Restaurant James Sommerin
Fine dining now accompanied by fine accommodation as a top chef/patron branches out, adding rooms to his award-winning restaurant. Stylish, tasteful bedrooms, many with superb sea views, match the sophisticated cuisine.
Ask anyone who knows anything about food in Wales and the name James Sommerin soon crops up. His track record as an inspired and uniquely talented chef speaks for itself – he has been there and done it. A few years ago he decided to branch out for himself, opening his eponymous restaurant on the seafront at Penarth, a charming Victorian resort. Predictably, it has been a huge success, impressing diners and reviewers alike. Now, James and Louise have taken one step further by offering the complete ‘restaurant with rooms’ experience.
The rooms are part of a striking gabled building that – along with the pier and promenade across the road – pays homage to Penarth’s period charm (it’s very different to Cardiff’s new waterfront just across the bay). Many of the rooms enjoy expansive sea views. All, like the restaurant below, are defined by taste and quality. Discreetly modern and fashionably uncluttered, their neutral tones are charged with vivid splashes of colour and dazzling bathrooms with monsoon showers and baths.
And like the rooms, much thought has gone into the Sommerins’ purpose-built restaurant. Cool, sophisticated and decked out in a modern palate of neutral greys, browns and creams, with uplifting injections of colour, it has a strong sense of place, menus with local ingredients to the fore, local art on the walls, a dazzling array of carefully sourced local ingredients and handmade crockery echoing the surroundings. But the kitchen is the star of the show, literally as well as metaphorically – if you can tear your gaze away from taking in the sunset, you catch a glimpse of the busy team at work as you dine, or you can imagine yourself in the buzz of a professional kitchen by booking the sought after ‘chef’s table’ in the heart of the action. Ask about the inclusive midweek dinner B&B packages, the ‘hot ticket’ wine and chef demonstration events – and don’t forget the quirky and delicious afternoon teas.