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An appetite for art: restaurant and dining ideas

Updated: Mar 1


Creativity, talent and dexterity characterise the world of fine art just as much as they inform the world of food preparation and fine dining.


So it's no accident that popular top restaurants and innovative new venues will spend a lot of time choosing art to best suit their brand and their audience. Art that best fits their combined story. Art that complements their shared culinary style.


The dining experience is a combination of the service and the meal, of course, but it's also about the feel of the place – the ambience, the atmosphere, the surroundings that hungry and style-conscious customers will want to return to, time and again.

Choosing distinctive, high quality art is an ideal way to make any bistro pub or restaurant stand out as a place where valued clients feel relaxed and welcome. They're matching their personality with the venue's vibe. They want to be seen there and see their friends there. It's yet another lifestyle choice.


Interior designers – and we now partner, informally, with a small network of them in the South Cotswolds – can have a field day in integrating art into the scheme: zoning the paintings and decor to differentiate the bar space from the restaurant space, for example.


Back in our gallery, this spring and summer, three of our artists are demonstrating their skills and knowhow in creating art perfect for a public or a private dining area.



Denise Liebermann's inspiration comes from her chef husband, Martin, who has turned out wonderful dishes in some of our region's top establishments and around the world. She has produced a range of highly original, super-sized oil-on-canvas works which zoom in on the hands of a chef preparing ingredients. It's a celebration of knife skills and chef expertise which would suit any venue keen on sourcing the best local ingredients and giving diners an open view of the kitchen in action.

Her idea was also partly inspired by Nicolas Freeling’s 1950s culinary classic The Kitchen and the Cook and his contention that 'my kitchen years are written on my hands': “Even without cuts, a chef's hands are unmistakable. The finger tips are flattened and ironed by the touch of hot serving dishes and roasting trays. The side of the forefinger becomes corrugated by the peeler and the ball of the thumb a multitude of tiny cuts not quite deep enough to sever the tough skin”.


This is food prepartion without the fantasy or the frills – honest, real, only the best raw ingredients and a determination to prepare them well and celebrate their form and their taste. And all achieved by working hands that are dedicated and shaped to that end. Turning this concept into a striking, statement artwork, with such bravura, is no mean feat.



Meanwhile, Susie Carson, with her amazingly graphic, trompe l'oeil fruit and vegetable paintings, and Sara Huxley, with her large semi-abstract multi-media collages of crowded table tops and many-sized vessels, both offer unusual and vibrant art that would work as well in a hospitality setting as in a private dining room or kitchen-diner. In fact, one might inspire the other.


All three have invented their own dining language in visual form. Their art, in three very diverse approaches, provides conversation pieces for diners by focusing on the pure and simple enjoyment of fresh food and of socialising over a meal. By scaling them up or down, and changing the colour palette, you have pieces that would fit equally well into a classy restaurant or a smart contemporary dining space.

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