Sneak a look inside Idris Elba’s The Parrot

A new cocktail bar and live music venue co-founded by Idris Elba and Lee and Nicky Caulfield is now open, set within the iconic Waldorf Hilton hotel.

Set within the historic Waldorf Hilton hotel in London, The Parrot is a new, intimate cocktail bar that has been opened by twin brothers Lee and Nicky Caulfield, in collaboration with actor and producer Idris Elba. The space is the result of a creative partnership between the Waldorf Hilton and the co-founders, who were inspired by the building’s history and the exoticism of hotel’s unique Palm Court.

Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, the Waldorf was originally built in 1908 and has operated as a hotel since. The exotic namesake for the hotel's new bar is alluded to in the interior design, which was carried out by new London-based freelance interior designers Anna Wudkowska and Marika Mierzejewska, also known as Flavour of Pink. Within The Parrot, bespoke, hand-painted palm wallpaper lines the walls, while an abundance of greenery has been planted throughout the space.

Image: Anna Wudkowska

Rich turquoise and midnight blue velvet seating is dotted throughout – The Parrot is a cosy 60 seater – and the bar front has been adorned with luxurious teal fish scale tiles. Metallic and rattan detailing complement the opulence of the hotel The Parrot lies in, while exposed Edison filament bulbs conjure the atmospheric feeling of a speakeasy. We spoke to Flavour of Pink to find out more about this exclusive hideaway:

What inspired your design for The Parrot?

After an initial meeting with Lee Caulfield, who envisaged a garden theme for the bar, we put our heads together and came up with some variations on his idea. A tropical garden theme was one of them; Lee was very excited about this proposal and we decided on the name – 'The Parrot' – which then gave us additional ideas for the final version of the concept. Our final themes were tropical, vintage and inspired.

Image: Anna Wudkowska

How did the history of the building influence your design?

The Palm Court, a majestic space inside the Waldorf Hilton, inspired us to introduce the tropical theme into our proposal. We thought this would connect to the building's history, be on trend and offer a slightly different feel and experience to the rest of the hotel. We noticed that the original window frames would play a big part in the space – they gave us that vintage feel that we decided to continue in the retro bar design and some furniture styles.

Image: Catch52

Did the building pose any restrictions or challenges to the design?

Due to the historic nature of the building, the outside appearance needed to be kept as unchanged as possible. Some structural restrictions meant we had to keep the layout as it was as well. At the beginning it seemed challenging, but in the end worked to our advantage as it allowed us to create different, cosy areas in the space and influenced the choice of furniture as well. On the other hand, our favourite part of the design process was seeing the finished product, and our vision becoming reality!

Were you given a specific design brief?

The brief was quite open. Our design had to relate to a garden but needed to be kept elegant. Therefore we decided to interpret it in different ways and give the owners a couple of options, not only the classical garden theme one thinks of straight away.

Image: Catch52

How were Idris Elba and the Caulfield twins involved in the design concept, if at all?

We worked closely with Lee and Nicky throughout the design development stages to make sure they were happy with the overall concept. They got especially involved in the execution part of the project which they lead on, including their choice of contractors and trades. We also had an opportunity to meet with Idris a couple of times to hear his feedback.

What feeling do you hope to invoke in guests that visit The Parrot?

We want them to feel that the space is cosy; we have tried to create a relaxed yet elegant environment, which can act as a tropical hideaway. We hope that guests will enjoy the space!

Image: Anna Wudkowska

Feature image: Catch52

Working on something exciting? Submit your project to Design Curial.

Submit project to DesignCurial

Compelo Ltd Registered Office: John Carpenter House, John Carpenter Street, EC4Y 0AN, England. No: 06339167.Copyright 2019 Compelo. All rights reserved.