Acclaimed Lyme Regis chef to open new wine bar

Harriet Mansell
Chef Harriet Mansell of Robin Wydle will soon be opening her second premises in Lyme Regis

ACCLAIMED chef Harriet Mansell, of Lyme Regis restaurant Robin Wylde, is set to open her second premises in the town this summer. 

Following the soaring success of Robin Wylde, which opened last year just before the second national lockdown, Harriet is now planning to open wine bar Lilac in the former premises of Cellar 59 in Broad Street.

Lilac, a 40-cover wine bar & tap room will open in July, specialising in low-intervention wines and small plates.

The new venture will echo the ethos of Harriet’s debut restaurant Robin Wylde, which shines a light on the quality and abundance of West Country produce, wild and foraged ingredients.

Opening within the 400-year-old cellar space in Lyme’s town centre, Lilac will offer a selection of wines sourced from small-scale Dorset vineyards, to include the Furleigh Estate, Sharpham, Castlewood, Dunleavy & Limeburn Hill, as well as Langham Winery in Dorchester who are creating the very first English sparkling wine by the keg, which Lilac will showcase.

An inimitable selection of international wines will also be available, alongside beers, ciders, meads, soft drinks and coffee. High quality natural canned wines, ideal for the beach, will also be available to takeaway.

A continuously changing menu of seasonal small plates will accompany the drinks, with a focus on vegetables, zero waste and sustainability.

Examples of dishes on the menu include tempura sea vegetables with smoked roe, elderflower and mint; Mackerel crudo with watercress oil and pine vinegar; as well as lobster on the fire with strawberry, rose and verbena.

Freshly baked breads with house charcuterie and cheeses will also be on the menu.

Wherever possible, Harriet’s team of chefs will use surplus ingredients from Robin Wylde to incorporate as part of the Lilac dishes, ensuring both destinations work in synergy to alleviate food waste.

Tying in with the character of the building’s original stone walls and archways, the Lilac interiors will take on a calming colour palette of neutral tones interspersed with earthy, natural materials and low-lighting.

Seasonally changing dried flowers, curated by West Country based sustainable florist Botanical Tales, will bring the outside in.

Harriet, who previously featured on the BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’, commented: “Lilac has been a long time in the planning, and with the lifting of lockdown restrictions and a general sense of optimism in the air, now feels like the perfect time to bring something completely new to Lyme.

“The name Lilac not only evokes those hopeful connotations of springtime, but we like to think of it in terms of a Lilac haze; a special sort of atmosphere that comes when heading into an evening of frivolity, that feeling when you know something good is about to happen.

“We are so looking forward to growing the Robin Wylde family and to continue sharing in the incredible produce our local winemakers, growers, fishermen and farmers work tirelessly to produce all year round.”

Robin Wylde, Harriet Mansell’s 26-cover restaurant, located a two-minute walk from Lilac on Silver Street, will reopen on May 19.

Here, Harriet serves a 10-12 course tasting menu with a strong focus on the area’s outstanding array of seafood, alongside wild and foraged ingredients.

You can find out more at www.robinwylde.com and the new Lilac website to be launched soon www.lilacwine.co.uk

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