The 40-cover ground-floor restaurant, which closes tomorrow (28 February), has been taken on by Jason Atherton and will be re-open in April as the first solo venture for the 98-bedroom hotel’s new executive chef Lee Westcott.
Westcott comes in from Atherton’s 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry restaurant in Hong Kong. His culinary experience includes four years working alongside Tom Aikens, heading up the kitchen at his Chelsea restaurant; along with stints at the three-Michelin-starred Per Se in New York, alongside Rene Redzepi at Noma and with Gordon Ramsey at Claridges.
The as-yet-unnamed restaurant replacing Viajante is financially backed by Atherton and the Town Hall Hotel's owner Peng Loh, but it is ‘very much Lee’s restaurant’. It is currently undergoing a full refurbishment and further details of the food and drink offering will be announced early next month.
Peg & Patriot
Meanwhile, Viajante’s adjacent bar has been taken over by Matt Whiley, who also runs The Talented Mr Fox at One Leicester Street. Whiley will open the ‘Peg & Patriot’ at the same time as the new restaurant.
The bar, which has space for around 60 customers, will have a focus on distillation, making three different styles of gin on-site. Whiley will also be producing all his own house vodkas, liqueurs and vermouths.
It’s cocktail menu will feature items unique to the bar, including the Salt Beef Sazerac (salt beef beigal cognac/absinthe/sugar and bitters) and Marmite Vodka Martini (P&P marmite vodka served wet with house-made dry vermouth). Food at the bar will come from the hotel’s executive chef Westcott and will complement the eclectic drinks offering.
Westcott will also be overseeing the menu at the upstairs Corner Room & Bar, which continues to trade as normal, as well as the hotel’s conference and banqueting menus.
Viajante’s founder Nuno Mendes has taken up his new position as executive chef of Chiltern Firehouse – André Balazs's new Marylebone hotel which opened on 16 February. The menu takes a modern American inspiration from the 16 years Mendes spent training and working in the US with the likes of Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Spokespeople for Mendes have said that the Portuguese chef intends to reopen Viajante at a new London location at some time in the future.
The Town Hall Hotel's new restaurant and Peg & Patriot bar will open in April.