Issue Number: 119
Oliver Peyton explains what he’s cooking up for friends and visitors when the Keeper’s House opens this autumn Interview by Sue Herdman
The new Keeper’s House facilities provide a beautiful space in which everyone can meet and relax. Here visitors will find comfort and the highest quality, from tea to champagne, light snacks to three-course meals.
The new-look Sir Hugh Casson and Belle Shenkman rooms and the new restaurant and garden bar offer British-inspired food. Each day our foragers and producers supply seasonal ingredients that speak of the British landscape: fish caught the day they’re cooked, rock samphire and sea aster (a wild edible plant), wild mushrooms, apples and hazelnuts. All our dishes are cooked from scratch in our kitchens. If you order a quiche in the Sir Hugh Casson room, it will have been baked within the previous hour. The chicken in our Caesar salad comes from our farm in Yorkshire and the dressing is home-made to our own recipe, with just a dash of mustard.
During the day the atmosphere in the Keeper’s House will be relaxed. Friends can linger over a cup of own-blend coffee or tea (we have 40 varieties), with cakes fresh from the oven.
In the evenings we welcome Friends and visitors to our new restaurant, which is open to the public. The menu draws inspiration from the artistic heritage of this institution, with events such as ‘Great Dinners from History’. For these we have delved into the RA’s archive of menus, updating them for our times.
There are two things I’d love anyone eating at the Keeper’s House to take away with them: the sense that the RA has created a space infused with the sensibility of art and artists, and that they haven’t had a culinary experience quite like it before.’