london has been the place to be for as long as we can remember, yet heathrow - the city's main gateway and busiest international airport on the planet - not so much. but after years of severe congestion, continuous nuisance and a rather bad rep, the tide is finally turning. first the much-anticipated terminal 5 opened in 2008, followed earlier this month by the redeveloped terminal 2, another state-of-the-art building that has firmly anchored heathrow in the world of 21st century travel. both structures have been hailed by travelers for their modern design, smooth passenger handling, and last but not least, appealing facilities that reflect london's happening buzz.
in the latter category certainly falls the perfectionists' café, a new restaurant by british celebrity chef heston blumenthal. designed by london-based design consultancy afroditikrassa, the restaurant's concept is inspired by the menu of british signature dishes of the 1960s and 1970s that distinguish the u.k. from mainland europe, and a celebration of travel in that specific era. the setting is a well-balanced mix of design elements from mad men and catch me if you can, but also leading creatives such as verner panton and saul bass. the result is a functional yet welcoming setting with a subdued glamourous edge.
the materials and colours used are both rich and vibrant, captured in dark timbers, dark marble + brown veining, leather and brass detailing and iconic 1960s material formica. strong black + white patterns contrast with the bold and vibrant colours of that era, dark and pale blues, orange and mustard. the perfectionists' café has a hybrid configuration that should appeal to both passengers with limited time and those with a long layover. the front of the restaurant is quick and dynamic, combining high sittings, loose flexible tables and hard surfaces such as tiles and marble.
as you progress into the space, beyond the eye-catching propeller-shaped communal table, the pace slows down to a more relaxed dining experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal. here, the finishes are warmer and softer. key seats in the house are the observer booths from which planes can be seen taking off and landing. the perfectionists' café's menu lists the perfect bites for today's jetset. from pitstop bites, such as eggs benedict, fish + chips and a classic burger, to gourmet meat dishes, pizzas and salads. needless to say there's a matching variety of drinks, cocktails and fine wines. location: terminal 2 [heathrow airport].