The Royale Agricultural Bar, London

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The Royale Agricultural Bar, London

The Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London, has hosted many strange events in its 154-year history: flower shows, livestock parades, cycle races, circus performances and dog shows, and most recently, the SleepEvent hotel design trade fair. Hundreds of vendors, designers and suppliers turn up to discuss doorhandles, handbasins and indestructible wallpapers - fascinating no doubt, but the long days, harsh lighting, incessant noise and dry air can be exhausting to body and spirit. Luckily, there's the Sleep Bar, the hub and heart of the experience, where hot and cold drinks of varying strenght can be obtained, along with cake and, if you are lucky, a place to sit. 

Every year, a different designer or studio is chosen for the challenge of designing a new vision for the Sleep Bar - a coveted appointment, because it’s an opportunity to show off your chops that money can't buy. Centrally located and full of life-saving goodies, the Sleep Bar is the one place at the fair that every single visitor is bound to visit.

At Stylt, we often work with local connection, and the Royale Agricultural Bar is no exception. We immersed ourselves in the fascinating past of the venue, the Royal Agricultural Hall (which is now known as the Business Design Centre) and the many exciting events that took place there.  What we really wanted to offer tired SleepEvent visitors was a break, so we decided to take our cue from the flower shows and produce exhibitions. Our Sleep Bar was a lush refuge, bursting with colour, texture, flowers and foliage. 

The 2014 Sleep Bar was very busy, and many visitors lingered in the comfortable nooks, chatting, eating, drinking and relaxing, as well as doing business. The Royale Agricultural Bar seemed to give visitors a rare chance to catch their breath and recharge their batteries (both literallyand figuratively speaking, thanks to sponsorship from AirCharge), so we consider our mission accomplished.