My West London Life

The Ivy Kensington Brasserie and John Bristow, BBC Proms


In celebration of this year’s BBC Proms, The Ivy Kensington Brasserie has partnered with Josh Bristow, a London-based artist and illustrator. Hosted at the nearby Royal Albert Hall, on display will be a selection of intrinsically designed bunting, created by Josh Bristow and inspired by Kensington, its iconic landmarks, the BBC Proms and wonders of London

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Chertsey, Surrey, and grew up there which gave me lots of great memories.

Where are you based now?

I live in Weybridge in Surrey now. I have just bought my first flat which I am so proud of. It’s a great location as it has fast trains into London and I’m not too far from the big city.

How did you find your style of illustration?

I’ve always drawn since a young age and found the more I drew the more my style developed naturally. It’s crazy when I look back at previous work from a few years ago and notice things that I don’t like or now look strange to me! I find my illustrative style evolves the more and more I draw. My style can of course be tailored to a particular brief or client request but I always strive to stay true to my unique illustrative technique and look.

Can you discuss the collaboration and how you came to work with The Ivy Kensington Brasserie?

The Ivy Collection got in touch with me after having seen a recent project I was working on. I have collaborated with The Ivy Kensington Brasserie to create a range of illustrated collateral in celebration of 2018’s BBC Proms Season. As The Ivy Kensington Brasserie is situated on High Street Kensington just down the road from the Royal Albert Hall, the restaurant wanted to offer its customers the chance to have a pre-Proms dining experience inspired by BBC Proms. The facade of the restaurant has been decorated in beautiful floral blooms complete with instrumental props relevant to the BBC Proms and my illustrated designs are intertwined within the install using quintessentially British bunting. There are three different sketches, one of the restaurant’s
façade, one of the Royal Albert Hall, and one floral summer design which also works as a repeat pattern on the set menu. As we are in a digital age I also transferred these to social media assets and animated gifs.

What were your reference points for creating your designs?​

My reference points were traditional elements of British summer. I kept the illustrations playful and free by using marker pens for a sketched fun feel and I like the way elements of white space are visible within the illustrations to really allow the eye to appreciate the illustrations even from afar.

What has been the most enjoyable part of the partnership?

The most enjoyable part for me was having a client who really loves what you do and understands your interpretations. It was lovely working with the team at The Ivy Kensington Brasserie.

How do you feel when you see your work outside The Ivy Kensington Brasserie?

In short, it feels great. It’s such an accomplishment for me personally to have my work presented in such a beautiful area of London.

What are your favourite spots in West London to:Eat / what’s your favourite dish on The Ivy Kensington Brasserie

I am a firm lover of classic dishes and really like the restaurant’s chicken Milanese


Other than sipping on the bespoke cocktails inspired by BBC Proms at The Ivy Kensington Brasserie, I really love a rooftop bar so I can appreciate the London skyline. For my birthday I visited Bar Elba in Waterloo. It’s a great location and well designed.


I think summers in London are well spent on long lazy days on Clapham Common soaking up the sun.

Feel creative

I would have to say the Victoria & Albert Museum. It is my favourite London museum for its mix of history and contemporary pieces. The actual architectural building itself is beautiful and I love wandering along its many corridors and halls to see the exhibits within.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

There are so many places I would still like to visit so I cannot say for  certain where my all-time favourite destination would be. However,  last year I went to Toronto and got a ferry out to the Toronto Islands. I found myself completely alone on one of the beaches and it was so surreal and beautiful.

If you weren’t a talented illustrator what else would you be doing?

I’m very lucky as I have the best of both worlds. Having studied at  London College of Fashion in BA Fashion Illustration I work as a freelance illustrator. I am also employed at a London Design Agency working as a graphic designer, so I am able to pursue my passion for illustration whilst also enjoy the perks of full time employment!


The Ivy Kensington Brasserie’s collaboration with Josh Bristow in celebration of BBC Proms will run from Fri 13 July to Fri 7 Sept

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