Now, we've seen themed bars, and dining rooms with totally different color schemes within the one restaurant. But here at The Strand Restaurant, let's just say there's a lot going on.
Up front, you have a fairly classic, modern main bar. The fireplace in the middle of the next room and the fashion prints on the walls seem to follow in that same vein. But then there are the high bookshelves. And a fisherman painting. And--oh, hello!--an aquarium!
Peer through the fish tank into the third space and you'll see yet another design aesthetic--this one with large pieces of colorful art and a vaguely Asian feel, with teak booths, lanterns and billowing white drapes.
In isolation, each of these looks could be fantastic. Together in the one restaurant? Well ... where is Tim Gunn when you need him to help you say something withering yet diplomatic at the same time?
We really wanted to love The Strand Restaurant--and maybe we will once we get to try it for an actual meal rather than at a standing-room party with a deejay. But we were befuddled by the clash of interior styles. It looks to us like the traces of A Fish Called Avalon (how else to explain the aquarium and fisherman art?) may have derailed the overall design, and no one could decide what The Strand Restaurant really wanted to be.
Fingers crossed they work it out--or that the food is so amazingly good that we don't care what the place looks like.
We didn't see the promised four-person swing, by the way, but perhaps we were just blinded by the exotic fish. Or the Vogue prints. Or the shelves of used books.
Or all of the above.