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Restaurant of the Moment: Skye Gyngell's Spring at Somerset House

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Apr 01, 2015 01:03 AM
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by Kendra Wilson last modified Mar 31, 2015

If there is one chef who could turn a former government tax office into an atmospheric restaurant with indoor garden, it's Skye Gyngell. After all, she made her name cooking from a shed at a plant nursery in Richmond, England. It was at Petersham Nurseries and her garden-to-plate cooking won her a Michelin star. With Skye, it's clear that there are few limits. Now installed in a proper kitchen in London's West End, her new restaurant can be found in the labyrinthine Somerset House —it's the hugely talked about and evocatively named  Spring . Photography by Tom Mannion , except where noted. Above: Seasonal, informal, original food is the big draw. Photograph via Somerset House. Spring is situated in the New Wing at Somerset House, which isn't new at all: It was built in 1856 as the final part of a series of government offices housing the Inland Revenue. The last of the tax people have gone and the New Wing is open to the public for the first time. Above: Pink is the dominant accent color in a palette of white and light neutrals. The clustered hanging lights are a New York import—they're Apparatus Studio's Cloud design. Photograph via Spring. Above: The banquettes rest on an oak floor from Dinesen of Denmark—see World's Most Beautiful Wood Floors . Photograph via Spring. Above: Skye Gyngell is a much-loved character who cut her teeth in London working with Fergus Henderson (of St John ) and his future wife Margot Henderson ( Rochelle Canteen ) at the little restaurant above the legendary French House pub in Soho. She was also food editor at British Vogue. Join us for a tour of her home kitchen  here . Photograph by Amber Rowlands. Above: The leather chairs pair well with a wall of robin's egg blue. Above: Uniforms were custom designed by  Trager Delaney  and  Egg , and are individually tailored. Photograph via Gumtree.  Above: Skye asked garden designer  Jinny Blom  to make a garden-like space within the bigger restaurant. It's a plant-filled atrium, with repeated reliefs of leafy gunnera along the walls.  Jinny's brief was to create a garden for a restaurant with no outside space. "When a client says, 'I want it to be a garden,' and the space is indoors and with low natural light levels," explains Jinny, "then it's time to get creative." Above: Jinny says the project was "everything I love: technically complex and creative, allowing me free artistic reign to reimagine the space." Above: Jinny brings her outside experience to bear on her work: She has a longstanding interest in craft and is an active member of the Art Workers' Guild, and also sits on the board of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network. Above: Somerset House is a cultural hub in central London. Perched on the side of the Thames, it has slowly been reclaimed from the Inland Revenue and currently plays host to the Courtauld Institute, London Fashion Week, a winter ice rink, an outdoor cinema, and concerts and cultural exhibitions. To get to  Spring , take a right after the Courtauld. See Skye Gyngell's home kitchen in our posts  In the Kitchen with London's Chef du Jour  and Steal This Look: A Star Chef's Kitchen . Looking for a place to stay? See Live Like a Londoner, 15 Short-Term Rentals, High to Low . More Stories from Remodelista Pine & Crane in Los Angeles The DIY Motel: The Spruceton Inn in the Catskills A Rustic Modern Hangout in Berlin






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