Fera at Claridge’s is a brand new dining experience from leading chef Simon Rogan, the Michelin starred, culinary whiz behind the likes of the Pig and Whistle, Aulis and The French.
The new restaurant opened its doors on the 6th May – replacing Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s – and serves up a selection of dishes which make use of some of the best seasonal ingredients available.
After establishing his flagship restaurant, L’Enclume, in 2002, British chef, Simon Rogan continued to make a name for himself with the likes of the Roganic and Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, before taking on this latest venture in Mayfair. In reference to his new restaurant, Simon said:
“This is a massive honour and we are focused and determined to create a truly outstanding restaurant.”
Taking ingredients from his own farm, along with produce sourced from specially selected suppliers, Simon and his team have created a delicious menu which demonstrates the chef’s creativity and flare for cooking. As Fera only uses ingredients which are picked in their prime, the menu may also change from time to time, highlighting the adaptability of his offering.
Dishes include lettuce dressed in vinegar, flaky crab, beach herbs, dill cream and radishes; dry aged Herdwick hogget, with pickled tongue, hen of the woods, turnips and alexanders; and plaice braised in nettle butter, with horseradish, cockles and salsify. Additional choices include middle white pork jowl, with warm herb sabayon, white purple sprouting and mead reduction; and brill braised in whey flavoured with alexander seeds, blewits, whelks and sea asters.
For those with a sweet tooth, Chef Rogan’s menu includes baked yoghurt with pear poached in verjus, mountain mint and muscovado; and beetroot cake with sea buckthorn curd, liquorice and buttermilk.
Taking its name from the Latin word for wild, Fera was expertly designed by Guy Oliver of Oliver Laws and showcases a connection to the elements through the use of colour, art and materials. Highlights of the design include an open plan kitchen; providing guests with the opportunity to interact with the sous chef should they wish, alongside a fantastic piece of art from American artist Linn Meyers.
Hot on the heels of the restaurant’s grand opening, Premier Hospitality caught up with Guy Oliver to find out what it takes to create a new dining experience for such an iconic hotel.
“Claridge’s by nature is a lot like someone’s home in London, rather than a hotel and has a very unique identity. Due to my high-end residential experience I was first approached by Claridge’s around 18 years ago to work on some of their other projects and I have continued a strong working relationship with the hotel ever since. Claridge’s is a like a family to me. I love the hotel and I love the people. I remember the first day I walked into the hotel, it was very grand and I was scared to death, but it is so friendly and everyone is treated equally.
“When you start looking at a hotel like Claridge’s, which is a listed building with a strong history that people are familiar with, you are effectively given set parameters from which to work with. The hotel was built in 1800s, but was altered quite dramatically in the late 1920s and early ‘30s. This restaurant had remained in the same form since 1931, so when approaching the design I felt that it was important to retain the authenticity of the past, by keeping key elements whilst layering the new, more contemporary aspects.
“When we met with Simon our first thought was that we should take his identity to the hotel, as he is such an extraordinary chef. However, this project was about presenting his offering within Claridge’s, so we decided that the identity should reflect the hotel and the period from which the hotel is most famous for. In addition, we have introduced other exciting additions into the space including pieces of art, one of which covers the wall which leads into the kitchen.”
The colour palette has an organic feel, via the use of greens and greys, which help to create a gallery-like-feel to the space. Furthermore, natural walnut tables were introduced to effectively provide a natural canvas to showcase Chef Rogan’s culinary delights.
“The main aim was to ensure that the design of restaurant wouldn’t compete with what Simon is serving; it had to be complimentary, whilst still ensuring it maintained its own ‘wow’ factor.”
Situated in Mayfair, the hotel is ideally situated close to the West End and thriving business sectors. Over the years, Claridge’s has provided a comfortable stay to many leading names, including the likes of movie stars Cary Grant and Brad Pitt, singers Mick Jagger and Mariah Carey, and even movie director Alfred Hitchcock. The addition of Fera at Claridge’s continues to maintain the hotel’s status of one of the most prestigious 5* hotels in London.
Fera at Claridge’s is open seven days a week, for lunch from 12pm until 2:30pm and for dinner from 6:30pm until 10pm. Those wishing to dine at Fera at Claridge’s should be advised that the reservation diary for the main dining area works on a 60 day rolling basis.
Timbermark Manufacture ltd
Timbermark is a specialist joinery manufacturer providing services to the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. The company was established in 2011 by Tim Brown and Mark Dickson, who between them have nearly 60 years experience in the industry.
Timbermark take a bespoke approach with every project, ensuring the creation of beautifully crafted furniture and fit-outs. Speaking about the company, Estimator, Paul Robinson said:
“We utilize the latest technology along with traditional production methods to create works of the highest quality. We have recently completed projects for The Connaught, Selfridges, Chateau de la Cazine, The Mac Belfast, Slater Design, Focus Menswear, Lakeland and Butler’s Chocolate Cafés.
“Our team of specialist joiners combines the latest technology with traditional production techniques to offer a bespoke joinery service. We produce furniture (both built in and free standing), doors, windows and screens to a specification and to the very highest quality.
“Our workshop in Belfast offers a wide range of timbers — from beautiful hardwoods such as Ash, Oak and Teak, to more traditional softwoods such as Pine. The natural beauty and durability of these woods are enhanced through a range of subtle finishes, including lamination, staining and spraying.”
Working on Fera at Claridge’s, Timbermark supplied the rotunda and two lightboxes.
“We have been associated with Claridge’s for several years, supplying bespoke joinery items and pieces of furniture, and this is a partnership that we hope will continue for the foreseeable future.”
“At Timbermark we pride ourselves on quality and our ability to deliver on time.”
Trademark Masons Ltd
Trademark Masons Ltd specialise in stone works, from restoration and conservation to interior fit-outs, for the hospitality, leisure and retail industries. The company also conducts stone cure maintenance work, which includes cleaning and restoring colours, repairing chips and cracks and polishing stone.
Trademark Masons Ltd has worked on numerous prestigious projects including the Berkeley Hotel, Shangri-La at the Shard and has a stone maintenance contract at the Connaught Hotel. More recently the company has been involved with Fera at Claridge’s, sourcing materials from Italy and Mexico.
Trademark Masons Ltd Managing Director, Johnny Booth, said:
“This project is very important to us as we have been involved with all the recent stone work at Claridge’s and it is great to be associated with such a great name as Simon Rogan.”
“We pride ourselves on our service and our ability to speak directly to interior designers to achieve the desired result. We bring our manufacturing expertise to the table to ensure everything runs smoothly.”
Facilities Management specialise in all aspects of mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance, and have been in operation for six years. Since their inception the firm has established an impressive portfolio working on a range of projects across the leisure and hospitality industry.
Past projects include the McLaren Formula One technical centre in Woking and Summit House in Reading in which the team carried out all the ventilation works. Facilities Management also carry out regular works at Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, the sister hotel to Claridge’s.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Richard Smith, Director of Facilities Management, to find out more about the firms recent involvement in Fera at Claridge’s. He said:
“We installed all of the new kitchen and restaurant ventilation for the site and personally I managed all of that installation. We were on-site for three months working on the restaurant and it was great to gain a name for ourselves in the London area.
“We want to put our names to a high profile project like Claridge’s and prove to the clients we deliver an honest and reliable service, with complete transparency.”
Mastercraft Construction Ltd
Mastercraft Construction Associates Limited is a general building contractor and undertakes projects in various sectors including the commercial, industrial and residential arenas. The company has been in operation for 25 years and originally specialised in joinery works before increasing its services and moving into residential house building and general building. In addition, the firm have developed a shop fitting division as well as a specialist formwork team which undertake heavy structural reinforced concrete works.
The firm have an impressive portfolio which stretches geographically across the British Isles and abroad. The works include hotels, hospitals, exhibition centres and theatres with several of these projects picking up architectural awards for example the Lyric Theatre in Belfast winning 16 awards including RIBA Best Cultural Building, the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool winning RIBA Building of the Year 2014, the Strule Arts Centre and Omagh RICS Project of the Year Award 2008. Mastercraft have carried out numerous and varied projects for retail giants, Asda and Tescos. Mastercraft also undertook the specialist projects including the Giant Causeway Visitor’s Centre, The Aviva Stadium Dublin and a roofing project at the prestigious Royal County Down Golf Club, based in Newcastle in Northern Ireland and which is to host one of the European Golf Tour’s premier events, the Irish Open, in 2015.
The company have carried out projects for The Maybourne Hotel Group who own Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley Hotels. Mastercraft have established a longstanding relationship with The Maybourne Hotel Group and so were ideally placed to undertake the current project at Claridge’s.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Mastercraft’s Contracts Manager, Anthony Keenan, to find out more about their involvement. He said:
“We acted as the principal contractor on the project, managed and co-ordinated the activities of all the trade packages on site including M & E, joiners, tilers and the decorators to mention just a few. Claridge’s is a very prestigious hotel and the completed “Fera” Restaurant will be an impressive finished product.
“Close involvement with the design team and being associated with another prestigious project gives us a further opportunity to demonstrate our range of expertise. Although the finishes and systems being used are challenging the results achieved are of the high standard required. We at Mastercraft pride ourselves on quality above all else and keeping the customer satisfied.”