Red Deer designs St. JOHN Marylebone

Red Deer designs St. JOHN Marylebone — the first restaurant of Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s gastronomic empire in 19 years

Architecture and design studio, Red Deer has taken the very essence of the aesthetics of
renowned restaurants, St. JOHN Smithfields and its sister establishment Bread & Wine and
extended it to create St. JOHN Marylebone, the first opening for owners Fergus Henderson
and Trevor Gulliver in 19 years and the next step in their celebrated culinary mission.

Spread across two levels, St. JOHN Marylebone greets visitors with a striking steel bar that
dominates the ground floor area. Placed at an angle parallel to the entrance door, it appears to wrap around the space and recalls the bar area in St. JOHN Smithfields.

Red Deer’s design of this newly opened central London establishment is positioned somewhere in-between that of St. JOHN Smithfields and Bread & Wine, to the east of the city. Each establishment adheres to the distinct style and philosophy which is so integral to the St. JOHN ethos. All white with wooden furniture, Red Deer’s design projects the ambience of a relaxed modern eatery.

Downstairs in the reservation-only space, bottles of wine line the wall, acting not only as a striking focal point but as a clever storage solution within the limited space. This focus on wine also reflects how the restaurant itself pivots around its drink offering with the food, although key, being secondary. St. JOHN Marylebone is an all-day, wine-led space created to enjoy the excellent food and wine synonymous with St. JOHN, evolving through the day to serve the needs and desires of locals and those who travel enthusiastically for a pilgrimage to St. JOHN.

Just as sustainability is at the heart of Red Deer’s work, so too is this reflected in the dining at St. JOHN Marylebone with all ingredients, firmly reflecting the seasonal and local, used fully to ensure no wastage. Open to 60 covers, there remains the ‘nose to tail’ dining that chef owner Fergus Henderson made synonymous with the original restaurants, but now there is more fish and vegetables on offer retaining a simplicity and freshness to the menu.

"Working with Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson on the interior for the new St. JOHN
Marylebone has been a fascinating experience and education for us at Red Deer,” says Lionel Real de Azúa, Architect and Co-founder Red Deer.

 “St. JOHN is a legendary British institution in the world of food and drink with its own distinctive philosophy. For St. JOHN Marylebone, we have tried to create an environment that leads on from the recognisable and beloved aesthetic of the original St. JOHN in Smithfield and its sister establishment Bread and Wine down the road from Red Deer’s own office. 

St. JOHN Marylebone marks their first new opening for 19 years on the other side of London, yet we aimed for the interior to represent a seamless continuation. It is a study in spartan rigour and the process has been a relentless distillation of palette in view of achieving warm simplicity.”

For Trevor Gulliver, St. JOHN Marylebone is "Inspired by the bars of Paris and Florence, which are all things to all people at all moments through every day - coffee and wine, tartines and three-course meals, babies and bankers. Each St. JOHN sings with its own voice, dictated by the environment and community in which it finds itself. This new addition to the family will provide a rolling feast of many parts, with ample good wine as you would expect”.

And as the St. JOHN website says in acknowledgment of this next step in their gastronomic
journey, “Today we have gently spread across various places and projects, no plan, no roll out, but with the same rigour and philosophy. We try to remember that it started with both purpose and simplicity: Fergus puts it on the plate and Trevor puts it in the glass.”

St. JOHN Marylebone marks the next step in innovative hospitality design for Red Deer with previous projects including the acclaimed hotel and members hub Birch set within 55 acres just outside of London: Native at Browns, the ethical dining restaurant within the flagship designer store Browns; and most recently Ochre, the new restaurant at the National Gallery, London.

About Red Deer

Red Deer design spaces & objects, seeking to demystify the process of working with an architect in both residential, food & beverage and hotel design. The practice was founded by architects Lionel Real de Azúa, Ciarán O’Brien and Lucas Che Tizard in an attempt to better engage with the world around them. A love for the ‘unexpected form’ is a starting point in their design work, studio ethos and adventures in travel. Describing themselves, the founders say they are 'grown men with crayons' referencing their approach to work as creative, without boundaries and excited by challenges. 

Red Deer consider design as the playful pursuit of studied carelessness, forging strong relationships with their clients on each project in order to fully understand how they can bring their language of design to each collaboration. Red Deer's founders have ancestry from France, North America, Uruguay, Argentina, Great Britain and Ireland, all sharing a common inhabitant of the red deer species. The international practice has since grown and now employs nine architects from eight nationalities with offices in London and Europe. Their mission is to play with purpose.

Project St. John Marylebone
Client Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver
Type Restaurant and Bar
Size 1300 sq.ft
Location London, W1, UK
Year 2022
Photography Sam Harris

Red Deer
[email protected]
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