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For The Perfectionists’ Cafe, the Heathrow outpost of restaurauteur Heston Blumenthal, Afroditi Krassa summoned a few pop culture icons as inspiration. Although the design of the space is resolutely modern, the references come from the golden era of stylish air travel – the 1960s and 1970s. Besides Mad Men and the movie Catch Me If You Can, the interior’s colour schemes and energy pay homage to the design and graphics of those times, from Vernor Panton to Saul Bass.

When travellers first set foot inside, they encounter the bar area, furnished with a propeller-shaped communal table, and outlined in Verner Panton’s Marshmallow seating. Here, they can grab a quick cocktail or snack from the British-themed menu – or order a pizza made in the wood-fired oven – and watch the action at the ice cream counter, outfitted with bespoke pipes. In a first for airport dining, the restaurant serves up liquid nitrogen ice cream, a signature of Blumenthal’s.

Deeper into the space, teal-hued banquettes provide a more quiet and calm atmosphere, with a view of planes landing and taking off. The colour scheme throughout – blues, reds, orange and mustard – go hand in hand with the variegated mix of materials. Dark woods and dark marble contrast against white tile and Formica. And, especially important in a huge setting like Heathrow’s terminal 2, the details – the placement of Eames-like hangers for purses between the chairs, and bankers light fixtures at the tables – draw patrons’ attention in, making the experience a delight, whether they’re in a rush or have a long layover.

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