Design Focus: La Favorita

It took God seven days to create the world but only six for MD Hospitality to refurbish The Vittoria Group’s La Favorita in Edinburgh.
The new-look Leith Walk Italian restaurant, which first opened in 2005, builds on the original vision of the group’s Chairman, Tony Crolla – to bring family and friends together over authentic Italian pizza and good times through shared passions: food, drink, and music. Boyter Electrical Services was also involved in the project.
It now comprises a main area, a 25-capacity party room, and a ‘garden’ area, and speaking about the refurbishment, MD Hospitality director Michael Dunn, said, “It’s a fresher, more dynamic look both inside and out. The exterior now benefits from a lovely heritage facade in teal with an abundance of new greenery and feature lighting.
“Everything inside was ripped out and completely refitted – like the bar which now has a beautiful marble top – plus there’s also a new servery and a brand new kitchen. We laid a new floor and fitted La Favorita with brand new upholstery, furniture, and lighting. The new lighting system allows the staff to zone the lighting and set it to create a contrasting mood in different parts of the space.”
He continued, “What’s got customers talking are the specially commissioned Limoncello, Prosecco and Olive oil murals, one of which showcases a collage of Crolla family pictures. They frame the passageway to the restaurant party room which now has multi-coloured ‘summer shutters'”
Vittoria Group Chairman, Tony Crolla said, “Over the past 50 years our family business has served up delicious Italian eats across our Edinburgh restaurants. La Favorita was the first pizzeria of its kind in Scotland to offer log-fired cooked pizza and in keeping with current and future trends, we believe our new menu and new look interiors will showcase the best of authentic Italian food and culture. We have created a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy the Italian food our family truly loves.”
And we echo Tony’s sentiment because this truly is an enhancement on multiple fronts. Let’s start with the main area, which is narrowish and replete with a busy design that slowly reveals itself. Some of the standouts include those murals that Michael mentioned plus the wall clock and the chalkboard. Likewise, the mirrored shelves that are creatively lit with what looks like frame lighting around them and on the shelves are plants and various other types of pots. Other quirky touches include the framed plates on the walls, which had been clad in wood, which is  just as effective as all of the exposed brick.
The jewel in the crown has to be the bar. The star tiles across the bar front, spilling onto the floor that is immediately in front of the bar. These are one of my favourite design aspects, which has been kind of replicated on the top of some high ‘posing’ tables, albeit in black and white rather than blue and white.
Above the bar are shelves for glassware accommodation that have also been used for ornamental purposes a little higher up, speaking of which, the collection of filled jars on another set of wooden shelves that run perpendicular to the servery and arrest your attention and tell a story because they contain everything from olives, butterbeans, right the way to those little round almond biscuits. The servery shelves, meanwhile, which also hang from the ceiling, display industrial/catering tins of Italian tomato pasta sauce, above which are chopped logs.
The garden room is bright and bold with a chessboard floor and lots of cascading greenery with one of those beautiful murals occupying an entire wall. There’s also a ‘view’ out on a real garden through patio doors which is in actual fact an illusion.
Olive green/brown banquettes and high brown leather stools – plus a mixture of wooden and metal chairs dovetail well, while standout feature in the restaurant’s party room are those multi-coloured shutters.
Last year Tony Crolla was awarded ‘Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy’, known as “Cavaliere” in Italian – one of the highest civilian honours in Italy for his services to hospitality and looking at this refurbishment and how it continues to pack them in, it’s easy to see why.
Jason Caddy
Category: Editors' Picks, News
Tags: La Favorita