Petersham Nurseries — a brand with a garden centre cafe-restaurant in the Richmond suburb of London — will make its central London entry, opening two new restaurants in Covent Garden this April.
The two restaurants: The Petersham and La Goccia, will be joined by a courtyard space called Floral Court, adding to an existing homewares shop, delicatessen, wine cellar and florist, completing what the owners are referring to as an “unparalleled lifestyle destination in the heart of London.”
The project is being led by Lara Boglione, managing director and eldest daughter of Francesco and Gael Boglione, who own the Petersham Nurseries brand. After having opened the “first phase” in summer 2017, she is now working with Damian Clisby who is in charge of the culinary direction of the new restaurants and bar. Clisby has previously worked at Caprice Holdings’ J Sheekey, with chefs Tim Hughes, Anthony Demetre and Adam Byatt. Clisby has spent the last four years at Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond, working closely with Harry Boglione, Lara’s brother, whose Haye Farm on the border of Devon and Dorset is the source of much of the produce used in the restaurants.
The Petersham is the more up-market, à la carte restaurant of the two new openings and will draw inspiration from the family home, Petersham House in Richmond, with the interiors said to “demonstrate the Boglione’s passion for contemporary art, Murano glassware and understated grandeur, reflecting their personal tastes and collections.”
It will also adhere to the “Slow Food” philosophy that has characterised the restaurant’s success in Richmond: It will use high quality seasonal produce, quality ingredients and Italian flavours, such as handmade pasta and gnocchi, day boat fish from Cornwall, organic meat from Haye Farm and garden salads grown in Richmond. Desserts will include Petersham Nurseries’ Original Bean chocolate with Zisola olive oil and sea salt and the finest of Italian and British cheeses.
La Goccia, meanwhile, will be a more “vibrant” and “accessible,” all-day restaurant with an open kitchen, wood-fired oven, grill and dining bar. It will offer Petersham Nurseries’ interpretation of the Italian aperitivo and ‘cicchetti’ (small plates.)
The menu will include: pizzette, fritti (fried dishes) and assemblies informed by the garden’s produce, such as a spring panzanella (bread salad.) Fresh pasta will be made daily will be served alongside homemade Tuscan style sausages and vegetables from the grill. One “hero ingredient” will be championed each month, through three or four dishes and a recipe to take home. The same ingredients served in the restaurants will be available to buy in the delicatessen across the courtyard, a space covered in evergreen walls. During the spring and summer months, tables on the courtyard will be available for outside dining.
La Goccia Bar will introduce a new list of cocktails, which will be informed by botanicals, herbs and edible flowers retrieved, in large part, from the gardens.
Petersham Nurseries, a garden centre in Richmond, was developed out of the Petersham House grounds in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, the business was bought by Gael and Francesco Boglione who have, with their family, lived in the adjoining Petersham House in Richmond since 1997. After extensive restoration works, the nurseries reopened in 2004 and included the glasshouse restaurant — Petersham Nurseries Café. The garden centre café famously won a Michelin star under chef Skye Gyngell (who is now the chef-patron of Spring, in Somerset House) in 2011. Gyngell left the restaurant the following year, describing the Michelin star award as a “curse.”
For opening hours and more details visit: www.petershamnurseries.com