Project Green Tea – Launching a fab West Didsbury collaboration

The new Green Tea restaurant complete with launch night red carpet

Being self-employed can sometimes be a fairly solitary experience, so sometimes it can be great to be part of a team. Although I do work with builders, trades and decorators etc, the lion’s share of my time is spent in my own company, sourcing, designing, doing admin, dealing with tenants and the responsibility for all of that rests on my shoulders. Being the interior design cog of the Green Tea wheel for the last 8 weeks has been a lovely experience, with different talents, expertise and characters all combining to create a new look for what was an overlooked little local Chinese restaurant. Looks a bit different to the image below taken in mid-August, eh…


When I first started on Twitter, I was VERY sceptical about the whole thing. Complete waste of blinkin time, I’d thought, how will I find time for that on top of everything else I do?! Rather annoyingly however, people kept going on and on about it, so I decided to give it a go and test the water, fully expecting to get bored of Paris Hilton et al within days. To my surprise, I found it not only fun, but informative, educational and business friendly. Within weeks I’d made contacts who would prove both useful and entertaining, and I guess Project Green Tea is the culmination, though not the end of that process. Amongst others featured in this blog, Helen and Pete at Didsbury Life (Tweeters Extraordinaire) have proven to be not only great business contacts but also now good friends, and through the power of social media and fantastic local networking, it feels like the ground work’s been laid for many more collaborations. They were the instigators for the project and have been the creative glue to hold it all together, designing Green Tea’s web-site, menus, sorting their social media as well as co-ordinating all the different businesses, Moregeous included, who’ve been involved in the transformation.

There are some more ‘before’ pictures of the restaurant here and a little of the thought process behind the design here, but for those of you who’ve been watching the process from the start, this weekend was the Green Tea launch party, so I got to take and now post some cool shots of the finished room.

First it was time for Jennie to light the candles in the newly revealed Burton Road window, with goodie bags stacked at the ready…

The oriental style flower candles from Habitat sit beautifully on the capiz shell mats, and believe it or not I spent hours finding these tea-light holders as they had the lined effect in the glass to reflect the linear feel to the cladding and wallpaper. Obsessive, I know. See the orange line running along the glass? That picks up the wallpaper orange stripe. God is in the detail and all that….

The view into the restaurant from the street with Cactus Design’s linear window signage, and finally you can see the wallpaper, the timber cladding and capiz shell lights all finished 🙂

Sian (my namesake but with a hat on her ‘i’) at the Flower Lounge, Didsbury provided a stunning centre piece for the room:

Jennie started to pour the potent Green Tea cocktails when the film crew from Zemap Productions arrived to film the launch:

With mini-cupcakes from AiryFairy Cakes stacked high, the food started to flow from the kitchen and it was sheer torture, only being able to photograph it! There was 5 spice coriander beef, pork stew, king prawn noodles, sticky spare ribs, fire crackling chilli chicken, all far too tempting for words:

So now it’s up, what do you reckon? Does the wallpaper do it’s job and inspire thoughts of the BenXi maple leaves; does the linear charcoal timber cladding reflect in a stylish way the coal industry of the region and do the capiz shell lights capture one of the romantic legends of the mountains where a pearl was the prize? All we needed now were the guests…..

Well, actually, we’d have all preferred if no-one had turned up as then we could have devoured all the scrumptious food ourselves but Jennie and Xiaona forced us to dim the lights and open the doors 😉 There’s Dangerous Dave, heading up for seconds even though the Chilli Chicken blew his socks off:

Pete pretending to listen to Liz but really he’s admiring the wallpaper, lol

Jo licking her Sticky Soy Ribs fingers…

Helen keeping a beady eye on who’s having too much and Mr M ready to rap them on the knuckles with his spoon…

Speeches and a celebratory firecracking firework from the Jennie and Xiaona. Dad STILL eating… and this amuses me massively, on the second picture of the girls, I’ve photoshopped him out….

Rowena and Lawrence enjoying the night…

Me distracting Helen (Mrs West Didsbury) mid-interview with a camera flash, oops!

Local food blogger Liz looking demure as she’s interviewed by Hannah…

Finally, a shot of the full-time Green Tea girls with the part-timers H and I, honourary Green Tea girls for a few short weeks! How’s this for colour co-ordination 😉


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