Like a mirrored gold-spun rubix cube, wrapped in carnation red, interior designer Martin Brudnizk has created more than a homage to Annabel’s adored past-decadence – he has crafted a wondrous experience-led interior, a sumptuous dining space of Italian frivolity. Matteo’s is the antithesis of all that one would expect from Annabel’s newest Mayfair Italian.
Entering Annabel’s 26,000-square-foot Berkeley Square residence, beaming wide-smiled staff mischievously lead you into what feels like the opening of a 1950s Oscars’ ceremony, as you ascend into a playful room of Dolce Vita. Mindfully curated, even Annabel’s once auctioned off Christies’ artwork is back with rapturous applause to beautify Matteo’s interior.
It is this refined detail that notably lifts Matteo’s to another level of pleasure. Drinks are served in swirl-stemmed crystal wine glasses, adding a gentle femininity to a theatrical scene. Table lamp shades are plume-cherry red, held-up by a golden busted maiden. While the au so familiar emerald-green champagne flutes maintain their polished potted pits, designed to stop those weary champagne fingers from slipping.
Annabel’s toilets are as beautifully designed as they are refreshingly vocal. The ladies has a paraquette bird-chorus rebounding gently off the exquisitely designed mural walls. Think Rainforest Cafe met Avatar – a thoroughly visceral lavatorial experience. While in the mens’ quarters, a 500kg tiled crocodile languishes with large basins; apparently crafted in Tottenham, and dramatically craned into Annabel’s Victorian sky-high Berkeley Square windows.
The menu is of course wonderfully Italian trad. with a twist of Alice in Wonderland playfulness. It is as if Matteo himself designed the food menu; for the restaurant is named after Richard Caring’s 5-year-old son – Matteo – who fittingly opened his namesake with a ribbon snip.
Dinner was delightfully fun, a colourful forest of tall crudites arrived, peaking cheerly over a chilled mini-champagne ice bucket. The Prime delivered Quaver size black truffle, shaved over delicate Tortellini fresh pasta. While desserts were resplendently bold, with crystal bowls bursting with creamy Rum Baba, and a gorgeously layered Tiramisu. But what makes the dining experience even more spectacular, are the grand ceiling mirrors all reflecting beautiful food and table delights in hypnotic repetition.
For those loyal Annabelians concerned that their rarified party-jewel would never hit those high nostalgic notes, well they can now trot-on happily down to 46 Berkeley Square. For Matteo’s is more than a homage to the old pink table-clothed Italian, it is a polished and undeniable ‘beautiful favourite’ on the Berkeley Square block. Bravo Annabel’s.