Chef Tom Oldroyd, whose eponymous Italian restaurant in Islington opened in 2015, has confirmed that he will relaunch The Duke of Richmond Public House & Dining Room on Queensbridge Road in Hackney in the late spring this year. The pub has been closed since Margaret Crow and Brett Redman closed The Richmond last November. He will open it with his fiance, the actress and TV presenter Meryl Fernandes, who has designed the new space. Eater also understands that Rory Shannon, most recently of Winemakers Deptford, will be installed as the head chef.
Oldroyd says he “will restore the site to its former glory as a neighbourhood public house and 30-cover dining room.” The pub, which originally opened in 1841 as The Duke of Richmond, will be open seven days a week and will offer reservations in the dining room.
Oldroyd told Eater that it felt great to be taking on his own local pub.
The Duke of Richmond is on a beautiful 19th century corner plot with tonnes of natural light — and there’s enough space to deliver both pub and a cracking dining room. As the menu at OLDROYD leans towards Italy and Spain, the food we serve at the pub will lean, quite heavily it turns out, towards France. Simply because it’s the food that I want to eat in a pub. Is there a better bar snack than proper chips and Béarnaise..?
The relaunched Duke Of Richmond has 85 covers in total, (including the 30-cover dining room 20 seats outside on the terrace.) The pub and bar area has space for up to 35 and will feature a semi-open kitchen with open fire cooking.
The announcement this morning says that both the pub and dining room menus “will have a strong French accent, whilst using the very best of seasonal British produce.” This marks a departure from Oldroyd’s chosen style (Italian and Spanish cuisine) of the past 10 years. (Oldroyd was one of the founding head chefs of Russell Norman’s Venetian-inspired restaurant group, Polpo.)
Oldroyd added: “Every pub that I’ve ever been to will in some way influence our own. We want it to be everything you could ever want from your local boozer. If we can create an accessible, relaxed and cosy atmosphere with great bar snacks and affordable pub classics, with a bookable dining room serving bloody great food, and knowledgable and friendly service then I will be very happy indeed!!”
The chef wishes to make it clear that the dining room menu will not include either small plates or dishes which are designed to be shared.
A sample menu given today includes:
- Lamb sweetbread and asparagus vol au vent
- Grilled Orkney scallop, charred purple sprouting broccoli and truffled beurre blanc.
- Swaledale lamb en croute with green beens and wild garlic butter
- Open lasagne of wild nettles, violetta artichokes and broad beans.
- Rum baba with grilled pineapple and whipped cream
- Crème brûlée custard tart.
In the bar area, classic pub favourites “with a French slant,” will be on offer. Dishes such as the Duke of Richmond’s own Toulouse sausages with mash and roast shallots and an all-day Sunday roast dinner and rotisserie “to compete with the best Sunday roasts in London.”