The Jane: the most beautiful restaurant in the world


The Jane in Antwerp has been acclaimed as the most beautiful restaurant in the world at the presentation of the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in London. The Jane carried off both the Award for the ‘Best Overall Restaurant’ and the Award for the ‘Best International Restaurant’. For the occasion, the jury composed of chefs, hôteliers, designers and journalists assessed the interior decoration and the character of the catering businesses rather than their culinary achievements.

The restaurant of chefs Sergio Herman and Nick Bril stood out in the selection of 860 contenders from seventy countries. “Fantastic news” was the reaction of Herman on his  Instagram profile page.

The cuisine of The Jane, opened in 2013, was decidedly appreciated already, as Sergio Herman and Nick Bril have been awarded a first Michelin star. And now the interior, designed by the Dutch interior designer Piet Boon, a friend of Herman, is clearly appreciated. The members of the jury were charmed by the way in which the chapel of the former military hospital situated in the ‘Groen Kwartier’ (in Berchem, near Antwerp) has been transformed into a stylish restaurant. 

On the spot of the former organ, there is a bar where meals and cocktails are served. The kitchen in a glass cabin has taken the place of the altar. Where the prie-dieu chairs once stood, design tables and seats have found their place. The combination of low tables and seats with regular tables makes the whole ground floor look like the pit of a theatre. “An old theatre”, as explains Rienk Wiersma, architect in the team of Piet Boon, “thanks to the original floors we opted to keep intact and to the peeled-off paint of the ceiling, accentuating the age of the building and adding just that little bit of ‘squat effect’ that makes this place especially attractive.” Above the pit there is an enormous metal spider, i.e. a gigantic lamp designed by Pslab from Beirut. The modern stained glass windows are a creation of Studio Job. Finishing touch is an abundance of fabulous cushions. “The lamps, fabrics and further decoration were in the hands of our Creative Designer Karin Meyn”, Rienk adds.

This is the seventh edition of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. They are the only awards for design in restaurants and bars in a very wide range of forms : from ships to airports, from museums to food trucks and from respected restaurants with Michelin stars to temporary pop-ups.