Matteo Bianchi Matteo Bianchi Studio

Apulia restaurant, Farringdon

Situated opposite the famous period Smithfield Market, the clients acquired a property in Farringdon to covert into an eatery reminiscent of southern Italy – their home soil. The clients wanted an accurate portrayal of the Italian region both in atmosphere and food. The concept most favoured was a throw back to the 1940’s – simplicity, authenticity and warmth.

The restaurant has plenty of authentic charm. Matteo Bianchi Studio designed the lighting, tables and banquettes and a lot of items were sourced from vintage markets and the region of Apulia itself to give a distinctive, genuine touch.

Beneath the street level is a basement restaurant, which feels like stepping into the heart of Italy. Warm and calm; it boasts cobbled stones, cast iron radiators, leather seating, stucco walls and ceramic lighting. Distinctive details such as a vintage delivery bike, old photographs, a vintage console cabinet and aged wooden shutters give character and a story to the previously sterile, stark room. A ceiling of traditional lathe peaks warm light from behind.

The bathrooms are simple and honest; each stall has a traditional WC and the basins are vintage finds. The scheme is light with limestone slabs on the floor and white mosaic tiles on the wall. The lighting scheme here and throughout the restaurant is soft with occasional pendants and wall lights.

The kitchen in the basement restaurant is open to the eye, with many talented chefs cooking fresh dishes and pizza from a large oven. The head chef and owner is passionate about sourcing fresh, good quality produce from Italy.

The fresh seasonal ingredients and kitchenware are displayed in the stairwell window ledge, beneath a bespoke, vintage bottle light feature. The window fascia is also reminiscent of a bygone era; the window panes divided and the exterior painted a dark brown. Lettering is painted by hand the traditional way, with the family name ‘Sassa & Sons’ humbly displayed and ‘Apulia’ lit with bronze down lighters.

As it is a family business, the Studio wanted to ensure that from the moment you step into the restaurant you are greeted with the familiar ring of a bell; the smells, warmth and welcome of stepping back into 1940’s Apulia, to experience the home cooked cuisine like Mama used to make. Despite the vintage touches, Apulia is fresh and feels original amongst many contemporary restaurants in the area.

The entrance bar table with a rustic bike feature to the stairwell

The entrance bar table with a rustic bike feature to the stairwell

Basement dining area - eco leather banquettes and curiosities

Basement dining area - eco leather banquettes and curiosities