Design Focus: Epicures of Hydland

Glasgow operator Oli Norman’s been at it again. Snapping on the heels of his re-imagining of Nicks across the road, this time it was the turn another venue from his itison venues stable, Epicures of Hyndland, to get a design MOT, to the tune of £250k and debuting mid-May.

Oli always gets involved right up to the hilt in all design considerations, typically coming up with the concept, which is then actualised by the team at Surface ID. Yarwood Leather was responsible for the upholstery.

As soon as you step inside like a fairy has waved her magic wand over what was, and I mean this respectfully and with love, a fairly gloomy interior with lots of heavy wood that was lacking in some much-needed TLC. It’s now twinkling with fairy lights (Oli likes fairy lights) and pops of colour and left the interior generally sparkling like a nun’s glasses thanks to all the daylight streaming in through two huge plate-glass windows in this corner unit.

The layout remains unaltered, as does the bar, apart from a few new adornments in the form of the lovely lights that run parallel to the bar and resemble jellyfish that have had a run-in with a pair of straighteners. They’re pendants crafted from clear glass and catch the light as well as your eye as you shimmy on in.

There’s a new fridge with a revolving stand showing off all the cakes and salads. I also really like the indoor tree, and there’s a definitely a trend here, with both Jacques on in Finnieston
and La Vita Spuntini in Gordon Streeet both embracing (or should that be ‘hugging’) this trend. The company that created it, Ruby Flowers, assembled it from dead twigs, to which
are attached sprigs of cherry blossom, and draped in those trademark fairy lights too, naturally.

Likewise all the upside down dried flowers hanging from the ceilings the full length of both windows in all their pastel glory. Nicola Wilkinson, head of operations at itison venues, gave me the guided tour and explained what constituted some of the biggest changes.

She said, “There wasn’t much life in the place before, and most customers would avoid sitting in the mezzanine during the day because it was just too dark and gloomy. This mainly came down to wooden booths paired with wood panelling on the walls. What we’ve replaced them with has gone down really well with customers, and former customers that haven’t been to the place in years have also returned after hearing about what we’ve done with the place.”

So what’s the magic design formula?

Demonstrating most changes is the mezzanine area (or the Mezz, to give it its proper name). Exposed brickwork and a hotchpotch of stylish furniture like boxy-Chesterfileds in red
leather and big wooden lounging chairs in green leather have all really lifted this space and injected it with a varied design dripping in detail. Then there are the sumptuous blush-pink
velvet seats and bark tiles embedded with fairy lights to coo over, and a whole lot more.

I’m not alone in being drawn to black gas fire stove that sits neatly between two couches to create an area that’s been dubbed ‘Hyndland’s Home’.

The new-look Epicures is also positioning itself as a community hub and has already been utilised as such by locals. Explained Nicola, “The big table on the mezzanine that seats about 12 people and groups from the local community, and recently we’ve welcomed in a breast feeding group and a rugby club. We’re also in the process of adding a new cork community
notice board as you enter.”

The only real change in on the ground floor, apart from what I’ve already pointed out of course, is the addition of a new central banquette, as well as all the new blue leather
upholstery and multi-coloured too of course. Oli also commissioned a spherical pendant light in the far corner of the space, in white.

The individual design of each floor sets off the design of the other, in what is a cracking design overall.


Jason Caddy

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