Bringing French romance to the avenues of Collingwood, Smith St Bistrot offers guests classic French cuisine amongst an interior thoughtfully curated by Anthology Studio.
Anthology Founder Sarah Townson was sought by chef-restaurateur Scott Pickett to set the tone for the space after working with the cook on his previous venues. The brief provided to Anthology this time round called for a timeless and atmospheric French bistrot that catered for all guests: those staying for a quick drink, or those settling in for a decadent feast.
The design period took many months as the designer and client looked to align their visions for the space. Many bespoke pieces were created for the restaurant, with a number of restored French antiques including lamps and chairs also placed within.
Guests enter the bistrot through wrought iron gates and distressed lacquered timber panelled doors, with custom gold chandeliers on either side of the entrance. Inside, they are greeted by floor-to-ceiling antique mirrors with hand painted blue frames, placed above burgundy leather scalloped banquettes and white-veined marble tables.
Custom joinery and booths have been crafted by a local furniture maker and are accentuated by classic Parisian art. Living moss sits upon the exposed brickwork, contrasting with the custom wallpaper that was painted by hand. The bar has been framed with the original brass top that acknowledges the building’s history as Saint Crispin.
The implementation of a mezzanine enabled the venue to double its capacity, as well as creating a gallery for quintessential European-style people watching. The main dining room seats 40 guests, with room for 22 guests on the mezzanine that is accessed via a spiral staircase. Above the mezzanine sits a private event room, ‘La vie en Rose’, which has capacity for 70 patrons. A bespoke mural hand-painted by Townson depicts a midnight storm in the Mont Blanc Forest that is sure to pique the interest of those sitting within the space.
Smith St Bistrot’s interior is an exercise in meticulous curation and creation. The collaborative sessions between designer and client has birthed a venue that encapsulates French dissipation in all its glory. The bespoke and antique furniture, combined with handcrafted joinery makes for a culinary escapade seldom seen in Collingwood until its opening.