Project: Peggy Porschen
Interior Design: Kinnersley Kent Design
Design team: Jill Higgins, Partner, and James Scott, Senior Designer at Kinnersley Kent Design
General contractor: Duboulay Contracts
Furniture supplier: Inside Out Contracts, Contract Chair Company
Flooring supplier: Havwoods
Location: Chelsea, London, UK
Photography: Tom Bird
London, March 2019: Award-winning cake designer Peggy Porschen has just launched a new flagship Parlour at 219 King’s Road in London’s Chelsea, with a deliciously photogenic interior by Kinnersley Kent Design.
Launching with the signature pastel hued cakes and confectionery, as well as the new addition of simple savoury offerings, the flagship Parlour will initially be open from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. The new Parlour will be able to accommodate a whole host of dining occasions, with plans to extend opening hours to 10pm in the summer, and for customers to be able to further indulge from an extended ‘all day dining’ menu of savoury breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The Chelsea location includes new features such as a reservation operated dining area, an events space and a pink champagne bar.
Established in 2003 as a bespoke wedding and celebration cake business, Peggy Porschen has become an industry trendsetter with a huge following. Since the brand’s first bakery opened in Belgravia in 2010, tourists and Londoners alike queue throughout the week to experience the freshly-baked delicacies – and to take a photo with its famous pink façade and seasonal floral installations. The new all-day concept marks the next step in the brand’s expansion plans.
The new Chelsea Parlour consists of two floors over 223 sq m (2,400 sq ft) in an attractive corner site which was formerly the Chelsea Quarter Café. The ‘Peggy Porschen Home’ that Kinnersley Kent Design have created captures the magic and charm of the original Belgravia Parlour while adding a range of inviting new spaces and experiences.
The concept features an evolved interior identity that stays true to the brand, embodying its pretty and feminine spirit through every touchpoint. The sophisticated colour and material palette is a celebration of pastels, mixing soft green, pink and blue hues. Taking a hands-on approach, the designers’ scope of work included planning, interior architecture and design, design detail, joinery design, prototyping and overseeing implementation. Several unique pieces were commissioned especially for the Parlour, including custom rose wallpaper from illustrator Kerrie Hess, whose designs have featured in Vogue, Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar.
‘Attention to detail’ is at the heart of both Peggy Porschen and Kinnersley Kent Design’s creative approach. This synergy is expressed throughout the flagship, resulting in a delightful experience for customers that also responds to commercial and operational requirements. The Parlour is playful and whimsical, luxurious but comfortable, combining contemporary design references with traditional details. Inherently photogenic, the design encourages social sharing while also being skilfully designed for function and longevity. The result is a delectable new destination that is sure to captivate future and existing Peggy Porschen fans.
Jill Higgins, Partner at Kinnersley Kent Design, said: ““Peggy Porschen is an amazing brand, with a distinct identity and a loyal following. The design challenge was to encapsulate the brand’s essence, evolving it for the new Parlour without diluting its personality. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Peggy and Bryn, Peggy’s business partner and husband, to imagine what the new all-day concept could be. Whether it’s a customer grabbing a coffee and an indulgent treat, or friends or families celebrating a special occasion, the Parlour creates a memorable experience for each customer.”
Peggy Porschen, Creative Director of Peggy Porschen Group Ltd, added: “The new Parlour is an important milestone for us, and we are hugely excited to be growing our brand in this unique and historic location. The project was intricate and detailed, calling for close coordination and a shared vision across each team. We were impressed by Kinnersley Kent Design’s collaborative approach, their creativity, eye for detail and dedication in helping us achieve our ambitions. We are thrilled with the outcome and are sure that our customers will love the new Parlour as much as we do.”
Loosely based upon the idea of a ‘Peggy Porschen Home’, each room offers customers a slightly different experience, with a change of pace and purpose.
From the outset the focus was on the culinary artistry, with food as the hero. In areas where Peggy Porschen goods are displayed, such as the patisserie counter, the design elements are understated and minimal. In other areas such as the seating zones, the design is more decorative with a playful mix of traditional details and modern references. This fine-tuned approach communicates Peggy Porschen’s brand essence evenly and seamlessly throughout.
The concept features a rich palette of materials and patterns, with numerous bespoke and one-off pieces. The scheme is indulgent yet accessible, combining luxurious materials like Silestone’s Calacutta marble, pastel pink terrazzo, blush antique mirror, brass detailing and a range of pastel hued velvet upholstery with more domestic materials such as painted timber wall panelling and washed hexagonal timber flooring. Kinnersley Kent Design worked closely with the client to select tableware and glassware to complement both the food and the interiors.
Detailed design walk-through
On the exterior, Kinnersley Kent Design added brass typography to the bakery’s iconic pastel pink shopfront and bold striped awnings – a touch that’s reminiscent of classic European patisseries. The pretty, theatrical Peggy Porschen experience starts here, as customers can pose for photographs with the floral installations, stealing glances through the windows of the finishing chefs as they add final details to the cakes.
Inside, customers arrive in a ‘front room’ that is like a stylish hallway. From here they can admire the spectacle of the baked delights on the patisserie counter, picking up treats and hot drinks to go or staying to dine inside. Cakes are showcased in lit glass cases with brass framework, letting the products shine. The dramatic five-metre-long counter is made of Calacatta marble by Silestone, sitting upon a border of bespoke-designed pastel mosaic flooring from Grestec. Behind the counter, colourful cake boxes are displayed on fine brass framework wall shelving, with a backdrop of white-backed glass.
The interior architecture features high ceilings with traditional plasterwork mouldings, lighting design by Fagerhult and whimsical bespoke pendant lighting by Northern Lights. Flooring is a light washed oak, laid in a hexagonal pattern to create both an authentic and contemporary look. Table tops are in a bespoke pink terrazzo by Diespeker & Co, commissioned especially for the project, while white painted timber chairs create an informal café feel.
Nestled behind the ‘front room’ space is an informal lounge area. Demarked by a delicate screen, it features the specially-commissioned bespoke rose wallpaper from Australian illustrator Kerrie Hess. The large floral illustration is displayed like a painting, framed by timber wall-panelling. A further screen divides this zone from a tasteful ‘Salon de Thé’ at the rear of the ground floor. The tea salon is flanked by banquette seating and enhanced with the same rose illustration wallpaper. Two vertigo contemporary chandeliers form a central feature.
An original timber staircase and handrail gracefully lead customers downstairs, where they are greeted by a stunning bijou ‘pink bar’. The bar features pastel pink timber panelling and a Silestone Calacatta marble top that echoes the patisserie counter. The brass bar shelving behind can be closed using folding shutters, inset with the same rose-design wallpaper as upstairs.
Sliding timber-framed glass doors link the bar to a beautiful events space. This room can be transformed to host private parties or opened to form part of the main Parlour during busy periods. It acts as a grand dining room, lit by a dramatic central ‘skylight’. Measuring 2.4 metres by 1.8 metres and detailed with a refined decorative brass framework, the skylight creates the impression of airy daylight despite the basement location. Each wall is finished in a soft pastel green panelling, with flanking walls decorated with soft pink antique mirrors, and Chelsea English floral wallpaper by Sanderson inset into the central wall opposite the doors. A bespoke console unit acts as a centrepiece, giving cakes pride of place.
The crème de la crème of the design scheme is the attention to detail throughout. The powder rooms on each floor encapsulate this approach: the vision was to transform the facilities into spaces that feel as playful, pretty and feminine as the rest of the Parlour. Bringing together elements of the other spaces, the rooms include bespoke ‘Peggy Pink’ striped wallpaper, pastel pink timber panelling, Calacatta marble silestone vanity tops and brass accessories, set off by pink herringbone wall tiling and pastel pink joinery. The powder rooms create the feeling of a glamorous dressing room, and a level of whimsical escapism that personifies the Peggy Porschen Parlour experience.