AD | After I started experiencing extreme generalised anxiety, there was a LOT that I couldn’t do anymore. Public transport? Nope. Going anywhere by myself? NOPE. Eating in a restaurant? NOPITY NOPE NOPE. Which was a crying shame because I love food. I love trying new food from restaurants and I think going out for a meal is the perfect way to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Thankfully over the last few years as my anxiety has been improving more and more, I’ve been able to introduce restaurant visits back into my life. And I’m at a point with my anxiety now where they don’t bother me much at all anymore!

And I think I can speak for a lot of people – regardless of whether you suffer from any mental illness or not – that hospitality interior architecture is incredibly important and can sometimes make or break an experience you have at a restaurant. 

Here are some things I like to see when it comes to restaurant interiors which will make my experience at a particular restaurant a better one:

Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

Air conditioning

I know this isn’t technically an interior so I’ll keep this brief but one of my anxiety triggers is getting too hot. So air conditioning is a huge plus whenever I visit a restaurant. Is there anything worse than eating a hot meal and feeling your face get hotter and hotter with no means of cooling down? Ugh!

Big windows

I love big windows in almost any room or building but I think they’re extra nice in a restaurant. I remember visiting Great Yarmouth one Summer and going into a restaurant there which was entirely in a basement. No windows at ALL and super low ceilings. It was incredibly claustrophobic and not a comfortable experience at all!

No harsh lighting

Lighting is a funny thing in restaurants because obviously you don’t want it so dark that you can’t differentiate your knife from your spoon (potential A&E visit) but not too bright that you feel like you’re under a spot light. Lighting can make such a huge difference so a happy medium is always good.

Rustic features

This is purely a personal preference and some people might find this sort of interior has the opposite effect on them but I love a rustic interior or elements of rustic interiors in a restaurant. I love all the wood and bare brick walls. I just find that sort of design naturally quite calming.

Relaxed environment

I think the interiors of a restaurant can play a huge part in weather people are relaxed there or not. I’m not a huge fan of posh places where I don’t even know what to do with myself. I also love pub dinners occasionally but sometimes something nicer is needed. Finding that happy, relaxed medium between them is important for me.

Neutral colours

Obviously it highly depends on the specific restaurant and perhaps the type of cuisine they sell there but in general, I tend to prefer more neutral colours in a restaurant environment than bright colours which hit you in the face. Think grey, brown, cream and any pale colour.

If you’ve ever watched Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, you’ll know how important decor and interiors are on business. Some of the places he goes to look like they haven’t had a make over in 60 years and customers and clients can tell. Therefore it certainly can have an impact on sales and business.

I’d love to hear what your ideal restaurant might look like on the inside! Do you like any of the same things that I do? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. I agree with all of these! Especially lighting. Sometimes I got to places with fluorescent lights and it makes me feel like I’m at a McDonalds instead of at a nicer place.

  2. I hate hate hate hate air con. I’m always freezing and I can never enjoy my food because I’m so cold. I rarely take my jacket off when I eat out which obviously makes things a little less comfortable. I like quite rustic features too and soft lighting, I’m not a fan of when everything is super bright and harsh x


  3. I totally agree with you! You’re paying for the experience as well as the food so a good interior is vital. I love vibrant, interesting artwork in a restaurant and also lots of plants – the only point of yours I don’t agree with is air con as it gives me migraines! I guess my compromise is outside seating 😊

  4. I think I agree with you on basically every point! The restaurant in the picture is pretty much my dream. I love quirky features and exposed brick walls, with loads of plants and big airy spacious rooms. It’s all about feeling relaxed when you’re enjoying your meal!

  5. I agree with air conditioning when needed, but it can’t be runaway air conditioning. Going from heat to the arctic makes me feel queasy. I also appreciate a restaurant where you can carry on a conversation without shouting.

  6. Interior for me is so important – as well as cleanliness! I worked in hositality for ten years and know that front of house impressions are so key!

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