Somerset House. Bryn Williams. A match born in heaven? We were keen to find out. The large neoclassical building has played host to some incredible works of art fashion and, yes, cuisine (we’re looking at you Skye Gyngell) and Bryn Williams has made his mark on fine dining whether rattling the pans in the kitchens of Le Gavroche or Marco Pierre White or in his own restaurants such as Odette’s or Bryn Williams at Poth Eirias. We visited on a quiet Tuesday evening.
As with the larger edifice in which it resides, the dining room of Bryn Williams at Somerset House is rather grand. Vaulted, moulded, cream-coloured ceilings play off cloudy blue walls. Tables are overhung with outsized brass arches hoisting crystal orb pendant lighting, and comfy booths are cordoned off with crystal screens and carmine cushions. The view into the courtyard is nothing to sneeze at, of course.
Mr Williams prepares exceptional British cuisine that nods to the classics with contemporary sensibilities. We commenced our meal with an elegant sage and onion soup with poached egg and chestnut as well as a starter of crispy pork with sauce gribiche and apple. Both were immaculately presented and technically spot on. Confit duck leg with lentils, baby turnip and quince puree channelled France through the prism of seasonal British produce and was rather delicious. Wild mushroom risotto with aged parmesan betrayed a close attention to detail.
Bryn Williams at Somerset House is much more than a museum restaurant, it’s a destination in and of itself.