It has been confirmed that two new restaurants will move into White City Place this year: Wellbourne, a modern French-British all-day dining spot; and Shola, a Pakistani restaurant by chef Aida Khan are the latest to confirm their opening in the WestWorks building, near Hammersmith. The two restaurants join a host of other brands who are moving into the redeveloped west London location.
Wellbourne was started by friends and colleagues Ross Gibbens and Michael Kennedy — a duo who, until last year, worked head and sous chef at Michelin-starred London restaurant Dabbous. White City Place site will be the third location for the Wellbourne brand (Gibbens and Kennedy launched their first restaurant in Clifton village in Bristol in September 2017 and a second in the Pyrenees town of Salardu, which opens for the duration of the winter ski season, at the end of last year.) They will be joined by restaurant manager Martin Irwin, who also worked at Dabbous.
Wellbourne will offer a morning brunch menu focused around classic, fresh in-house bakes. Curiously, the ‘70s staple vol-au-vents will be a key part of a “vibrant all day menu,” available from midday in both a restaurant and bar area.
Ahead of the new opening, Gibbens said:
Based in the heart of west London, White City Place is the perfect fit for our relaxed but ambitious restaurant. Our flexible menu provides a unique style of daytime offering including a brunch menu full of homemade morning favourites, bar food and an all-day brasserie style menu. We are currently working on exciting new recipes, alongside some much loved staples.
Dabbous — widely considered one of the most important and precise restaurants to open in London in the last decade — closed in July last year. Founder and chef Ollie Dabbous will open a new, 250-seater site on Piccadilly this coming spring.
Meanwhile in White City, Shola Karachi Kitchen, is the first permanent London site for founder Aida Khan, the chef behind the Gourmet Karachi Supper Club. It was the former banker’s “passion for cooking” that led to her hosting two seasons of the Pakistani TV show For The Love of Food. She has since studied at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and says she is “delighted to bring the food she grew up with to London.”
About Shola, her first bricks and mortar site, she said: “We are delighted to be opening our first proper restaurant at White City Place. Shola pays homage to the real cuisine of Pakistan, often based on recipes and techniques passed down over generations. We are passionate about using fresh, seasonal ingredients to produce a contemporary and approachable experience of the traditional flavours of Karachi.”
David Camp, chief executive at Stanhope, the development company overseeing White City Place said:
We are pleased to announce the arrival of these two excellent restaurants, which demonstrate the dynamic and eclectic choice of eateries at White City Place. From authentic Karachi cuisine to French classic Vol-au-Vents, workers and residents in our new exciting business district will be able to enjoy a fantastic mix of dining experiences on their doorstep.
Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo purchase four acres of freehold land and the lease of six buildings from the BBC for £87 million in June 2015. The WestWorks site, which played host to the 1908 Olympic Games, was previously acquired by the BBC in the mid-1980s. Other tenants confirmed to be entering White City Place include ITV, YOOX Net-A-Porter, and The Royal College of Art.