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ASK Italian: Where Rustic Meets Modern Day

It was my friend’s birthday the other week, so we all decided to treat ourselves to some fine Italian cuisine whilst on a day out shopping in Taunton. The restaurant of choice was the fantastic ASK Italian. Although we were there for a birthday celebration, I was of course, more interested in the interior of the restaurants (don’t tell her).

The “Industrial” and “Loft” look is taking over the hospitality sector’s interior style by storm, lately. Even “Nick’s Bistro” in Coronation Street adopted the look! However, ASK Italian, established in 1993, seems to be taking a different direction when it comes to the interiors of their re-vamped restaurant branches.

There seems to be a focus on the “mid-century” looks throughout the restaurants, a style that has been mixed with contemporary modern day and the Taunton branch is certainly no exception for achieving this!

The most obvious feature of the mid-century style is the furniture that has been used in the branch. Styles that were originally designed by furniture masters Eero Saarinen and Jean Pouvré have been implemented and there are splashes of colour to create a clean, contemporary feel.

Tulip chairs, inspired by Eero Saarinen, have been used in the restaurant and create a fantastic feature. The original Tulip chair was designed in the 1950’s and was a style that has been dubbed “ahead of it’s time” adding to the timeless style that is present throughout the dining space.

Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair

Jean Pouvré’s “Standard Chair” style used, adds an element of “industrial” style with its steel finish. However, instead of using the raw metal look that has been favourable lately, the metal frame has been powder coated in white to portray a fresh, modern finish.

Jean Pouvre Standard Chair

Brightly coloured seat pads have been used throughout and it is the contrast between the seat frames, shells and cushions that create the juxtaposition of traditional and modern finishes. This, naturally, creates timeless setting. A great reflection of Italian cuisine that has traditionally been an ageless culinary talent.    

To strengthen a “rustic” feel that reflects Italian culture, there are elements of natural materials that have also been used that flow throughout the restaurant. The bar is constructed from marble (an Italian favourite) and the wooden table tops are a great addition to accompany the wooden floors and seat shells. The tiling used in parts of the floor and walls, are an emphasis on the rustic “Tuscan kitchen” setting and creates a personal experience for diners and will surely be a memorable one.

Marble Bar

At ASK Italian, Taunton, the “rustic Italian” feel seems to present itself throughout the entire dining experience. From entry, through the dish choices on the menu, up to the presentation of the bill. There’s a fantastic reflection of an everlasting style and culture, which is all a great complement to the building in which it is situated… the Old Post Office. Well worth a visit! 

Posted by: Michael Hurd

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