Entrée's first UK bakery is a Wes Anderson design dream

08 March 2022 by

The symmetry, saturated colour and layered depth of a Wes Anderson film still has been brought to life at Entrée's first UK bakery in Notting Hill, London

Design consultancy Holloway Li has brought Georgian bakery group Entrée to London, creating a venue that celebrates the process of creating delicious treats in the filmic style of a Wes Anderson movie.

Managing director Na Li explains that Entrée is a family-run bakery, established in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2008. Its opening in Notting Hill marks the beginning of an international expansion that required a rethinking of its visual identity to accentuate its Georgian beginnings.

The process started with an immersion trip to Tbilisi. Li explains: "We were inspired by the street scene of Tbilisi – the arches and woodwork elements of the bakery were inspired by the balconies there. "There were some really beautiful patterns and we really liked the details on the woodwork. Above the counter in the bakery we have a simplified and modernised pattern, but it's inspired by traditional Georgian balconies – it is there to remind customers that this is a gateway to Tbilisi.

"We were also inspired by the community of Tbilisi, as it's very welcoming and sociable. There's a tradition of gathering around a big table – they call it a supra table – and that inspired us to do this layout with a table in the centre."

Part of the brief was to create a design that would highlight the process of making,which led the team at Holloway Li to think about Wes Anderson's film The Grand Budapest Hotel, in which the viewer is guided through the process to make a courtesan au chocolat at Mendl's bakery during a detailed three-minute segment set to music.

"It was a touch point and it translated into the layers of the design," says Li. "First we have the wooden arches and beyond that there is the counter. Then behind that are three more arches, through which you can see the bakers working. It's similar to a theatre, where you have the backstage beyond the main stage – that layering intrigued us."

The palette used for the bakery has its roots in that used throughout the group's Georgian venues, but its signature pink that has taken on some of the more earthy shades of Tbilisi, which, Li says, makes for a more "upscale and luxurious" feel that still links back to the existing branding.

In other areas the plastered walls have been left exposed, creating what Li describes as a "rough but quite refined feel".

The artwork was sourced by Here Design and has been created by artists inspired by Georgian calligraphy, while the dome pendant light with gold detailing above the supra table has been used across all of Entrée's venues.

Li adds: "The gold lifts the colour palette with another layer and works well with the brass skirting." And what is her favourite element? "I like the layout and how the journey progresses: the front is like an atrium to a theatre. You walk in and you're centre stage, you can see the table, beyond that you have the arch and beyond that you can see the actions of making the food. I like the journey and how it's revealed; that's my favourite part."

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