Stoke House, the latest culinary addition to the Victoria Nova Complex has opened, as the latest project from renowned restaurateur Will Ricker and his Ricker Restaurants brand.
Stoke House provides diners with a modern take on the great British carvery, serving food made using top quality meat cuts from the UK’s best farmers, as well as seasonal produce. A unique and sophisticated approach to self-service, Stoke House is a pocket-friendly concept whereby customers choose their meat at the counter and pay according to its weight.
With approximately 100 covers in addition to seating at the bar, Stoke House is an all-day destination from breakfast to dinner. Speaking to Premier Hospitality, Owner Will Ricker outlined the origins of Stoke House and what customers can expect:
“We were trying to find an outdated food concept that was intrinsically good but just hadn’t moved forward. We looked at the British Carvery and saw how dated it was. It used to be a big family favourite but has become virtually unrecognisable.
“We also wanted to find a concept that was fun, new and fresh but didn’t require a large amount of staff. We’re getting fantastic cuts of British beef from places like Cornwall, cooked in a traditional way but the design and concept are bringing it up to date.
“We’ve made it very tactile. There’s a lot of wood, blackened steel and two huge smokers. We have a market wall of fresh vegetables because we’re not just doing meat; we’re also doing fish and homemade salads. The design involves a lot of visual entertainment, things like a big butcher’s block and scales to weigh the food. We’ve also done a Union Jack using new colours made out of beer cans.”
WFC was the main contractor on Stoke House. The project marks the sixth time WFC has worked with restaurateur, Will Ricker.
New York City based designer Jason Volenec of Volenec Studio was lead designer for the space. Volenec Studio placed an emphasis on creating a warm, open and accessible atmosphere with communal tables, bench and bar seating and low lighting. Dark wood, contemporary tiles and copper elements make the interior feel homely and soft, while wine casks lined up along one side of the space add a rustic element.
Food at Stoke House is served under the eye of Pete Denhart, acclaimed former Head Chef of Fitzrovia’s The Newman Arms. All the specially selected cuts of beef, lamb, pork and whole chickens are cooked to perfection in the impressive wood fire smoker. Carvery meats include slowly smoked aged ruby red Suffolk beef short rib; slow roasted Welsh lamb belly; middlewhite pork collar brioche with fennel apple slaw and burnt apple sauce; and rare Cornish barrel rump, seared and seasoned with Cornish sea salt.
Great sides and salads from the ‘living salad wall’ alongside cocktails, craft beer and wine straight from the barrel will add a contemporary twist to the classic carvery concept. Located within the Nova Victoria Complex, Stoke House is ideally placed to take advantage of footfall from the tube and offices above. Will added:
“The Victoria Nova Complex is a fantastic location and we’re very excited to be involved with it. There are 240,000 people a day using Victoria tube station and there are 7,000 office workers above us. We have set our price range so we can target office workers for lunch and we’re also doing cooked breakfasts.
“It’s been a long time coming; the last restaurant I opened was four years ago. For me it’s a new chapter, it’s a new concept that I am really into and really believe in.”
The Nova Victoria Complex is a mixed use scheme comprising five buildings contained within a pedestrianised, landscaped public space opposite Victoria mainline railway station. In the heart of London’s world famous West End, Nova houses 603,000 square feet of Grade A office space, 193,000 square feet of high quality apartments and 85,000 square feet of restaurants, eateries, bars and retail.
Ricker Restaurants has been serving food in London since 1996 when Will set up his first restaurant, Cicada. A number of separate ventures quickly followed to both commercial and critical success. Stoke House is the fifth UK-based venture currently in the Ricker portfolio.