As chef patron of Trinity in Clapham, Adam Byatt has overseen one of the most respected restaurants in the capital for over 15 years, helping to put Clapham on the foodie map, so, who better to ask for a few restaurant recommendations?
Trinity opened back in 2006 as a standalone fine dining restaurant and since then, it has grown with the neighbourhood around it, expanding to a family of three - or perhaps even three and a half - that includes Trinity Upstairs, Bistro Union and Trinity Outside - a summer terrace on the pavement outside the restaurant.
Byatt's cooking style was honed in the esteemed kitchens of Claridges, where he spent some years training before going to join Phil Howard at The Square. At the time, The Square was one of the most celebrated kitchens in the country, and Byatt became sous chef alongside Howard, helping him to win a second Michelin star before striking out on his own in Clapham with his first solo restaurant, Thyme.
Thyme was phenomenally successful, scooping numerous awards in its debut year. Shortly after, Adam accepted an invitation to move Thyme into a member's club in Covent Garden, but Thyme never quite took off in its new location, scuppered by low footfall and construction issues. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, perhaps, as Adam returned to Clapham in 2006 with valuable lessons learned. He opened Trinity just off Clapham Common, and the restaurant has never looked back. Fast forward 15 years and Byatt is one of London's most respected chefs, recognisable from numerous TV appearances as well as a collection of restaurants under his belt. Where many restaurants have turned to tasting menus in recent years, Trinity still cooks a four-course a la carte, and Byatt has mentored a legion of fantastic chefs in Clapham.
As a man who knows a thing or two about good food, we turned to Adam for his recommendations when it comes to eating out.
Sessions Arts Club, Farringdon
Adam says: 'I love Florence's cooking, it's artistic yet completely up to date, individual and delicious, the room is spectacular, and the overall experience just feels individual. A really special place.'
Where: The Old Sessions House, 22 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0NA
Book now: Sessions Arts Club
Hearth at Heckfield Place, Hampshire
Adam says: 'Overseen by Skye as is the whole hotel which leads to a wholesome and hyper seasonal offering that makes your heart sing. Hearth offers Skye's feminine subtle cookery over a wood grill to add a robustness, I love the small plates concept here, the cooking is spot on, and the menu is so interesting.'
Where: Heckfield Place, Hook, RG27 0LD
Book now: Hearth at Heckfield Place
Adam says: 'A love letter to Lisbon by chef Nuno Mendez, sharing plates, authenticity and utterly delicious. A sought after and busy address and the service is on the money, passionate and caring.'
Where: 30 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NG
Book now: Lisboeta
Adam says: 'Sister to The Clove Club but Italian in style and concept. The cookery is exceptional, and the wine list really does tick every box. We loved a recent meal here and can’t wait to go back.'
Where: 88 St John Street, EC1M 4EH
Book now: Luca
Adam says: 'I have always loved Claude’s cooking, no surprise his Socca Bistro is a brilliant. Dominic Robinson is cooking, and each dish is an utter delight. Authentic yet completely up to date French cookery is hard to come by, here it is executed with aplomb.'
Where: 41 South Audley Street, W1K 2PS
Book now: Socca
Le Gavroche, Mayfair
Adam says: 'I appreciate this isn’t a new opening and as such institutions like this can go unnoticed in the general press, but I love Le Gavroche, you will never feel more like you are in a PROPER restaurant with heritage, history, and bucket loads of expertise as you do here. Outstanding and the wine list is just incredible.'
Where: 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
Book now: Le Gavroche
Want more chef recommendations? Check out our interviews with the likes of Jeremy Lee, John Chantarasak (a.k.a. English Hippy) and Roberta Hall-McCarron for more top quality restaurants to add to your must-visit list.