The GFG Briefing | 19 January 2018
Published 19 January 2018

Chef Richard Turner

A Galvin brothers closure, Heston pop-up and new Hawksmoor opening are amongst this week's news...

Midsummer House drops tasting menus in favour of à la carte

Cambridge restaurant Midsummer House is stopping its tasting menus and serving just à la carte menus from the spring. Chef Daniel Clifford says it’s because there has been a shift in the way diners eat out but the change would also provide his kitchen staff with a better work-life balance. He said:
'We will be changing to full à la carte menus from May. I would like my chefs to cook how I learnt my craft and to give our guests the choice.' It is expected that the new menus will retain classic dishes such as the sea scallop, Granny Smith and celeriac, which has long been a favourite at the restaurant, which celebrates its 20th anniversary later this year.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal to pop-up at the Hind’s Head for one day only

The team from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will take up a one day residency at The Hind’s Head pub in Bray. Chef Director Ashley Palmer-Watts and head chef Jonny Glass and his team will be joining the kitchen brigade at The Hind’s Head to cook a five-course menu of Dinner dishes inspired by historic British gastronomy. The menu features signature dishes including the acclaimed starter ‘Meat Fruit’ (c.1500); mandarin, chicken liver parfait with grilled bread, and a main course of spiced pigeon (c.1780) with ale and artichokes. A vegetarian menu is also available. The five-course lunch and dinner takes place on Saturday, February 3, and costs £95 per head. Tickets can be bought via

Original Galvin brothers restaurant to close next month

Chris and Jeff Galvin have announced that they are closing their original restaurant, Galvin Bistrot de Luxe in Marylebone. The award-winning restaurant opened in 2005 and since then the brothers have launched several other sites including Galvin La Chapelle and Galvin HOP in Spitalfields, Galvin at Windows in Mayfair and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in Edinburgh. The last service at the Baker Street restaurant is February 10.

Ex-Grain Store chef takes over Gloucestershire’s Butchers Arms

The Butchers Arms at Eldersfield, Gloucestershire, has changed hands. New owner/chef Mark Block previously worked at (the now closed) Grain Store in Kings Cross and the Bluebird in Chelsea. The pub’s previous owners James and Elizabeth Winter sold the business at the end of 2017 after ten years. They have taken a year off to travel the world with their children in a vintage VW camper van.

Richard Turner closes his Birmingham restaurant after a decade

Birmingham restaurant Turners at 69 has closed its doors after a decade. Chef-patron Richard Turner said: 'The restaurant has enjoyed many wonderful years on the Birmingham dining scene. I would like to apologise to anyone who will be disappointed by the closure and extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported Turners at 69 over the years.' The restaurant opened in 2007 as Turners Restaurant but relaunched as the more casual Turners at 69 in August 2016.

Eighth Hawksmoor restaurant will open in Edinburgh this summer

Hawksmoor will open its first restaurant outside England in Edinburgh this summer. The 170-cover restaurant will be Hawksmoor’s eighth opening and will be located in the former Royal Bank of Scotland hall in the city’s St Andrew Square. Since the first Hawksmoor opened in Spitalfields in 2006, the group has opened restaurants in Mayfair, Borough Market, Guildhall, Knightsbridge, Seven Dials and Manchester. There are also plans to open in New York.

Catch up on last week's briefing...