Skye Gyngell joins refurbished Heckfield Place as culinary director

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chef, Restaurant

Skye Gyngell, who left Petersham Nurseries earlier this year, has been appointed culinary director of Heckfield Place
Skye Gyngell, who left Petersham Nurseries earlier this year, has been appointed culinary director of Heckfield Place
Former Petersham Nurseries head chef Skye Gyngell has been announced as culinary director at Heckfield Place hotel, the former hotel and conference centre in Hampshire which will re-open as a country house hotel in March 2013.

In her new role Gyngell will look after dining at the 60-bedroom hotel as well as run a new restaurant in London that will be owned by Heckfield Place.

The London restaurant site is yet to be confirmed but is expected to be located in Soho and will be supplied with produce from a farm within the hotel's 400-acre estate. 

Country house hotel

Following a multi-million pound two-and-a-half-year refurbishment, Heckfield Place, run as a conference centre and hotel for many years, will re-open its doors as a country house hotel with a 60-seat cinema, swimming pool and three dining spaces. 

The hotel's 60 bedrooms will be given a unique look with rooms situated within the main house and in buildings near the stables and the walled garden while the gardens will be redesigned to respect the venue's 'historical provenance'. 

“Ultimately Heckfield Place is all about reconnecting – with England’s past, with future ideas, and with all that is natural, including great food, honestly cooked, enjoyed in the easy company of like-minded people,” said hotel general manager Charles Oak. “We want Heckfield Place to be comforting and true to itself. We don’t want to be formulaic, but intuitive, honest and elegant – it will be a hotel with a soul.”


Gyngell, who left Petersham Nurseries Cafe in February after eight years at the venue​, will be responsible for devising menus for all three restaurants which will be a showcase for the farm's produce and will feature her 'characteristic simplicity'. 

The first, the Beckwith, will be a 30-cover restaurant open for lunch and dinner with a weekly-changing menu. 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.

Family dining, including breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, will be available in The Restaurant while The Stables will serve just four 'hearty' dishes throughout the day from mid-morning onwards, including lobster mayonnaise in a brioche roll, and slow-cooked shoulder of pork in a sourdough bun. 

The privately-owned Heckfield Place closed its doors two years ago for renovation work. Executive chef Chris Staines, cut his ties with the hotel after two years in February after securing a position as head chef and food and beverage director at Bath's Abbey Hotel​.

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