This spring, the Belgian city of Antwerp debuts what promises to become a new mecca for design lovers and food aficionados alike, as it opens the doors to The Jane restaurant. Set within the chapel of a former military hospital, the newly renovated space is the result of a three year meeting of some of the very best creative minds. As The Jane’s founder, Michelin-star chef Sergio Herman explains, “To me, dining out is about more than a plate of fabulous food; the overall restaurant experience has become progressively important in recent years. So it’s not just the dishes that must reflect our vision and our ‘feel’, but everything that surrounds them too, from the front desk to the table cloths, the crockery – even the bread baskets. Everything at The Jane was specially made for us. And that takes time.”
Divided into the main restaurant and the Upper Room Bar, the vision for the ‘fine dining meets rock ’n roll’ interior was nurtured into existence by Herman, his right hand man chef Nick Bril and the renowned Dutch designer Piet Boon. Working in the spirit of authenticity and with a respect for materials that ‘age beautifully’, Piet Boon® Studio preserved key details like the original mosaic flooring and weathered ceilings. Designed in contrast to the time-worn surrounds, are contemporary interventions such as the glassed encased kitchen which takes center stage where the chapel alter once stood – highlighting the culinary arts taking place within.
Other details of note were born of a collaboration between Piet Boon® Studio and a select group of creative partners. The Beirut-based design studio .PSLAB is responsible for one of the space’s most striking features – a massive, 800 kilogram, radiating chandelier. The Belgian talents behind Studio Job put a modern-day twist on traditional stained glass windows with their printed version, incorporating tongue in cheek imagery such as apple cores and penguins, gas masks and birthday cakes.
In addition to the spectacular large scale ambiance, diners will enjoy smaller scale custom details like leather bread baskets designed by Michaël Verheyden, Florentine knives designed by Tomer Botner, appliances embellished with tattoo motifs, neon artwork in the form of a scull by Kendell Geers, and sharp staff uniforms by G-Star.
The Jane is now open from Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner but be warned – the lower level is booked three months out and the upper one month. Reservations can be made at thejaneantwerp.com.