Last night I was invited to an event with the wonderful Fourth Day PR team at The Boot and Flogger, in Redcross Way, SE1 (coincidentally about 20 steps from our new location). I’ve heard about it for years, but it was my first time inside – and it was even better than I’d imagined. This hidden gem was originally a warehouse, and retains an authentic oldy-worldy charm. A perfect spot to wow visiting friends (or even hardcore Londoners). Around every corner and down the stairs you’ll find yet another quirky nook or private dining room that looks ideal for business meetings, after-work drinks – or a secret assignation. Excuse my snaps, which do not do the place justice, so I’ve nabbed a few pics from their website, but rest assured, last night every seat was taken and the vibe was buzzy. We’ve been meeting with a few startup restaurant businesses lately, and interior styling is always a fascinating part of the mix and a huge part of building a strong restaurant brand.
Historical note: The Boot and Flogger doesn’t refer to whipping boys (mercifully). It was a device for putting a cork in a bottle: a leather ‘boot’ holds the bottle and the wooden ‘flogger’ hammers in a cork.
Of course, retail branding is a vital part of any business, whether you have an office, a shop or a restaurant. People make judgements about your business based on signage, décor, atmosphere and more. And if it’s a space where people will spend time, such as a coffee shop, bar, café or restaurant, the space needs to make your target customers feel comfortable and happy to spend time there.
P.S. Across the (quiet little) street is the Crossbones Graveyard, final resting place of a range of prostitutes and paupers from Bankside’s illustrious history as London’s pleasure quarter. It’s really worth finding out more about Crossbones (and Southwark Mysteries, the mystery plays by John Constable). Friends of Crossbones are currently fundraising to protect the shrine at the gates and create a Garden of Remembrance with Bankside Open Spaces Trust.