litton is a quaint village just north of Chewton Mendip, surrounded by countryside and in need of a traditional country pub. 

Credit: https://www.facebook.com/thelittonsomerset 

Credit: https://www.facebook.com/thelittonsomerset 

Having changed hands and undergone many a refurb in the last few years, we've stripped back the interior to fully understand the scope and demands of the project. Removing the layers and exposing the structural elements has allowed us to begin restoring this 15th Century building back to it's impressive natural state. 

Exposing the raw elements has, of course, created some structural challenges. Never the less, we have cracked on and with the help of a local structural engineering company the building is now really taking shape. It's not been all bad, we've uncovered some original features along the way; all of which we are restoring back to their natural charm.

We don't want to give too much away at this stage, but if you know the former Kings Arms you'll be able to appreciate how exciting this project is for the local community and our client. 

The interior, accommodation suites and large gardens are going to be restored throughout, internal works include many a quirky design element to house the carefully considered offering of locally sourced and home grown grub, accompanied by an extensive offering of craft beer and cider. There's even a liquor Bar! 




Some of our latest designs have been coffee shops, with the industry booming and winter months drawing people in from the cold, we thought we would share some of our inspirations and influences behind these designs. 

1. Society Café, two coffee shops in the heart of Bath; Kingsmead Square and The Corridor. 

Photo Credits: Society Café

Photo Credits: Society Café

Inspired by Scandinavian Design, the interiors were stripped back to basic, exposing the raw and structural features - something we wanted to emphasise. We accompanied this with neutral colours, exposed brickwork, reclaimed industrial lighting and features such as concrete effect counters taking centre stage. The owners passions for photography and cycling led the decorative element of the designs. With an enthusiasm for great coffee and sweet treats, Society Café's have certainly set themselves apart from the surrounding high street brands. 

Photo Credits: Society Café

Photo Credits: Society Café

Photo Credits: Society Café

Photo Credits: Society Café

Two of our latest projects, Mokoko and The Fields have also succeeded in being hustling bustling coffee joints. 

2. Mokoko, also in Bath is an independent new brand and coffee shop. Although the interior is small we didn't let this compromise the design and function of the space. We drew inspiration from independent coffee shops around the country and found there was a common concept of graphically led interiors, we made the most of this with the bright and bold branding ensuring Mokoko stood out from it's neighbouring shops and restaurants.

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography 

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography 

The design incorporated lots of bespoke shelving to build space, the fins from the shelving protrude into the window area creating an effective look from the exterior. With the only seating available outside, we used glass panelling along the length of the exterior to bring the outside in. Similarly to Society Cafe we used rough and ready materials, but in a much more clean way. 

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography

3. Last but not least, The Fields. One of many projects we have completed for Fuller Smith & Taylor, yet their first attempt at a stand-alone coffee shop based in Ealing. 

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography

Photo Credits: Evoke Photography

The site took a lot of inspiration from the exterior, with vintage street lamps, festoon lighting and recycled bikes and wheelbarrows to make bespoke furniture. Other features include deep button back seating, distressed tables and rustic lighting throughout. In addition to the interior we worked with our client to produce contrasting, bold branding. 

Photo Credits: Fuller Smith & Taylor

Photo Credits: Fuller Smith & Taylor

Photo Credits: Fuller   Smith & Taylor

Photo Credits: Fuller Smith & Taylor

Manos opens its doors

Liquor bar Manos reopened to the public this weekend in a new site on the west-side of the Clifton Triangle. Originally called Hermanos, but affectionally known as "Manos" to the regulars, owner James changed it's name.

The venue is an old Georgian building which has been lovingly restored with sympathetic and classical interior finishes. Based over two floors the top floor is suited to private functions. Design features include a unique glazed tiled bathroom, apothecary style back bar with luxurious leather seating, wood paneled walls, and beautiful featured lighting. The design was a collaboration of ideas from both Simple Simon and Manos owner James. 

They had a soft opening for friends and family on Thursday night and opened to the public for the first time on Friday - it was heaving! 


One Over the Ait is the latest opening from Fuller’s Brewery. Located in Brentford, close to Kew Gardens, it boasts superb views over the Thames and provides a relaxed environment for drinking and dining.  The location is a stand-alone wharf style two-floor brick building with extensive exterior seating and a first floor terrace. It forms part of Kew Bridge West, an exclusive development of flats by St James's.  The design takes its cue from the industrial heritage of this part of the river Thames with extensive use of reclaimed materials. The interiors eclectic furniture and lighting create a unique space with intriguing design features such as a free standing internal fire pit, copper clad bars and a bespoke spiral staircase. It has unique lighting features including an original 15-foot wooden rowing skiff above the bar on the ground floor. Generous exterior seating zones create unrivalled riverside seating that’s sure to provide a fantastic alfresco dining experience. We will post photos of the interiors as soon as we have them. 


The Fields, Fuller’s first stand-alone coffee shop opened recently. The coffee shop is using a piece of property already owned by Fuller's and is an opportunity to test the company's breakfast ideas, and train staff in making great coffee. The 1,000 square foot site in Ealing is close to Northfields tube station and has a high footfall.

The menu includes cooked pastries and cakes, sandwiches and soups with eat in or takeaway options. Different origins and blends of coffee beans are available, including guest beans, drip and filter coffees, hand-blended loose leaf teas and infusions, soft drinks and juices.


We're pleased to announce that Kongs of King Street opened today.

Owners Tony & Max handpicked various aspects of bars they had enjoyed working for in the past, bringing them together in one space. Kong's invites you to relive childhood classic arcade games, Ping Pong and Table tennis. The bar includes a range of quality drinks and food including Kong's pizzas or retro gourmet toasted sandwiches.

Kongs of King Street

Gordito - Design with a bit more meat.

Freshly opened Gordito and Colston St Bar & Kitchen

Those clever fellows at Bath Ales have done it again, with not one, but two wonderful new openings at Bristol's premier performance space, the Colston Hall.

Gordito, on the elevated ground floor is a charcuterie bar offering the best cured meats and cheeses, as well as accompanying small plates.

We won !

We are tickled pink to have won at the inaugural Casual Dining Design awards.

We're delighted that Graze Bath was judged to be the Best Designed Independent restaurant, against some top notch competition from a number of our design peers whose work we have often aspired to. Enormous thanks must go to Bath Ales, who are always deeply involved in the design process too. As a client they always push us, they are visionary in their aspiration for their estate, and continue to provide us with new and exciting challenges.

The new Casual Dining Show awards

Simple Simon are finalists in the new design awards established on the back of the Casual Dining Show.

We're delighted to have been shortlisted 4 times in the new Casual Dining Design Awards. The projects that have been selected as finalists were completed in the year December 2012 to December 2013, and all feature in Best Designed Independent Category. They are: -

Aqua, Milton Keynes - for Aqua

Graze, Bath - for Bath Ales

Grillstock Smokehouse, Bristol - for Grillstock

River Cottage Canteen, Bristol - for River Cottage.

The winners will be announced at the new Casual Dining Show on the 26th of February

Making music with Bath Ales

Bath Ales will be opening 2 new fantastic food and drink venues in the Colston Hall - with a little help from you know who.

From the end of February Bristol's premier music and performance space the Colston Hall will be boasting 2 new venues. We will be opening 2 new venues for Bath Ales to cater to the passer by as well as those attending for a function. Those familiar with the venue will have noticed the hoardings going up on the lower and upper ground floors, and we can't wait till the end of the month to share with you the fruits of our labours. Following a sneak peak at the menus, we confidently predict that this is going to hotly compete for Bristol's best breakfast destination, as well as serving up a trade to entertain the evening audience.

'Ave a butchers at our latest Graze

Come and have a look at our distinctly meaty new Graze Bristol

After 4 hard years of service, Bath Ales decided to give the chefs at Graze Bristol a new kitchen and extraction system, and we've taken the opportunity to refresh the front of house, and elevate it to the same level as it's sister venue in Bath. Those people who liked the original venue will be pleased that it's not distinctly meaty decoration style has not been forgotten.

Graze Bristol isn't the only project we have for Bath Ales at the moment, there are 2 venues on the books for the end of February at the Colston Hall (Bristol's premier music and comedy venue).

Ploughing our efforts into Ealing

Just reopened, The Plough in South Ealing has a spruce.

Following hard on the heels of the Swift's commercial success, we've just completed a refresh at the Plough in South Ealing for Fullers. This is hardly a minor project, since it's the much loved local for some of Fuller's management team, and another started his career as thd landlored here. We've tried to bring a bit of country comfort to outer London, I hope you (and they!) feel we've done just that, certainly the early trading figures seem to suggest that the locals like it.

Time for a SWIFT one?

Fuller's new Swift in Putney is due to open on the 8th August

We're very pleased to announce that The Swift, ( the former Whistle and Flute ) in Putney is due to open on the 8th of August. This is our first project with Fullers, and we're very pleased with the results so far. There's been a very good article covering the new venture printed in Propel (link).

We've been shortlisted!

Simple Simon Design have been shortlisted for the 2013 Restaurant and Bar Design awards for 2 venues.

We're thrilled to hear that we've been shortlisted for the 2013 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. Although we've entered several times we've never progressed before, so to get shorlisted twice in different categories is very pleasing. The venues selected by the judges are Graze Bath for Bath Ales, and Fire Island in Cardiff for Beatbox Bars, from over 670 entrants worldwide.

Now in its 5th year, the UK-based Restaurant & Bar Design Awards is one of the most inuential concepts in the world. Recent participants include Zaha Hadid and Foster & Partners to name but a few. This year’s judges include Stephen Alden (CEO, Maybourne Hotel Group), Tom Aikens, Tamara Lohan (Founder, Mr & Mrs Smith), Giles Coren (Restaurant Critic, The Times), Chris Bourne (International Editor, Time Out) and many more. The winners will be announced at the Farmiloe Building in London on the evening of the 12th September 2013.

Meat. Music. Mayhem.

Simple Simon Design get meaty with the mighty Grillstock

The new Grilstock smokehouse is the realisation of the popular barbeque festival in restaurant form. We were asked to create a space that summed up everything 'Grillstock" and this is it. Although space is a bit tight, a huge sharing table made of scaffold board and steel joists maximises on covers. These guys know exactly what they're doing with meat and the smells are phenomenal. We'll be bringing more pictures as soon as we have them, but here's a small selection to give you a taste of the Deep South(West) - including an image of what is probably our most uncompromising toilet door to date.

Here's a background interview with Grilstock's Ben Merrington (Ben Merrington Interview).


tinc - a new and exciting retail design concept from Simple Simon, in Bath's new Southgate centre.