Fresh start

Skye Gyngell's new London venture reinvigorates both an historic space and a sisterly bond.

Spring can be cool, pale and elusive at times, while at others it is warm, glowing and bursting with life. It’s a season of transition, when bare earth hardened by winter’s chill transforms into a garden alive with beauty and promise. Spring is also the name of Skye Gyngell’s new restaurant in London’s historic Somerset House. The Australian expat chef chose it well before opening, as a nod to the seasons that inspire her cooking and because it symbolises optimism and hope. She could never have predicted it then, but the name would also capture the spirit of an extraordinary collaboration with her once-estranged sister, Sydney interior designer Briony Fitzgerald. But after all, what is spring about if not new beginnings?

Housed in a greenhouse in a bucolic garden, Petersham Nurseries is the restaurant where Gyngell made her mark. After starting off “cooking alone with a couple of pots and pans in a shed” in 2004, her composition of flavours and skill in articulating the rhythms of the seasons saw Petersham flourish. However, by the time a Michelin star found its way there, followed by crowds expecting silver-service dining, Gyngell had already set her sights on the big-city lights.

Photos: Paul Massey, © Vogue Living, Mar/Apr 15

Download PDF