Location: London, UK

Interior Designer: Camila Rodrigues, COR London

Photography: Vigo Jansons

Cavita had to look under-designed, welcoming, and lived-in while feeling unique and sophisticated due to its Central London location. To achieve the design brief of a ‘sophisticated Mexican granny’s backyard’, COR London leaned on natural materials referenced in traditional Mexican architecture, such as hollow terracotta bricks in room dividers, bar columns, and brick lights on the restaurant’s internal walls. The centrepiece bar, with its pink and terracotta walls, textured counter, and warm lighting, is a showcase of femininity.

The kitchen and heart of the restaurant had to be open and inviting and needed to be like ‘when you are at your granny’s house, and you can sit and talk to her while she cooks’. The bespoke chef’s table stands at the entrance to an open kitchen, where Cavita and her majority-female team plate showstopping dishes.

Additional modernity is provided via the dining room’s furniture, with walnut and leather cushioned chairs complementing granite tabletops and delicate paper lamps from Oaxaca’s Ka Iluminación Creativa, commissioned specially for the restaurant and are made of flowers picked from the ground near the trees they fall from, and all have a significant meaning for the chef.

Another focal point is the beautiful Altar de los Muertos, designed over a reclaimed composite stone fireplace mantle COR London added to the building’s original chimney breast. Afterwards, guests can descend to Mayahuel mezcaleria, a subterranean mezcal bar that incorporates the building’s original vaults with intimate touches such as booth seating, velvet curtains, and vintage accessories. Whilst Cavita is the femininity and warmth, Mayahuel mezcaleria is masculine and fun.

This was an ambiguous project for the studio. The main challenge was creating two opposite atmospheres within the same property. COR London had to use the materials and detail cleverly, so they could have a sense of harmony and unity in both the restaurant and mezcal bar while remaining true to their main characteristics.