When revered Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal was planning to add a new airport terminal restaurant to his celebrated portfolio, it was AfroditiKrassa he approached for design expertise. Following the success of The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Central London, this was no ordinary brief. It had to be airport dining with a difference.
Based on the menu – classic British dishes that hark back to the more elegant, sophisticated halcyon days of air travel – the overarching design concept was principally inspired by the cinematography of Spielberg’s film ‘Catch me if you can’. Themed around different sensorial experiences, the layout of the restaurant is zoned; the front is dynamic with high seating and hard surfaces, while further into the space, the pace slows down to a more relaxed dining experience. An open and theatrical kitchen, which celebrates the chef, is the restaurant’s buzzing pulse, creating a central point that radiates outward and is home to Heston’s iconic liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour as well as a wood-burning oven, both firsts for an airport. Hero seats in the house are the observer booths, perfect for watching planes on the runway, whilst dark timber, black and white marble, perforated metals, leathers and Formica (an iconic material of the 60’s) create a luxe, rich interior. The propeller-shaped communal table references classic air travel from a bygone age, with the Perfectionist’s Cafe’s hexagonal floor pattern informed by an aerial view of Heathrow’s runway pattern.