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Skye Gyngell is to launch her new restaurant Spring within Somerset House in September. The focal point will be an ‘indoor garden’ in an open glass box with room for 24 diners.
The chef made her name heading up Petersham Nurseries Cafe near Richmond but walked away from it in early 2012, partially citing the ‘curse’ of a Michelin star as the reason. She felt the small kitchen could not cope with the demand that came with the star.
Gyngell said the kitchen was an absolute priority at her new new venture, and she admitted this was one of the reasons that the restaurant has been a long time coming. ‘We looked for a long time but didn’t find anything we loved,’ she told us. ‘Also, somewhat selfishly, I really didn’t want an underground kitchen. Here I have a beautiful space with a window that looks out to the London Eye, I couldn’t be happier.’
Spring will serve food that Gyngell described as ‘not dissimilar from Petersham’, where fresh, seasonal and simply-treated produce was always the star of the show. It will be open for lunch and dinner, with a regularly-changing menu of seven starters, seven main courses and five puddings. Dish ideas for September’s opening include grilled scallops with corn purée and chilli oil, and damson ice-cream with rice shortbread. Bigger and better kitchen facilities also mean more can be made in-house. ‘We’ll be making our own butter, bread, yoghurts and cordials this time,’ said Gyngell.
The dining space promises to be something special, according to Gyngell. ‘It’s not easy, but I wanted something that would be more even beautiful than Petersham, not less’, the chef told us, and she believes she’s got it in this Grade I listed riverside spot.
Spring will be the second restaurant at Somerset House, joining Tom Aikens’ Tom’s Kitchen.
See our listing for Spring.