[DEPARTURES 100] London’s latest addition to fresh and seasonal dining has found a home in the 19th century drawing room of Somerset House; its first opening to the public in over 150 years. Run by Australian Michelin-starred chef Skye Gyngell, previous head chef at Petersham Nurseries Café, the menu at Spring features daily lunch and dinner specials showcasing the best of seasonal produce and ingredients, finished off with elegance and simplicity.
DEPARTURES: What inspires the menu at Spring?
Skye Gyngell: The food at Spring is celebrated for is conviviality and the joyfulness of sharing seasonal produce. Our cooking is heartfelt, wholesome, produce driven, and cooked by a team of people who are passionate about what they do and who feel truly privileged to work with beautiful ingredients.
What can guests expect from a menu of “ingredient-led” cooking?
SG: For me cooking seasonally simply makes sense. It is very comforting knowing that ingredients work so harmoniously together from their own season. Produce should be enjoyed at it’s very best. We have gorgeous autumnal produce like Porcini mushrooms, lovely squash and courgettes and fresh seafood of langoustine and scallops.
Will events at Somerset House affect/inspire your menu?
SG: Just like at Spring, events at Somerset House are guided by the seasons. The ice-skating in winter and the open air cinema and concerts during summer. Our food will be very complimentary to the activities going on around us.
What are you most excited about in opening Spring?
SG: Spring has been 18 months in the making and I have been privileged to work with a team of incredibly talented people. We want Spring to be an inclusive dining experience, a space people feel at home in. I am looking forward most to achieving this and doing justice to all of the people who have been involved in making it happen.
What are your favourite locations in London to buy fresh ingredients?
SG: I shop at Marylebone farmers market almost every week, and I gain cooking inspiration just walking through the market stalls. Spa Terminus is great too for cheese, meat and organic vegetables.
What’s the best thing about living & working in London as a chef?
SG: London has such an amazing vibrancy to it and I feel this is definitely reflected in the food and restaurant offering. I feel privileged to work in a city with some of the best chefs in the world and with access to such high quality ingredients.
How did you decide on Spring as your restaurant name?
SG: It was not an easy task coming up with a name for the restaurant, my business partner Marie and I were back and forth on a daily basis with sparks of inspiration from herbs, flowers to nostalgic memories, we played around with Somerset for a while too. But when we stumbled upon Spring it just felt right.
Spring is of course a nod to the seasons and reflects my cooking but, more than that, we chose it because it feels optimistic, hopeful, like a new beginning.