Nicholas Balfe, Mark Gurney and Matt Bushnell of South London neighbourhood restaurants Salon, Levan & Larry’s has today announced that their first rural outpost, Holm will open on Wednesday 10 November.
Located in the idyllic village of South Petherton, the opening represents a coming of age for the founding team, in particular Chef Director Nicholas, who has relocated to the South West to oversee the project and head up the kitchen.
With their London restaurants now well established – Salon is approaching its tenth anniversary, whilst Levan has set up firm roots in the heart of Peckham – the team felt there could never be a more suitable time to look beyond the bustle of London to pastures new.
Situated in a handsome former bank, and sat on a quarter acre of land, Holm will boast an impressive outdoor grill and dining terrace, making it a destination for visitors from near and far as well as a welcoming spot for locals to get together.
As with the team’s London restaurants, the menu will be driven by the seasons and have sustainability at its core. Balfe has been busy using his time in the county to forge a deeper connection with local growers and producers, sourcing ingredients locally in a way that’s inconceivable in the city, not to mention growing many ingredients in the onsite kitchen garden.
The sleek 34-cover dining room will be centred around the bank’s original vault, now housing the restaurant’s collection of organic, biodynamic and low intervention wines from UK and European producers. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s open kitchen will be surrounded by an intimate dining counter, giving six lucky guests a full sense of the action.
Housed in the rear of the space will be a 10-cover private dining room, which will double up as a pantry and larder, storing the house-made ferments, tinctures and preserves. The space will lead straight out to the leafy garden and terrace, which houses a custom-made grill and where upwards of 50 guests can dine, surrounded by greenery and Holm’s own produce.
Diners can choose from the seasonal a la carte menu, starting with a selection of small plates such as smoked eel toast, beetroot, horseradish and apple; Somerset ex-dairy tartare with beef from nearby Bagnell Farm is served with anchovy and dripping crumbs as well as mussels, leeks, crème fraîche and cider.
To follow there will be larger plates including grilled celeriac with broccoli tops and seaweed Béarnaise, Tamworth pork chop, baked quince and bitter leaves or plaice, sea vegetables, elderberry capers and brown butter.
Desserts will also follow the seasons, showcasing the best local treasures, including dishes such as caramelised apple crumble with raw cream and custard spiked with Burrow Hill’s cider brandy; ricotta doughnuts filled with blackcurrant jam and spelt ice cream with caramelised pear and sourdough praline.
In addition to the a la carte will be Holm’s signature Chefs tasting menu, representing the very best of the produce available to the kitchen on that moment in time, with dishes changing from one service to another.
Levan and Salon are known and loved for having some of the best wine lists in London and the newest site from the team will be no different. Co-founder Mark Gurney will be creating a focused and accessible list of exciting, forward-thinking biodynamic wines, as well as local ciders and perries from artisanal producers such as the Somerset Cider Brandy Company and the Devon-based Otter Brewery.
There will also be a selection of classic cocktails alongside a range of soft drinks made in house using herbs and botanicals picked from the garden.
Balfe commented, “Having spent my early years in Somerset and Dorset, that part of the world has always held a special place in my heart. I’ve been in awe of the richness and vitality of the land there for as long as I can remember and have spent many a holiday exploring the countryside and coastline in the South West.
'I can’t wait to take some of the wonderful energy, passion and creativity that define Salon, Levan and Larry’s and transpose it to the countryside.”