Restaurant James Sommerin
Michelin-starred fine dining in Penarth, Wales
James Sommerin is Chef Patron of his eponymously-named restaurant with rooms in Penarth, near Cardiff in South Wales. Widely regarded as one of Wales’ leading chefs, James has led the restaurant to achieve numerous accolades since its opening in 2014, including being awarded a Michelin star in 2017.
The restaurant, run by James and his wife, Louise, serves contemporary dishes inspired by James’s love of classic French food with internationally-influenced flavours. Very much a family run business, James heads up the kitchen, Louise runs front of house and his 19-year old daughter Georgia is currently sous chef at the restaurant, having been in training since she was 13.
The restaurant’s reputation has helped to elevate Wales’ status as a prime location for some of the most ground-breaking food. James remains loyal to his roots in his love of Welsh produce, aiming to highlight more unusual products and show off the best that his country has to offer. His culinary skills combined with his dedication to using locally sourced ingredients, treated with respect, creates food that is simple yet playful, thoughtful and easy on the palate.
Guests are able to choose from a perfectly proportioned A La Carte menu, or opt for a 6-course or 9-course tasting menu. Dishes change regularly depending on seasonality, but current dishes on the menu include starters such as Pea ‘GBM’, parmesan, sage, serrano ham, a dish inspired by James’ time on Great British Menu, and smoked venison, tarragon, carrot. Mains include Welsh lamb, coconut, butternut squash, cumin, mint, and Wild sea bass, samphire, ginger, artichoke.
The restaurant boasts stunning panoramic sea views, situated on Penarth’s esplanade, a short drive from Cardiff. The dining room itself is minimalist in its design, with luxurious and well-thought out touches throughout.
The property also offers 9 tastefully decorated rooms, each designed with a character of its own. 5 of the rooms benefit from stunning views across the Severn Estuary, with floor to ceiling windows and queen-sized beds. The rooms reflect the warmth and friendliness throughout the whole building, carefully designed by James and Louise to ensure the most relaxing stay possible. Bed and breakfast packages are available from £120 per person based on two sharing.
About James Sommerin:
James’s love of cooking began with, and is continuously influenced by, his late grandmother, who inspired him throughout his childhood by her usage of the best quality ingredients she could afford and taught him the basics of cookery.
James started his career in hospitality at the age of 12, working his way up the ranks for 4 years before moving to Farleyer House in Scotland as Commis Chef. There, he worked under the guidance of Head Chef Richard Lyth until 2000, where he moved back to Wales to start working at The Crown at Whitebrook. James started work at the restaurant as Sous Chef and after three years became Head Chef of the restaurant. In 2007, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin-star under James’s leadership, which was retained by the restaurant until it closed its doors in 2013.
In 2014, James then opened Restaurant James Sommerin. The restaurant has received multiple accolades since opening; the restaurant has been awarded 3 AA Rosettes, named AA Restaurant of the Year, Wales from 2016-2017, was placed number 34 in the Good Food Guide 2017 and in 2016, was awarded a highly coveted Michelin Star.
In 2009, James won the regional final for Wales on Great British Menu, and in 2018 published his own cookbook, ‘Generations’, dedicated to his grandmother.
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