Design Focus: Café Andaluz


As Café Andaluz celebrates 21 years of bringing a taste of Spain to Scotland, they have also opened a brand new site. The company’s third Edinburgh restaurant has opened at Raeburn Place in the city’s Stockbridge area and caters for up to 120 customers.


The restaurant is beautiful, perhaps a little different to what you would usually expect from Café Andaluz, but with all the expected charm. Lead Interior Designer for DRG, Jelena Kerr, who collaborated with Design LSM on the project, tells me, “The unit was just a shell to begin with. It had no original features, an open plan layout and large windows. The challenge was to make the interior fit and to create that rustic Café Andaluz feeling. Due to the location and customer demographic we wanted to offer breakfast too, so the interior had to be light, bright and colourful.

6DF61307-E0DB-4277-A8F9-6E4D52CE564F“We have moved away from the dark mahogany we used previously, and used lighter timber and hand painted wood for the traditional Spanish cabinetry work instead. The fabrics have been tweaked to create a plusher feel, there are more scatter cushions and the dimmed lighting transports you from day into night.”

What they have achieved here is truly magnificent. When you first enter through the large glass doors you are met with a real Andalusian white house feel coupled with a warm interior. The long granite topped bar has two levels which allows customers to dine here at a comfortable height. There is a beautiful antique brass gantry overhead laden with bottles of wine and hanging glassware.

The bar front is clad in Café Andaluz’s signature handmade ceramic Talavera tiles which come directly from Spain. This bronze and cream pattern is broken up with shiny blue tiles. This colour palette is continued on all the tiling which runs throughout the restaurant and also through the fabrics used. Looking towards the centre of the room there is a large pillar and a low partition running across which splits the room into two areas.


Above this they have created an almost vaulted ceiling. All of this is mirrored and covered in white fret cut panels which have been illuminated creating the spine of the space. Around this area they have also introduced green hanging plants which cascade down from the ceiling giving the feeling you are surrounded by nature. There is a mix of solid wood and mosaic topped tables and the seats are a range of wood, leather and a velvet, almost woven looking, printed fabric.

Each one of these has been carefully selected dependant on which area of the restaurant you are sitting in. On the left-hand side there are intricately carved wooden pews creating booths with comfortable leather seating. These are scatted with brightly coloured cushions.

D1179691-1F0F-4BC2-B4B7-8227950640E6There is also a grand wine cellar located behind white wood and glass arches. This makes great use of the space and creates more depth.

At the rear of the room there are comfortable booths in a semicircle shape. Behind this is a display wall which has various hollows cut out of the white wood to showcase artwork. These hollows are mirrored, beautifully lit, and each one contains a beautiful ceramic plate or urn. It’s almost like being in a Spanish museum.

The ceramic plates also adorn the walls around the venue, coupled with framed Spanish festival posters and ornate punched through brass lights. The other lights in the centre of the restaurant take the form of grand metal and glass bulb chandeliers. They have used ultra warm bulbs and lots of accent lighting to create a real rustic feel that offsets against the white of the walls.

On the right-hand side there is a large piece of artwork made up of painted blue and white tiles displaying a traditional Spanish village scene with the Café Andaluz logo in the centre.

The theme across the restaurant is an almost Moorish pattern. Jelena had pointed out to me a tree symbol on the tiles in the dado which is repeated in some of the fabrics. This is coupled with octagonal shapes which can be seen across the terracotta floor, the mirrored panels, the lights on the chandelier and in the fret work motif.

There really is a theme weaved through every single aspect of the design here. It is very apparent that there has been a lot of work involved in creating this venue, but the result is stunning. It is the perfect location to unwind with a glass of wine and some of your favourite tapas!


Category: Design, Features, News, Restaurant
Tags: Cafe Andaluz, Design LSM, DRG, Jelena Kerr