Skye Gyngell to become Culinary Director at Heckfield Place

Skye Gyngell will be taking on the role of Culinary Director at Heckfield Place, Hampshire – a country house hotel due to open March 2013 - and at a new London restaurant, due to open later this year. The London restaurant will be supplied with produce from Heckfield Place’s estate, while Skye’s distinctive philosophy will inform every aspect of dining both at Heckfield and the London site, from sourcing and menus through to plating and presentation.

Heckfield Place will offer a range of dining choices – The Beckwith, The Restaurant and The Stables. Skye’s dishes will showcase the finest ingredients, some of which will be sourced from the estate’s working farm, and prepared with her characteristic simplicity. The farm will provide rare breed, free-range meat and eggs, and heritage varieties of vegetables. Skye’s menus will also champion local artisan producers.

The Beckwith, an intimate dining room with 30 covers, will welcome guests for both lunch and dinner with hand-written set menus, devised weekly and dictated by the kitchen gardens. Sample dishes include: Colchester native oysters with sauce Mignonette and sourdough toasts; Slow-cooked shoulder of veal with braised artichokes and confit lemon; and Blood oranges with honey and rosemary.

The Restaurant will be a light, airy, casual space for convivial dining with family and friends. Breakfast will include eggs from the farm, fruit from the orchards and fruit frames, honey, home-made jams, yoghurt, and freshly-baked bread. At lunch and dinner, an à la carte menu will offer ‘little things’, ‘salads’,’ dry-aged  beef’ and ‘slow-cooked things’. Dishes will include: Grilled langoustine with extra virgin olive oil, chilli and marjoram; Spiced quail with chimmi churri and mashed sweet potatoes; Fleur de maquis cheese with figs in red wine and wet walnuts; and toasted almond panna cotta with wild strawberries.

Afternoon tea at Heckfield Place will be an elegant and languid affair. Each table will be set with flowers from the garden, while a champagne trolley will offer a selection of sparkling wines. Sample dishes will include: Home-made crumpets with honey; Potted trout and warm buttered soda bread; and Meringues with raspberries and cream.

For the Stables, Skye has created a staple menu of four hearty dishes available throughout the day from mid-morning onwards, including: Lobster mayonnaise in a brioche roll, and Slow-cooked shoulder of pork in a sourdough bun. Drinks will include locally-produced ciders and micro-brewery beers.

Heckfield Place will have 60 individually-designed bedrooms. It will also house a 60-seat cinema and an indoor swimming pool (ready summer 2013), while private health and beauty treatments will available in the former estate cottages. The General Manager will be Charles Oak, formerly of The Mayfair and Skibo Castle.