Chef Bryn Williams’ new veg-centric restaurant at Somerset House now open
Celebrated Welsh chef Bryn Williams has opened his first London restaurant in a decade, located in the renowned arts and cultural centre, Somerset House.
Bryn Williams at Somerset House offers modern British dining, serving seasonal dishes where – although not necessarily vegetarian – the fruit and vegetable components always take centre stage. With a relaxed and contemporary environment, Somerset House’s creative community is at the restaurant’s core – reflected through the food, service and design.
The restaurant is Williams’ second London opening, adding to a portfolio that includes Odette’s in Primrose Hill, where he has held the position of Chef Patron since 2008. In addition, Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, a beach-front restaurant, café and bar on the North Wales coast, opened in 2015. Coming from a strong chef pedigree working under the likes of Marco Pierre White and Michel Roux, Williams shot to fame as a sous chef in 2006 by beating several established chefs to cook the fish course for the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations on the BBC’s Great British Menu.
Williams’ Somerset House menu has a strong focus on sustainability, seasonality and provenance. Fruits and vegetables are the stars of the show, with small plates including the likes of Rainbow carrots, hand-dived scallop, sauterne, and Pickled mooli, black garlic, raw apple, sage, Cumbrian beef.
Seasonal mains include Roast young broccoli, olive tapenade, sage beignet, scorched red mullet, and Charred baby leeks, Burford Brown egg, morel mushroom and toasted hazelnuts. Dishes are also cooked on the grill, such as Grilled cauliflower, golden raisin, capers, soft polenta. In a continuation of the veg-centric theme, a range of salads are also on offer, such as Charred chicory, sour onions, smoked ricotta, rapeseed oil dressing. Signature, fruit-heavy desserts include Bay leaf panna cotta, blackberry, lime curd and Poached rhubarb and blood orange trifle.
The interiors of Bryn Williams at Somerset House, located in Somerset House’s South Wing, have been overseen by Rosendale Design, and aim to unite the building’s naval history and Georgian architecture with Williams’ Welsh roots, resulting in a relaxed and contemporary feel. Herringbone flooring, Welsh-printed upholstery and brown leather banquettes are met by a colour theme of textured blue, with nautical details including wall lights made of Fresnel lenses from lighthouses, and antique naval map drawers.
Displayed in the restaurant is also the artwork of Welsh fine art photographer, Allan Jenkins, whose photos have been displayed in galleries and museums all over the world. Jenkins’ unique approach to photography incorporates graphic finesse and a fascination with identity. The artwork displayed is a mixture of work from his latest series – Studio Allotment and Root to Fruit – a selection of still life images of fruit and vegetables reflective of Bryn’s own focus on produce.
Bryn Williams at Somerset House is also home to a draught beer bar, the only one on the premises, with statement overhead copper casks. Open throughout the day, both bar and restaurant serve as a hub for Somerset House’s resident creative community and wider visitors.
They join other onsite eating and dining establishments at Somerset House – a Fernandez & Wells outpost, a recently launched Hej coffee shop, Pennethorne’s café and bar and Spring by Skye Gyngell in the New Wing.
Speaking of the opening, Williams says: “I’m a firm believer that a piece of fruit or veg should be treated with the same amount of care and respect as a cut of meat or fillet of fish – if not more. I’m thrilled to have opened a new restaurant that’s not only in a stunning location, but where fresh, locally sourced produce is the focus and fruit and veg take centre stage.”
Director of Somerset House Trust, Jonathan Reekie said: “We are delighted to have Bryn Williams join us at Somerset House for his latest venture. His approach to food perfectly complements our ethos of creativity and community and will provide a relaxed and welcoming setting for our many visitors, artists and residents.”
Notes to Editors
Bryn Williams at Somerset House
Phone number: +44(0)20 7845 4646
Monday – Saturday 10am to 11pm
Sunday – 10am to 4pm
About Somerset House
Inspiring Contemporary Culture
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is an historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Today it a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming, and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries.
Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.
About Rosendale Design
Rosendale Design is a multidisciplinary design studio that was founded in 2014 by Dale Atkinson. With a rich history of working within interiors, architecture and lighting design the studio has witnessed a dramatic rise within the hospitality sector working with some of the most prominent celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and boutique hotels across the globe. Previous projects also include Odette’s and Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias.
Boasting designers from various countries, the studio is able to draw upon various cultural views to facilitate a holistic approach to design. The studio first seeks to create an understanding with the physical context of a project, sensitive to the culture and climate of their place. All concepts are considered and refined to develop a unique design ethos that aids in the enhancement of the brand.