Cherchez la Tarte

Cherchez la Tarte is the first brick and mortar cafe of the successful eponymous St Petersburg-based patisserie brand. It is located in Pushkin, the historical imperial residence of the Russian royal family, just south of St Petersburg. The cafe’s location directly next to Catherine Palace provided Studio Caché with rich visual queues while the industrial aspect of the building dictated other elements of the final design.

With its modest 60 square metres, the emphasis of the cafe’s design was on retaining the maximum possible feeling of brightness and space without reducing it to a clinical minimum.  The design makes references to the rich, opulent history of the surrounding architecture and interiors of the Imperial residence, while also conveying the youth, feminity and playfulness of the brand. The interactive elements of different layers, patinas and finishes within the material palette also allude to the beautiful yet dilapidated state of many of St Peterburg’s historical mansions - something that hugely appeals to the Studio’s aesthetic. 

Elements of gold on the walls, counter and pendant lamps reference the distinctive onion domes of the surrounding churches as well as the decorative finishes on the desserts served at the cafe. 

The ephemeral light fittings in the corridor were chosen to playfully allude to merengues, while the chandelier from large white beads is an homage to the distinctive cakes that Cherchez la Tarte sell onsite. To compliment these subtle references to baking are the antique baking moulds displayed on the walls. 

2021 Pushkin, Russia 60 sq.m.