Canton Blue,
London, UK

An unforgettable setting for sampling innovative Cantonese cuisine, light shapes the experience of this exquisitely decorated restaurant and bar, celebrating its rich tapestry of colour and textures while prioritising comfortable and flattering light for its patrons.
Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels
2015 - 2023
Interior Designer
CAP Atelier
James Newton
Project Team
Keith Bradshaw, Ewan Parsons, Hiro Toyoda

Within the reception and tea lounge, an ornate coffered ceiling glows above low-lit tables, a neat double cove detail effectively concealing the light source from view. Here, and throughout the restaurant, vertical details such as the ornate ceramic fireplace surround and the museum-like glass cases that contain arrays of coloured 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 included careful consideration of all the surfaces – from the decorative ceilings and colourful vertical design elements to, most importantly, the quality of the light on the dining tables and diners themselves.

The Music Room is screened by glass cases containing historical Chinese musical instruments. Etched linework in the glass is picked up with grazing blue light, contrasting beautifully against the instruments' warm wood.

In the main dining space, we kept the primary focus on the tables, with unobtrusive spotlights delivering a flattering effect on both food and faces.

The two private dining spaces are distinctively themed. The Silk Room is lined with colourful silk hangings in rich reds, blues and oranges. Our custom light centrepiece features an array of red blown-glass lanterns, a luxurious modern twist on the classic Chinese paper lantern.

The restaurant also has a small cocktail bar, Little Blue, with its own curbside entrance. Grazing light reveals the texture in modern ceramic art wall lines the staircase that connects it to the main restaurant.

Our lighting design in the bar picks out the delicate white ceramic ginkgo leaves that appear to float down from the ceiling, with additional focal points in front of and behind the leather-fronted bar.