Sophisticated and spectacular, Michelin-starred restaurant Casamia brings an innovative dining experience to Bristol. Inspired by childhood memories and experiences, the cuisine reflects seasonality to highlight the incredible produce available at a particular time.
Brothers and self taught chefs – Peter and Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias – have always focused on seasonality and quality. In 2009, the head chefs gained a coveted Michelin star and 4AA rosettes followed a few years later. In 2012 it was decided that there would be a focus on one set menu at Casamia which, alongside the restaurant’s décor, changes each season.
Casamia has always been in Bristol, since 1999, located in Westbury-on-Trym until its relocation in January this year. It took the restaurant company roughly two years to find their ideal location that had a balance of being a blank canvas allowing Peter and Jonray to design a kitchen and restaurant exactly to their wants, whilst having some character and quirky features, in addition to easier accessibility.
“To be honest, we had outgrown the restaurant space so had the opportunity to either invest heavily where we were or to look around this incredible city and see if anywhere else excited us. You can’t help but feel inspired when you walk along the Bristol Harbourside. On a sunny day, it’s so beautiful and calm and for us to be part of such an iconic building, rife with Bristol history was just perfect,” Eleanor Brooks, Head of Operations & Communication at Casamia, told Premier Hospitality.
Over 100 years old, the site was originally The General Hospital and the restaurant’s specific unit was used for storage. Then, when leading heritage Property Developers City and Country bought the building, they used that very spot as a sales suite. So upon Casamia’s first visit to the space it presented an attractive show home flat complete with bedrooms, a kitchen and bathrooms. The difference between the former show home and the now-restaurant is remarkable.
“We have been working with City and Country for about 18 months. And we opened on 19th January this year. The restaurant is on one level and we can accommodate up to 42 covers.
“We fell in love with the original features of the building. The large wooden shutters on the front door, the original open brick work etc. We wanted to create a restaurant that used natural materials, working with local craftsmen to feel like Bristol. The restaurant has a light feel to it, with a lot of grey wood, glass, white washed brick walls, Silestone and pottery accents.
“We have faced many challenges from our chairs not being ready in time, to the heating not working properly on our opening night; we encountered delays with contractors to meters not being installed. In short, we were originally supposed to open in November 2015 and this was postponed to January 2016. But, as Peter always says ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I truly believe that now.
“It’s been incredible to be part of this project. To work with such a passionate team and helping to realise a dream of the Sanchez Family (and all at Casamia), has been amazing. I feel really lucky to be able to work with such a forward thinking, hardworking and detail orientated proud Bristolian that is Peter Sanchez-Igelsias (our Head Chef/Co-owner).”
When asked whether there are any more restaurants in the pipeline for Casamia, Eleanor replied:
“Yes, we are expanding our Sanchez-Brothers brand; we plan to open Pi Shop pizzeria in June and then Paco Tapas later in the summer.”
For more information please go to: www.sanchez-brothers.co.uk.