Heston Blumenthal

experiential airport dining

Airport restaurants aren’t usually beacons of gastronomy. Heston Blumenthal wanted to change that, with a new Terminal 2 destination that would serve fast, simple food, brilliantly.

We’d worked with Heston before, creating the identity for Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, London. This time, he asked us to help brand his new venture from scratch, including the logo, look and name.    

In our research, we identified a kind of person who wouldn’t stand for soggy chips or dry chicken.

Someone who’ll go out of their way for the perfect burger — and go hungry if they can’t find it.

Inspired by Heston’s first TV series In Search of Perfection, we came up with the idea of The Perfectionists’ Café, a place where the world’s most exacting diners would feel at home, with food for perfectionists and created by perfectionists.

Its icon: the Clockwork Knife — a whimsical, Heath-Robinson style object which encapsulates Heston’s surprising, technically precise approach.

Working with mechanical sculptor Rob Higgs, we translated our sketches into a fully working object — a bejewelled artefact within the heart of the restaurant. The only kinetic sculpture at Terminal 2, the Clockwork Knife 

draws diners in for a unique experience, turning heads in the middle of the world’s busiest airport.

We created the full brand ecosystem for the Café, from signage to website, menus, uniforms and all other branded restaurant items. To underpin this, we also created design guidelines to ensure the brand — and importantly the Knife — keeps its edge.

I don't know if I can express how incredible it has been working with Richard Seymour. He has an uncanny ability to understand what makes someone tick — what influences them, what inspires them and what they are trying to create. He captures the essence of a person and a project and then translates it into a perfect representation of that person's work. The Clockwork Knife is sheer brilliance! He is a partner in the endless pursuit of perfection and has been absolutely instrumental in getting The Perfectionists' Café created

Heston Blumenthal