Creating balanced interiors for dining in style

Interior design for onboard dining venues must combine functionality with aesthetic appeal

Creating balanced interiors for dining in style
M Studio designed The Britannia Club Restaurant onboard Cunard’s Queen Victoria

By Alan McVitty |

The environment in which we eat and drink has grown significantly more important for all of us in recent years and is continuing to do so. The knowledge of where to get a great martini, the best pasta or the finest steak in town is now commonplace. 

Whether upscale or casual, dining venues must have the right balance of experiences for the guests to enjoy. So, it is vital that the interiors and the ambience they create reflect the style of dining on offer. 

When designing for cruise lines we do not have the benefit of the local vernacular to define these dining venues. Creating a magical experience for the passenger through the interior design is therefore vitally important for each style of venue and cuisine. 

When M Studio London begins the design process for our clients, it is vital that we seek to understand the dining offering and what the style of service will be. Function over form is key to ensure there is a harmony between the service and the ambience of the interior. The design concept must be developed with a full understanding of the operation, considering service routes through the space to and from the galley, and making provision for all the amenities waiting staff require during the course of a service.  

The aesthetic of the venue is of equal importance, as this defines how diners perceive a restaurant. When we designed The Britannia Club Restaurant for Cunard’s Queen Victoria, the interior paid homage to the line’s rich history. We were tasked with optimising the design for the new service route to ensure the restaurant runs seamlessly. 

The art deco-inspired mirror panels ensure that there are no bad seats within the space, with both good visibility for diners and privacy created by the screens. Changing the style and height of the chairs helped in differentiating the centre tables, which can accommodate larger parties, while lighting was key to achieving varied ambiences during each service. 

Thanks to this design, the restaurant has quickly established itself as a passenger favourite onboard Queen Victoria, demonstrating the power and importance of a good interior in a dining venue. 

Alan McVitty is founder and CEO of M Studio London

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.   

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