The Baths Middle Brighton:
251 Esplanade, Brighton VIC
(03) 9539 7000 or middlebrightonbaths.com.au
Chef Paul Raynor came to Australia in the ‘90s as part of the so-called Britpack, originally to run the restaurant in the short-lived relaunch of the Georges department store. In the ensuing years he’s worked at the Stokehouse, Werribee mansion, and then went on to run his own café in St Kilda. It was then the The Baths Middle Brighton opportunity came along.
Convinced of its potential, Paul and his wife went ‘all in’, mortgaging all they had to buy the restaurant venue. Now, some eight years on, running a steady, successful business, they’ve decided to relaunch The Baths Middle Brighton, with a new look and feel from interior design from Wendy Bergman of Bergman & Co.
The relaunch brings greater clarity to Paul’s vision of The Baths being a true multifunctional venue: the café downstairs, restaurant upstairs, and a dedicated function area — all with extraordinary views over the bay.
The Bergman refit is modern, bright and flexible. Environmentally sustainable Morocco natural oak cork flooring shipped in from Portugal was the first medium chosen, and formed the foundation of the redesign with its organic, swirling texture imitating that of the sand below and highlighting the authentic raw exterior elements.
Impressive 3m-high windows remain a focal point, showcasing the unmatched Melbourne view of sea, boats and dolphins, plus stunning colours of the setting sun.
The art deco stone panels around the fireplace remain a feature within the newly created lounge area, with a redesigned cosy nook, featuring comfortable bespoke timber and leather seating by Sam Healy of Brown Suga, idyllic for enjoying the outlook, no matter the weather.
In keeping with customised and sustainable products, bespoke art deco elegant wall and pendant light fittings have been created by Paul Grummisch from Please Please Please.
The black string lights, paired with the black Pedrali Nemea chairs, create a black trim tailoring that echoes the deco railing on the exterior of the building and is balanced with custom made Victorian ash wood tables made by the construction team behind the renovation, VN Projects.
Natural finishes, textured surfaces, straight lines and emulating the bayside views of water and sand were the fundamental design principles used to form a strong Melbourne identity at The Baths Middle Brighton. The overall result is a stunning space drinkers and diners are enjoying for a multitude of reasons.