In September 2004 I arrived, with a single pack on my back, from NZ to start a new chapter of my life in London. Leaving behind a load of wonderful friends, my family and a secure office job; I had a job at The Savoy Grill beckoning.
Fast forward 16 years; from the Grill, to what was then Pétrus (to become Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, to Marcus) with The Gilbert Scott opening in 2011 and Tredwells in 2014. And me, I was in and out of my whites; making my first foray without them for the opening of The Gilbert Scott as General Manager and then becoming Group Operations Director for Marcus. I opened Tredwells in an operations role, yet as the opening didn’t really pan out as intended I went into the kitchen six months later, for what I had thought would be a short stint to get things on track. That short stint has turned into 5 years, with me really finding my feet in terms of how I wanted to run a kitchen, as well as a business.
So there came the point when, for everyone’s futures to be what they wanted, I took full ownership of something I had sunk a lot of my heart, soul, and life, into. I became the sole owner of Tredwells a little over 2 years ago.
The timing never quite seemed right to shout about it, and fear being a constant, dull headache – ‘will people still want to visit if the MW name has been removed?’. Yet, I also wanted Tredwells to forge its own path ahead, and that path was on a slightly different trajectory. So earlier this year, I decided the time had come to make it common knowledge. Alas, a certain pandemic seemed to have other ideas and, as we have all experienced, everything was put on hold, including a future, in some respects.
Now, at the beginning of July 2020, after some challenging times, and some respite, I decided it was time to get my ‘independence’ out in the open. I had hoped for a snazzy new website and a few more bells and whistles, but the last few months have meant this isn’t possible, for now. (Re)Creating a home for my team, our suppliers, our community and our future guests is paramount.
I am still a part of the MW family, and a business partner in The Gilbert Scott, but this shift has provided a lot of autonomy, and allowed me to operate in the way that fits with my own ethos moving forward.
And so whilst I am at it, another confession; whilst I have adored our current home in Seven Dials, I feel that in order for me to take Tredwells into the future it needed a new home, where my vision of more of a ‘regenerative’ restaurant could take shape*. Thus, Tredwells 2.0 was slowly working in the background, with a new site in the pipeline. Whilst those plans are now a little waylaid and slightly dynamic, I decided to take this opportunity to start as we mean to go on.
So, we will be doing our own light, semi-upcycled refurb – sanding, painting and warming the place up. We are also working harder than ever, across the board, to really consider every product and ingredient that comes in, to try and make it as honest and sustainable as possible across all facets; people as well business and planet, without foregoing any of the qualities that are important to what we create for our guests. We are also scrutinising all of our outputs (which was a key driver in wanting to make a move) and challenging ourselves to do more in the space we are currently in.
To begin with, our menu will be pretty concise. With a key focus on British, seasonal ingredients and championing the awesome producers we should all be proud to have in this country. As food waste has always been at the top of my kitchen operation, the menu will change often, and we will be working hard to operate on pared back opening hours. We will be strengthening current supplier relationships and forging new ones. It is important to me to be more involved in the local community, with a social purpose. And then adding into the mix, I also have a load of ideas to trial in regards to other projects within the Tredwells orbit. So, Tredwells 2.0 is on track, with the now 3.0 version still in the pipeline. Navigating through this AC (‘After Covid’) era is no doubt going to be tough, but I’m not one to turn my back on a challenge, so we are rising to it. I hope you can join us for the ride.
*anyone interested in our wonderful site, from a real estate perspective, please contact Rob Meadows from Davis Coffer Lyons.