Looks like you’ll need to book ahead as award-winning chef Simon Wainwright opens new restaurant in Gorleston

Former Imperial Hotel chef Simon Wainwright is set to open a new restaurant 'SW1' on Quay road, Gorl

Former Imperial Hotel chef Simon Wainwright is set to open a new restaurant 'SW1' on Quay road, Gorleston. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It is a postcode district which is home to some of the most sought-after addresses in the capital.

Former Imperial Hotel chef Simon Wainwright is set to open a new restaurant 'SW1' on Quay road, Gorl

Former Imperial Hotel chef Simon Wainwright is set to open a new restaurant 'SW1' on Quay road, Gorleston. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

And it also happens to be the initials of one of Norfolk's biggest names in food.

Now chef Simon Wainwright is hoping to emulate the success of fellow foodies who have graduated from Great Yarmouth's Imperial Hotel to open his own restaurant, SW1.

The enterprising 37-year-old has quit his role at the seafront kitchen where Daniel Smith, Richard Hughes, and Mark Dixon also honed their culinary craft to realise a long-held ambition in Gorleston.

With a growing reputation as 'the new Southwold' the seaside hub was the perfect place to start out, he said.

Former Imperial Hotel chef Simon Wainwright is set to open a new restaurant 'SW1' on Quay road, Gorl

Former Imperial Hotel chef Simon Wainwright is set to open a new restaurant 'SW1' on Quay road, Gorleston. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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'The ambition for any good chef is to eventually own their own restaurant,' he said.

'It will be their goal in life to put their name on their food.

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'People will come in here now and expect to see me and that is what I am looking forward to.

'They will be coming here for my food whereas at the Imperial we were open for seven days so it wasn't always me.

'I have walked away from a very good job but it is like anything in life, if you don't take a chance you are never going to know .

'If it were anywhere else in Gorleston I would probably not have gone for it. I always said if it ever came up I would like to have it.

'It's perfect.'

Mr Wainwright, who is married with two young daughters, has take over the former Key Largo restaurant close to the harbour's mouth.

For 20 years it had been in the hands of Gary and Shirley Hodds who have now retired.

Taking it over has meant a total re-fit and adorning the walls with stunning Gorleston scenes by accomplished local artist Geoffrey Chatten.

The 50-cover restaurant opens on Friday June 30 and is already fully booked.

Mr Wainwright is promising a seasonal menu using fresh local ingredients.

He hopes to attract diners who like good, honest, fresh food that can be enjoyed regularly rather than just on special occasions.

The restaurant will open on Tuesday to Saturday at 6.30pm, last orders at 9.30pm.

He is also planning to host wakes, christenings and private parties.

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