Brace of restaurants for re-wilding retreat near Croydon

Former Typing Room chef Lee Westcott will next week unveil the first of his two restaurants at a new luxury hotel and rewilding scheme at Selsdon on the southern outskirts of London.

Vervain, billed as an all-day dining room, opens next Thursday (13 April) at Birch, which has replaced the former Selsdon Park Hotel and golf course that closed down during the pandemic. Elodie, the venue’s signature restaurant, is scheduled to launch at the end of April.

Lee worked for the Galvin brothers, Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton before making his name at the Typing Room in Bethnal Green and going on to run Pensons in Worcestershire.

Birch Selsdon occupies a grand Victorian mansion on a 200-acre estate just south of Croydon which was converted into a hotel with golf course in the 1920s. The 18-hole golf course is now being re-wilded in what is described as the largest project of its kind in London, complete with Exmoor ponies and cattle – the latter eventually providing meat for the kitchen.

In addition to the two restaurants, Birch will feature 181 bedrooms, three bars, a lido, wellness space, co-working hub, communal spaces, arts studios, an arcade and kids’ club, as well as running and cycling trails in the grounds. “It is part hotel, part foodie haven, part members club, part working space, part wellness getaway, part creative hub, and all parts fun.”

The Selsdon project is the second from lifestyle brand Birch, founded by entrepreneurs Chris Penn and Chris King. Birch Cheshunt opened in 2020, with chef Robin Gill of Sorella and Darby’s in London directing the kitchen operations.

Share this article: