My design London: Mark Hix

Restaurateur Mark Hix has just added another London restaurant to his arty dining empire. He reveals his love of Scandinavian design and Stilnovo lamps.
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His string of restaurants in London is almost as famous for the art on the walls as the food on the menus — most notably, at Tramshed, Shoreditch, where Damien Hirst’s work Cock and Bull — a cockerel perched on a cow preserved in formaldehyde in a giant glass tank — dominates the steak-and-chicken eaterie. With six restaurants already in London and one in Lyme Regis, he has just added Hixter, in an old East India Company warehouse in Devonshire Square, EC2.


I live with my partner, the actress Lara Cazalet, and our 18-month-old daughter, Isla, in a Victorian house in Notting Hill Gate. The decoration is quite simple — wooden floorboards and Farrow & Ball’s Strong White on the walls, which changes colour in different lights and rooms. We did up the kitchen completely, although the previous owners left a Lacanche cooker behind. I don’t cook at home much but I added new worktops made from thick iroko wood and put in a spiral cellar. Golborne Road is much more interesting than the East End when it comes to buying antiques and bric-a-brac, which I do a lot, both for home and for my restaurants.


Not just for washing: Mark admires his polished bateau tub from The Cast Iron Bath Company every single day


I love design. I’ve got a mix of Scandinavian design and I’ve started collecting Stilnovo lamps and chandeliers from the Fifties. They add a nice colourful touch, as it’s quite minimal otherwise. I also love my new French bateau bath from the Cast Iron Bath Company. It looks good, although I’ve only ever used it three times as I always end up jumping in the shower. But I look at it every single day, twice a day.


I go to Renaissance on City Road (, which sells the most amazing grand old fireplaces and chandeliers. I’m also a fan of Les Couilles du Chien on Golborne Road. I’ve just bought two big shelves - old Manchester Evening News racks - for the new Devonshire Square restaurant. 


Gary Webb. He’s an interesting artist and sculptor. There’s a sculpture by him in the new restaurant and I might get him to do wall light fittings for my next restaurant on the South Bank, which will open next year.




Left: chandelier from Renaissance. Right: Belly Button Boy by artist and sculptor Gary Webb


I do like the classic galleries like the Royal Academy but Tate Modern is a great contrast. Big public art spaces are good. There are loads of little galleries scattered all over London, too, which serve the purpose of bringing art to Londoners. I’ve got lots of favourites.


I like Hoi Polloi in Shoreditch, which has fantastic design. And I want to try Oblix in the Shard, but when I tried to take my twin daughters (from his marriage to ex-wife Suzanne) for their 19th birthday, I couldn’t even book a table. There are so many places in London now that I haven’t been to... there are so many openings you can’t keep up.


Mark sources unusual antiques from Les Couilles du Chien, Notting Hill for his home and restaurants


I like Golborne Road Market, right on my doorstep. You can get fantastic soup and lovely Moroccan treats.


We are usually in Dorset at weekends where I have a little wooden beach house, so a lazy day there might be anything from fishing to having friends over for lunch.

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