In mid-July, Cornus will open in London’s Belgravia - the second restaurant from David O’Connor and Joe Mercer-Nairne of the acclaimed Chelsea restaurant, Medlar. Chef Gary Foulkes will lead the kitchen, joining from the Michelin-starred Angler to offer a regularly changing menu that will showcase the bounty of British seasonal produce through precise and vibrant cookery.

Cornus, which takes its name from the botanical appellation for the native dogwood shrub, will continue to build on the reputation for exceptional hospitality that O’Connor and his team have cultivated at Medlar. O’Connor will work alongside his wife Monika (both worked at The Square) to oversee the front of house team, creating an elegant neighbourhood dining destination for Belgravia. Many former Medlar team members will be returning for the project, with Melania Battiston (previously Head Sommelier) joining as Wine Director, and Mario Aranquez (previously Head Barman) heading up the bar.

Foulkes will lead the kitchen, combining his ingredient-led approach with flavours and techniques encountered on his travels around the world. Another alumnus of The Square, Foulkes will create an à la carte menu of creative, elevated dishes, grounded in the traditional principles and techniques of French cuisine. The menu will showcase the best of the British and European larder, with Foulkes sourcing seasonal produce from some of his favourite independent suppliers. Fresh Cornish seafood will come from long time friend and supplier Johnny Godden of Flying Fish, French produce including Landes chickens from top producer Arnaud Tauzin via Maurica Fitzgerald at Le Marche du Chef, and the season's best fruit and vegetables from greengrocer David Swain at Primeur. A number of larger, sharing style dishes, designed for group dining, will be on offer, adding to Cornus’s convivial atmosphere.

On the sommelier team, Battiston will be joined by Lukasz Gorski, currently the World Young Sommelier of the Year. The two will guide guests through a wine list of unique and premium bottles, selected for their individual stories and the lasting impression that they have made on the team. An extensive by-the-glass offering will also be available, as well as a range of sakés chosen by Battiston both to pair with Foulkes’s menu, and showcase the rice wine’s varied expressions.

From Cornus’s central bar, Aranquez will offer a range of classic cocktails, as well as a number of signature serves such as a Clarified Coffee Negroni. A wide and varied array of non-alcoholic options will also complement the food menu in their complexity and design.

The 70 cover restaurant will be located on the rooftop of Grosvenor’s “The Ice Factory” at Eccleston Yards, Belgravia - a repurposed warehouse originally built in 1830 for Shingleton’s Ice Company, and redeveloped by Grosvenor. O’Connor and Mercer-Nairne have worked with Day Studio, the interior designers behind Trullo, to design an interior scheme which takes inspiration from the orange and red autumn stems, and white summer flowers, of the restaurant’s namesake. Tactile fabrics, warm metallic details and responsive lighting systems, which interact with the time of day, will ensure the restaurant feels like an inner-city oasis. Expanses of glass will offer guests an unparalleled view of London’s skyline, connecting the restaurant with the city landscape.

Of the opening, O’Connor says: For me, service is one the most important and undervalued elements of a restaurant, and I’m looking forward to matching our strong customer service philosophy with Gary’s food and Melania’s wine program at Cornus. Medlar has become embedded in the Chelsea neighbourhood since opening thirteen years ago, and now we’re looking forward to bringing Cornus to the Belgravia community - building relationships with new visitors, who we hope will soon become returning customers.

Cornus will open in mid-July, at 27c Eccleston Place, Belgravia