Kenny Atkinson to reopen Violets bistro as fine dining restaurant Solstice

11 August 2021 by
Kenny Atkinson to reopen Violets bistro as fine dining restaurant Solstice

Chef Kenny Atkinson and his wife Abbie are to open a new fine dining restaurant in Newcastle on the site of their former bistro Violets.

The venue, named Solstice, is expected to launch later this year as a sister site to the couple's Michelin-starred House of Tides restaurant in the city.

Violets opened in 2016 and was awarded a Bib Gourmand in the 2020 Michelin guide but announced its closure in April last year.

"We actually gave up the site due to Covid last year but decided to extend the lease and keep it," said Kenny. "With Covid and social distancing going to be an issue for a while we decided not to continue as a café/bistro."

Instead, the couple are relaunching the site as Solstice, which Kenny describes as a small fine dining restaurant set over seven tables with an open kitchen. The chef told The Caterer he was expecting the site to be completed around October, though dates may change.

"Solstice will be something different to our main restaurant House of Tides," he said. "I want the chefs to be more involved with customer interaction."

Kenny won his first Michelin star in 2006 at the St Martin's hotel on the Isles of Scilly and appeared on the BBC programme Great British Menu in 2009 and 2010, when his dishes went through to the final banquet.

The Atkinson's opened House of Tides in 2014 in a 16th-century townhouse on Newcastle Quayside, and it won the Newcomer Award at the 2015 Cateys.

The restaurant also gained a Michelin star within 18 months of opening and now holds four AA rosettes.

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