Interiors with Sarah Jane Nielsen, owner and director of Sarah Jane Nielsen Limited, at Staveley.

Finos Wine and Tapas bar is opening this week.

What an asset to the eating and drinking fraternity of Ambleside. Relaxed and delicious food presented with superior style.

When we were approached to look at the interior design of this new eatery, we were immediately drawn to its potential. We loved the concept of great quality finger food with an exceptional selection of fine wines and beers; what else would one expect from Jo at Windermere and Ambleside Wine Stores. Imagine the smooth round body of a rioja from the Sierra Nevada complementing a huge chunk of El Manchero cheese, delish bread and olives. And I haven’t even sampled the menu. But I will be down there within the week.

Of course, I am bias, but the menu, the wine list and the service should be as perfect as the decor. The existing shop front had enormous potential, and as a chocolate shop was scrumptious in a medley of colours of cappuccino and mocha, but in its new role the outside has to attract the more discerning drinker or connoisseur of the definitive Parma ham.

The graphite grey backdrop suggests an air of sophistication and intrigue contrasted with an excitement of big colour, fuchsia pink, hot orange and turquoise all suggest there’s fun to be had, with an element of decorum.

The accent colours are dominant in wall finishes from Tektura and Elitis, with the focal design piece of ‘Foulards’ in the seating alcoves, which depicts a Moorish wall hanging with all colours beautifully co-ordinated and pronounced. Our signature method, colour combined with texture, is found on the walls through the faux cow hide in vibrant orange, the floors streaked with graphite and warm wood dressed with tactile velvet and woven upholstery.

The upholstery fabrics provide the softness in a fairly ‘hard’ scheme. Practicality and durability in the hospitality industry are a must, so the stainless steel, mirror, glass and work surfaces require some contrasted warmth from the versatile oak tables and chairs, with stripes, textures and plains in cushions all nodding their caps to the brilliant array of colour.

We used reflective mirror and a versatile lighting system to give the cafe bar its personality dependant on time of day. As we also have to cater for the sunshine (and the lack of it) beaming in the huge front windows, the lighting levels can be adjusted. Dropped beaten copper pendants hung low over the tables add a richness and reflectiveness with directional pools of light to eat by. The rope spheres hang from the ceiling apex in the back room light upwards to the voided ceiling and below to light the ideal private small party venue. All decorative lighting, such as pendants in this scenario require the back up of some LED strips, which cleverly shed light on the walls and ceiling details adding to the atmosphere.

We wish Finos the best of luck with their new venture and look forward to seeing the interior vision leap into action with the bustle of happy customers.