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Dean Street Townhouse, London, Asks: Porn with Those Bangers? (It’s Tasteful)

Bet you can’t spot the very NSFW material in this seemingly SFW restaurant scene! Inside, an up-close look at the U.K. eatery where the porny pattered wallpaper appears to have been designed by a horny teenage boy.

Dean Street Townhouse

With its classic wainscoting, shaded sconces, and racks of china plates, Dean Street Townhouse, in the heart of London’s Soho, looks like a traditional British brasserie. That is, until you look really closely at the wallpaper. What is that, a freshwater eel? And what’s that he’s swimming into? OH!

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Dean St Wallpaper

Click on the on the image at left for an up close look. Warning: It’s totallyNSFW. But it will take your boss a few seconds to figure it out–plentyof time for you to fake a sudden hard-drive crash. What appear to be intricate flower patterns on the walls here are actually little figures standing tall against that burgundy background as if to say, “I”m so happy to see you here for dinner!”

“Historically, Soho was all about brothels,” says designer Martin Brudnizki, of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, who created the space. “We wanted people to walk in and have a good laugh.”

That’s to be expected, as this landmarked Georgian gem is a sibling to Soho House and Shoreditch House, all part of the trendy Soho House Group empire.

The design brief, Brudnizki says, was to create a timeless British restaurant with a real modern interpretation of Soho. That meant the sage, rust and forest green mohair-upholstered furniture is new, but looks like it may have always been there. Red leather banquettes, a long oak dining bar, and reclaimed timber floors all add to the cozy ambiance.

But this is swinging Soho, afterall, so the place can’t be all doilies and tea cozies. “The art on the walls is all porn-based,” says Brudnizki. There are photographs and paintings by some of the hippest British artists, including Damien Hirst, Johnny Yeo, Francesca Lowe, Keith Coventry and Mat Collishaw; the wallpaper was designed by Yeo.

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“When, you walk in and it feels cozy and lovely. But then you look on the walls. It’s like British society,” he says with a mischievous chuckle.

The menu is equally comfy, heavy on mincemeat and boiled potatoes with ketchup and other British, uh, delicacies. “It’s like nursery food,” Brudnizki says. But, in a way, that’s the point. A place to relax, kick back with friends, order up some bangers and mash (ahem) and ogle the pictures.

“It’s sort of like a mad aunts drawing room!,” said one reviewer on the British Web site QYPE. So true. As long as Amy Winehouse is your mad auntie.

Dean Street Townhouse

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About the author

Linda Tischler writes about the intersection of design and business for Fast Company.

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