Lee Broom’s interior design for Old Tom & English is a contemporary take on the relaxed elegance of home entertaining in the 1960s. The name references the 18th Century English ‘Old Tom’ gin recipe, as well as being a playful nod to Soho’s colourful history.
To gain entry via the heavy slatted wooden door, patrons ring the doorbell to be welcomed through the hidden hatch and then be seated at the bar, lounge or one of the five arched cloisters named after infamous ladies of the night.
These cloisters provide additional privacy for larger parties of 8-10, and one features a low cocktail cabinet that when opened reveals your drinks order, secretly accessible from the main bar.
Broom has designed the space to reflect the relaxed atmosphere of being in a good friend’s apartment for a casual dinner or an intimate cocktail party.
Old Tom and English has a warm and contemporary feel and instead of being the conventional bar and restaurant layout.
Each section has its own personal bar service area – such as a sideboard, revolving cocktail cabinet or bar cart – from which waiters finish the drinks.
I thought about the kind of personal service I like to receive in a venue and the theatre of creating drinks in front of you or presenting the food in a way, which considers its interior, like you would at home.
The look uses traditional and honest materials such as oak and marble which have been used to create a bar incorporating multiple levels, a post modern fire place and striking vertical panelling featured throughout the venue.
The design of the interior influences the service, for example, marble features throughout the venue in the lighting, the furniture and right through to the bar and tableware. The simple grey colour palette used on walls, accessories and upholstery are accentuated with flashes of brass and a vibrant red carpet, which runs throughout the interior.
Old Tom & English’s layout seats up to 75 guests at one time and features Lee Broom’s new Nouveau Rebel marble lighting collection. The sculptural Globe Light provides a warming glow, Marble Tube Lights frame the bespoke marble fireplace surround and the On the Rock glassware is used to serve signature cocktails.
Lee also integrates bespoke versions of his collection heroes such as the celebrated Decanterlight and Crystal Bulb created with new cuts; solid oak OLO pendants; and extended Quilt sofas to provide ample room and comfort for lounge lovers to relax.
Images © Luke Hayes