Pennethorne’s Grand Tour Cafe Bar opens at Somerset House

Levy Restaurants will open a new cafe bar at Somerset House, the renowned arts and cultural centre, in the heart of London at the end of the month.

Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar is named in honour of Sir James Pennethorne, a 19th century English architect who designed Somerset House’s New Wing where the new cafe bar will be located.

The 85-cover café bar is inspired by Pennethorne’s travels across Europe as part of his Grand Tour and the menu brings classic flavours from the regions he visited on his travels to France and Italy, including Sicily, bringing them to life with a modern English twist.

Head chef Richard Robinson has created a menu that features all-day dining small plates and at the heart of the menu is the bakery, under head baker Michela Potesta, which will create specialist breads and pastries throughout the day.

Pennethorne was an architect and planner, particularly associated with buildings and parks in central London.

In 1857 he received a Gold Medal from The Royal Institute of British Architects for his completion of Somerset House on the Strand with the addition of the West Wing.

Pennethorne set off on his Grand Tour in 1824 and travelled via Paris, Parma, Modena and Bologna to Rome, where he stayed several months, then to Siena and Florence, Pisa, Genoa and Sicily.

With the bakery at its heart, Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar will be a relaxed foodie affair – simple, quality, fresh, artisan food, cooked and prepared on site.

Lunch continues with a delicious array of bread, salads and sweets from the chef’s deli table. Lunch items include: roast beef; blue cheese; grilled red onions; maple syrup on rye; smoked Cornish mackerel, pickled white cabbage, caraway seeds on soda bread; courgette and Montasio frittata. Lunch items start at just £5.25.

Evening dining is once again split by appealing and simplistic terms: bread, on toast, salads, potted, meat, cheese and puddings.

Designed to be paired, shared and enjoyed as individual or small plate meals, the menu includes: Limousine beef, celeriac, crispy shallots; Pickled Cornish Mackerel, white cabbage and caraway seeds; watercress, soft egg and pancetta – all served on toast.

Crispy curly kale, ham hock salad and potted sardines, pork, beef and spicy aubergine along with a selection of meats and cheeses continue to combine British and European cuisine on large and small plates.

Desserts remain traditionally comforting: French apple tart; Cambridge burnt cream; baked Pecorino, honey caramel and milk tart; coffee cream.

Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar | Artisan Coffee

Coffee has become a huge part of the London lifestyle and Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar will be a hot new coffee spot in London’s booming artisan coffee scene.

Featuring a Brew Bar and a selection of artistically made single origin coffees, the coffee culture will be full of character for every-day coffee drinkers and the more discerning aficionado. Coffee has become somewhat of an art form and the Pennethorne’s coffee scene will offer the best of creative coffee – the best taste, the best smell, the best art and the finest brew.

The house blend will be the Blend Number One, part of the Three Sixty coffee collection. The coffee notes suggest a dominant warm honey sweetness leading into a fresh lime acidity with a hint of grapefruit, finishing with warming winter spices.

Each month, Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar will celebrate a ‘coffee of the month’ sharing new flavours and coffee art each month.

The opening feature coffee in November will be Ethiopian Sidamo, with a lemon aroma and a berry like taste, with complex citrus acidity and a clean sweet finish.

December follows with Guatemala Antigua, with sugar and syrup sweetness, a delicate mouth feel and lemon acidity – an exceptionally balanced cup.

Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar | Craft Beers, Cocktails and Wine

Pennethorne’s is an artisan café and that commitment doesn’t end at the food. The bar will stock a selection of quality craft beers, Session Ale, IPA, stout, lager, Bitter and cider from a London brewery.

The wine collection will feature signature wines from England, Italy and France, plus the best of the rest of the world.

The coffee culture continues into the evening with the signature Corretto Martini. Pennethorne’s cocktails will start from just £4.75 – sure to make them favourites among Londoners.

As its final ode to the Grand Tour, Pennethorne’s will offer both wine and cocktail flights. Each collection of three drinks – one from each country – will be paired with miniature dishes, also inspired by the Tour.

Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar will be open Monday to Saturday for breakfast through to dinner in addition to a take-away coffee and bakery service.