A CHESTER design practice tasked with designing the interior build of a fine dining restaurant in Manchester has helped it become the first restaurant in Manchester to be awarded a Michelin star in more than 40 years.

Interior design practice James Roberts, specialising in high-end residential and commercial interiors, worked with owner Simon Martin, acclaimed ex-Noma chef, to design the large interior space of fine dining restaurant Mana, before it opened a year ago in Ancoats.

Creative director James Roberts led the design team, who worked closely with Simon to create a practical space that worked for the chefs and front-of-house, but that also created a unique ambience and experience for the customer.

The space is open plan, with eight-metre floor to ceiling curtains, dramatic lighting, a bespoke £300,000 kitchen, and handcrafted walnut seating.

Since it opened its doors, Mana has received an array of glowing reviews by the public and food critics alike, with journalists from the broadsheets hotly tipping the venue for a Michelin star.

The Michelin Guide is the world’s best known independent restaurant and hotel guide, published annually - it awards only the most highly esteemed restaurants in the world with one, two, or three stars.

James said: “Working with Simon Martin was genuinely a joy. We both love what we do and we’re over the moon with the Michelin star - it’s a testament to the whole team’s dedication and creativity.

"We’ve put Mana on the Michelin Guide map, and Manchester is back in the culinary spotlight.

“It’s taken a huge effort from me and the team to get Mana’s interior design absolutely right. But we did it. And the customer experience of walking into the space is truly breathtaking - it will deliver value, customers, and hopefully Michelin stars to Mana for many years to come.”

Simon Martin, owner of Mana, added: "Being awarded a Michelin star is an absolute game-changer for Manchester. It’s been a long time coming to this city, over 40 years, and now we have it.

"But it really wasn’t our main focus, we just love what we do and simply aim to be the best we can be.

"Creating this dining experience certainly was a journey. The team at James Roberts Design had the ultimate challenge - to get into my head and understand what we were striving to achieve with the space.

"We placed our trust in them and they nailed it. The interior reflects our values and beautifully presents the food we craft.

"Diners are wowed and the space obviously impressed the Michelin inspectors who not only judge the food, but also consider guests’ needs including their surroundings and experience."