The launch of The Gate Seymour Place, our third restaurant, marks an important step in the life of our family business. I felt the time was right to bring our take on vegetarian dining to a wider audience. We’re obsessed with the quality of food and the optimisation of vegetables and we wanted our food to be easily accessible. Opening a third restaurant in Central London made sense, and we’re particularly excited to be doing so in Seymour Place where we’re surrounded by many fellow independents.
Opening our third restaurant presented its challenges, as is always expected when opening a new restaurant. Finding a suitable site was one of the first challenges. I drove around town for hours trying to find a suitable location, from South London to Dalston and Central London. At first, the site on Seymour Place, where The Lockhart once stood, was already taken but two hours after the deal fell through we received a call asking us to move quickly if we were still interested.
Funnily enough, we had a similar experience while looking for a site for our second restaurant in Islington. I fell in love with the space and with Sadler’s Wells down the road it was a no-brainer. But another buyer had already agreed to buy it, again luck was on our side and we exchanged contracts within 48 hours.
But let’s get back to Seymour Place. Once I found a new abode for our third restaurant, the next step was working on the interiors. We wanted the design to reflect the food and we used different textures and layers to do just that.
You may have noticed we like to keep things in the family, so I enlisted the help of my wife and architect Alice Bajrach of Studio Alice. She designed The Gate Seymour Place in a pared-back style with plain walls, maximum use of natural light and simple furnishings to achieve a calm and refreshing space.
We felt it’d be best to keep the interiors simple and fresh but inventive, just like our cooking. We wanted our customers to leave the restaurant feeling nourished and calm, both the interiors and food work to help us achieve our goal.
It wasn’t always an easy journey and it’s nowhere near over (who knows, we might open a fourth restaurant!), but that’s the beauty of life, the journey makes it all worth it…