Canton Blue,
London, UK

Weaving together cultural influences that form the essence of Canton Blue's narrative, our lighting design helps to shape an unforgettable setting for sampling innovative Cantonese cuisine.
Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels
2015 - 2023
Interior Designer
CAP Atelier
James Newton
Project Team
Keith Bradshaw, Ewan Parsons, Hiro Toyoda

In the reception and tea lounge, an elaborate coffered ceiling glows above low-lit tables, a neat double cove detail concealing the light source from view. A dual-aspect ceramic fireplace and museum-like glass cases display arrangements of Cantonese ceramics are gently highlighted.

The result is a decadent tapestry of gently glowing colour and texture, lining the walls and screening the private and semi-private dining areas. ”

Taking inspiration from the historic Keying Junk that once traversed the route from Canton to London, the interiors of Canton Blue reference the ancient timber construction of the 19th-century Chinese sailing vessel and its cargo of tea, spices, silks, and porcelain. Crafting the lighting design for such a richly detailed interior drew from our extensive understanding and expertise in working with light and surfaces. Delicate attention, reverence and restraint were essential to light a tapestry of visual experiences. From the intricate ceilings to the colourful vertical design elements and most importantly, the quality of the light on the dining tables and diners themselves.

Glass cases containing historical Chinese musical instruments screen the Music Room. Etched linework in the glass is traced with grazing blue light, a poetic contrast against the instruments' warm wood.

In the main dining space, we kept the primary focus on the tables, with unobtrusive spotlights to showcase the food whilst harmonising the ambiance for the diners.

There are two distinctively themed dining spaces. The Silk Room, is lined with silk wall hangings in sumptuous reds, blues and oranges. Here, our custom light centrepiece features an assemblage of red blown-glass lanterns, an opulent interpretation of the classic Chinese paper lantern.

With its own curb-side entrance, Little Blue, is the restaurant’s small cocktail bar. Here, we designed the light to pass playfully through the delicate white ceramic ginkgo leaves as they appear to float down from the ceiling.

Additional focused light adds subtle drama to front of and behind the leather-fronted bar. The staircase connecting to the main restaurant, is indirectly lit with grazing light that reveals the texture and undulations of the modern ceramic art wall.