Fans of chef Skye Gyngell and her simple and memorable ingredient-led style of cooking are in for a treat when her first solo venture, Spring, opens at Somerset House next week.
The elegant, light-filled 19th-century drawing room in the New Wing, which until recently housed the Inland Revenue, has been restored to its former glory - the first time that the space has been open to the public in more than 150 years. Diners are promised a menu guided by the changing seasons, from dishes such as Grilled langoustine with seaweed butter; Roasted turbot with porcini and bone marrow; and Fillet of beef with brown butter, anchovy and wild greens, to puddings including Buttermilk cream with rye shortbread and damson ice-cream and Hazelnut tart with warm chocolate sauce.
Spring is the fourth on-site establishment at Somerset House – joining the outposts from Fernandez&Wells and Tom Aikens – but the first in the New Wing, whose façade faces on to Lancaster Place. The team will include 18 chefs, and everything from breads, cheeses and even vermouths will be made on-site.
“I’m thrilled to be opening a restaurant in the very centre of London that will remain deeply in tune with the land and the seasons,” says Skye, who has admitted to being "tired of bucolic life". “My cooking has always been driven by a respect for beautiful ingredients, and I feel truly privileged that my first solo venture will allow me to share that pleasure with others every day in this historic setting. I hope this wonderful room will become the scene of many memorable, convivial meals.”
If her much-acclaimed tenure as Head Chef at Petersham Nurseries is anything to go by, we can't help thinking that Spring could soon become one of the hottest dining tickets in London.
Spring opens on October 14 2014. www.springrestaurant.co.uk/
Image of Skye Gyngell by Carol Sachs