Chutney Mary, London, UK

Restaurants & Bars


Established in 1990 Chutney Mary pioneered the concept of contemporary Indian dinning in London. Newly relocated to the heart of the West End, the refurbishment of 73 St James’s by MW Eat was a carefully orchestrated project, that drew upon 25 years of experience, delivering quintessential Indian cuisine from fine dining  to the informal. The interior design by DESIGNWILKES, brings together an exotic champagne and cocktail bar, glamorous restaurant and two private dining rooms.

The brief was to provide the highest quality of light, in a way that provided drama and contrast across a range of different materials and finishes. In addition the qualities of ambience, warmth, and high quality smooth dimming to a very low level were paramount. To achieve all the necessary lighting characteristics a combination of low voltage halogen and LED light sources were utilised in a variety of lighting layers and integrated lighting details. With the LED light sources it was critical to use the best possible dimmable drivers to achieve the optimum low end dimming for these sources. Decorative luminaires in the form of pendants and wall lights contributed to a strong interior aesthetic and the overall visual quality was further enhanced with many candles which were used throughout the restaurant, to give a warm, romantic additional layer of low level ambient lighting.

All the lighting was controlled through a programmable dimming system with a variety of lighting scenes set up for different times of day and special event. One of the many challenges faced, was balancing these scenes, against the changing seasonal natural daylight in particular for the front bar area. Much time was spent getting the best optimum balance of lighting to present the restaurant in the best possible light!

Owner: MW Eat – Namita Panjabi, Camellia Panjabi and Ranjit Mathrani
Interior Designer: Design Wilkes
Architect: Anthony Richardson & Partners