Tim Spedding, who worked as Isaac McHale’s sous chef at The Clove Club in Shoreditch between 2013 and 2016, has joined Tom Adams in Cornwall, at Coombeshead Farm — a project that Adams, his girlfriend Lottie Mew and April Bloomfield launched in the spring of last year. Spedding joins as head chef, replacing Rose Greene, as the farm looks to expand its number of dinner services and Sunday lunches; his partner Louise Rødkjær Jørgensen will run the front-of-house and manage the restaurant.
To give a little context, Coombeshead Farm is, or at least could be, the British equivalent of Fäviken in Sweden or Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York: a 16-Century farmhouse, locavore, obsessively seasonal, farm-to-table project; more than a restaurant. There are bedrooms, as well as many acres of land, a greenhouse, vegetable garden, pigs, chickens and an outside wood oven and fire pit. It’s a food-lover’s Arcadia. Until very recently, dinner was served primarily to staying guests — up to 12 — from Wednesday – Sunday. Breakfast comprises homemade sausage, home-cured bacon and homemade brown sauce. It’s that kind of place.
Tom Adams founded American pit barbecue restaurant Pitt Cue, in London in 2009; since last year, he’s worked as the restaurant’s executive head chef and is in London just two days a week. Spedding, who as well as having worked at The Clove Club, cooked at The Ledbury for five years and most recently, in London, was a resident chef at P. Franco. He moved to Cornwall in May, with Rødkjær Jørgensen in the search for their own place — a restaurant with rooms — which is now on hold.
“This isn’t interim,” Spedding confirmed to Eater London. “[Coombeshead] is a great opportunity for us — we’re huge fans of what Tom and the guys have done down here. It’s really exciting to be part of this unique project and to explore more of what we’ve got to offer, especially developing relationships with suppliers such as Philip Warren’s butchers, and Kernow Sashimi and George and Loretta Henry up 5 minutes up the road who are growing grapes and lots of interesting varieties of berries.”
It’s also given Adams and Mew an opportunity to step back and take stock. “We’ve now been open over a year and want to push things further, to develop [supplier] relationships further. That was the attraction of being in Cornwall,” Adams said.
Dinners are now being served in the bakery/ barn/ dining room multi-use space, instead of in the dining room of the main farmhouse (which is now reserved just for breakfast.) “We now have a lot more space — and more availability for diners only,” Adams said. The dining room can seat up 26 in one sitting. Sunday lunch is the next big project. But one that is subject to Spedding’s “getting my shit together. I’m excited about the potential for Sunday lunch because we can get whole animals; do a rump cap for a group of six; amazing chicken for 4 people to share,” he said.
Rødkjær Jørgensen, meanwhile is “focused on settling in — learning the ropes, making wreaths out of hydrangeas and soaps from pork fat. We’re living the dream.”
Ben — The Baker — Glazer, who joined the staff on a permanent basis this year, provides all the farm’s breads and pastries and is building the bakery’s wholesale operation. They’re currently supplying No. 6, Nathan Outlaw, Padstow Farmshop and even London is beginning to buy — Calum Franklin at Holborn Dining Room is the newest customer; Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do Mercado has been buying for a couple of months. Glazer told Eater London, that the London trade “protects the bakery from the seasonal shift in Cornwall. Some [local customers] have dropped from 20 loaves to 2 [a day] since the end of summer.” Jamie Oliver could be next.