Blue Mountain School’s Cycene restaurant finds tranquillity through texture

The Shoreditch restaurant offers international flavours within a domestic setting

Shoreditch culture hub Blue Mountain School has collaborated with executive chef Theo Clench on its new restaurant Cycene, which emulates the intimacy of home dining through a tactile material palette and curated design objects.

Cycene – meaning kitchen in Old English – takes over two floors of Blue Mountain School’s experimental Shoreditch space, which houses an archive of commissioned ceramics, sculpture, garments and furniture. Clench’s 10-course menu is a love letter to his travels across Eastern Asia and Australasia, brought to life through classic culinary techniques and seasonal ingredients.

Blue Mountain School’s in-house design arm, led by founders James and Christie Brown, crafted the restaurant’s interiors, putting the (usually) behind-the-scenes preparation front and centre. Cycene’s kitchen is double the size of its predecessor, Mãos, with its design inspired by pre-WW1 and South African farm kitchens the Browns encountered on their own travels.

Brushed stainless steel counters run the length of the kitchen space, and handmade Portuguese tiles (designed by 6a architects‘ Stephanie Macdonald) cover the walls. Further texture comes via blue quarry floor bricks, which offer a robust riposte to more delicate decorative elements.

An oak-panelled chef’s pass, fitted with a granite top, and an iron pot rack completes the farmhouse look, which spills out into the hearth room – a private dining space that can be closed off via floor-to-ceiling drapes. Here, a collection of forged iron candle holders add a touch of whimsy to walls covered in hand-painted tiles and crowned by a porcelain chandelier by BDDW’s Tyler Hays.

Photography: Rebecca Dickson

And at just 16 covers, the dining room is an intimate space lauded over by moody artworks from Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud, which hang from its plastered walls.

Cycene at Blue Mountain School, 9 Chance St, London E2 7JB, United Kingdom

Read next: 8 London restaurants that opened in 2022

Two new British hotels revamp the country-house stay



Share Tweet