Ashley Sutton eatery Dear Lilly for roof of IFC mall
Award-winning Australian designer Ashley Sutton has launched a restaurant and bar with a floral theme in a glass-walled space on the roof of IFC mall.
Dear Lilly is described as a romantic restaurant and bar inspired by the hole-in-the-wall florists found along Parisian boulevards. As with Sutton’s other projects in Hong Kong, such as nightlife venues Iron Fairies, J.Boroski, Ophelia and Yojimbo, Dear Lilly is a collaboration with restaurant group Dining Concepts.
Floor-to-ceiling shelves in Dear Lilly are crammed with vintage perfume bottles brimming with flowers, and hundreds of bouquets hang from the gently swaying kinetic ceiling.
“Dear Lilly is unlike anything I’ve ever done before,” Sutton says. “It’s an incredibly enchanting space filled with flowers, love letters and charming antique ornaments I’ve sourced from around the world. I want people to step inside and feel like they’re in a fairytale.”
Heart-shaped marble inlays in the floor are engraved with extracts from love letters. After reading thousands of love letters from throughout history, Sutton decided to fill Dear Lilly with extracts from letters sent by soldiers to their sweethearts during World Wars I and II. The restaurant’s name even came from one of the letters.
Love letters and poems scrawled on scrolls of paper are piled on the bar alongside vintage black-and-white photos of couples. The bar and mixologists’ workstations are decorated with typewriters, rolls of ribbon and other knick-knacks.
For romantic meals, Dear Lilly offers intimate booths designed as supersized versions of vintage jewellery boxes. For the steel heart-shaped structures, the metal has been treated to look like tarnished sterling silver.
Embroidery and crowns
Meanwhile, the serving staff at the restaurant wear outfits that feature embroidered button-up shirts or Victorian-inspired dresses and flower crowns. Mixologists wear vintage aprons with magnifying glasses, antique scissors and other knick-knacks poking out their pockets.
Alongside classic drinks, Dear Lilly’s serves signature items inspired by 1920s French cocktails. To match the decor, the cocktails are garnished with edible flowers and sprigs of lavender. Dear Lilly also offers a range of beers served on its terrace overlooking Victoria Harbour.
The cuisine is contemporary European featuring Mediterranean favours.