Skye Gyngell’s elegant Somerset House restaurant has a lightness of touch and a spring in its step
Located in a restored 19th-century drawing room within London’s Somerset House, Spring is a sight to behold with its beautiful dining room that is opulent and graceful but not overbearing. It’s the work of Australian chef Skye Gyngell who made a name for herself when she won a Michelin star at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in 2011 before bringing her distinctively elegant style of cooking – and eye for interior design – to the more suitable surroundings of this iconic London landmark.
Gyngell’s cooking is considered, with seasonal dishes that draw on one or two key ingredients and lets them sing. Flavours are fresh and zippy in keeping with the restaurant’s aim to create food that lingers long in the memory, whether it be with its crab with ‘nduja on wholegrain polenta; or the simple Charantais melon with San Daniele ham and pickled chilli.
Gyngell herself describes her cooking at Spring as ‘heartfelt, wholesome and produce driven’ but it’s also with a conscience. Alongside the restaurant’s lunch, dinner and children’s menus, Spring offers a pre-theatre scratch menu serving dishes made using fruit and vegetables that would have been discarded for being ugly, misshapen, too big or too small. It might not be fancy but it is clever, with ingredients such as beetroot tops and potato skins turned into soups and pasta trimmings baked with leftover cheese.
Gyngell is also leading the way in other environmental aspects, and has pledged to totally remove single-use plastics from Spring by the end of 2019.