Isla & Double Standard

Role: Interior Architect
Completed 2019

All-day restaurant Isla offers laid-back, elegant dining from a seasonal menu with a predominantly minimal intervention wine list. Integrated with the lobby and library, Isla gently spills out to the garden terrace nestled in a residential area of Kings Cross.

The cornerstone of Dawson’s culinary offering at The Standard, Isla is inspired by Britain’s island geography and focuses on coastal cuisine, light proteins and seasonal British produce accompanied by a selection of minimal intervention wines. The space features an abundance of foliage set alongside rich blues and reds to add depth and warmth, while the outside terrace has a retractable awning, providing welcome shade on hot summer days.

Meanwhile, Double Standard is the ground floor’s most boisterous space. With a menu inspired by traditional pub classics and New York City dive bar food, the standalone bar serves craft beers, wine and classic cocktails alongside Dawson’s menu, which runs late into the night. Heavy-set wooden doors, textured glass and TfL-inspired upholstery encapsulate the feeling of a British local, whilst pastel tiled flooring, rounded soft pink shelving and an exposed felt ceiling create a modern and playful feel.

Rawson, who trained under Nuno Mendes before going on to launch Lucky Chip and Pachamama, where he was awarded YBF Chef of the Year, comments: “I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of creating menus, which reflect the distinct personalities of Double Standard and Isla. Double Standard is a more raucous, convivial space, so I’ve come up with a selection of elevated snacks perfect for sharing (or soaking up a few pints). Isla’s menu is more delicate and much lighter – perfect for enjoying in the summer sunshine.”

Ahead Awards winner 2020

The grand prize of the night was awarded to The Standard, a transformation of the former Camden Town Hall Annex in Kings Cross. One Judge described the 1970’s punk narrative as ‘an avalanche of the senses’, while another believed the property was ‘exactly what the London hotel scene needed’.