This article was originally published on Visi.

SLOW in the City, a stylish lounge and workspace diagonally opposite Sandton Gautrain Station, has long provided a quiet haven to commuters who are SLOW members. Now, it features a new restaurant and bar, The Course, which is open to the public. Tonic Design, which was responsible for the interior design of the original SLOW Lounges and SLOW in the City, has created an elegant, modern take on a French brasserie.

It’s open all day – from breakfast to cocktails and dinner – so it needed the kind of style and appeal that could effortlessly make the transition from morning to evening. Phillipe van der Merwe of Tonic Design says he wanted the interior design of the restaurant to both complement the existing interiors of SLOW in the City and differentiate it as a new destination.

Rather than replicating French decor to achieve the effect, he took his inspiration from the proportions and finishes of classic Parisian design. “So it has the richness and overall feel of a more traditional Parisian space, but in its actual detailing it is more contemporary,” he says.


While extending the original palette and the strong base of neutrals they carried over from SLOW – oak flooring and steel elements – Phillipe softened the new space with a warm palette of green, deep rust and ochre yellows. “I really wanted it to be warm and inviting,” he says. “There’s quite a lot of emphasis on beautiful materials.”

The interior glows and twinkles invitingly from a distance when viewed from the street or passing by in a car, and it lives up to its promise once you’re inside with a rich tactile experience.

The materials are of the best quality – marble tabletops, velvet cushions, upholstery in leather and chenille. “We’ve also laid down botanical prints,” says Phillipe. The furniture and lighting, including GUBI bar stools and lights from Denmark, is understatedly beautiful.

As Sandton sprouts more and more monolithic buildings with ever shinier facades, it’s nice to know there is a new pocket of style and comfort to add warmth to this business district.

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