Chef Bryn Williams to open new veg-centric restaurant at Somerset House

In Spring 2018, celebrated Welsh chef Bryn Williams is set to open his first London restaurant in a decade, located in the renowned arts and cultural centre, Somerset House.

Thursday 1 February 2018

Bryn Williams at Somerset House will offer modern British dining, serving seasonal dishes where – although not necessarily vegetarian – the fruit and vegetable components will always take centre stage. With a relaxed and contemporary environment, Somerset House’s creative community will be at the restaurant’s core – reflected through the food, service and design.   

The restaurant will be 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 will have a strong focus on sustainability, seasonality and provenance. Fruits and vegetables will be 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 are to include Roast young broccoli, olive tapenade, sage beignet, scorched Cornish mackerel, and Char-grilled leeks, Burke Brown egg, morel mushroom. Dishes will also be available ‘from the grill’, such as Grilled cauliflower, golden raisin, capers, soft polenta. In a continuation of the veg-centric theme, a range of salads will also be 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, will be overseen by Rosendale Design, and aims 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 will be 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.

The space will also be home to a draught beer bar, the only one on the Somerset House premises, with statement overhead copper casks. Open throughout the day, both bar and restaurant will serve as a hub for Somerset House’s resident creative community and wider visitors.

Bryn Williams at Somerset House joins 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 said: “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 be opening 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.”

Whilst Jon Davies, Managing Director of Levy Leisure, said: “We are thrilled to be in partnership with Bryn Williams at Somerset House. We have worked with Bryn and his team for a long time and know his passion for locally sourced and seasonal foods will be well received by guests dining in the new restaurant.  

“We share Bryn’s commitment to support British food producers and you can see this reflected on the menu where signature dishes have been created using the finest produce. The growing demand for lighter, more plant-based dishes will be showcased in the new dining experience at Somerset House and allows Bryn’s creativity and delicate cooking to come to the fore.”