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Wine glasses

Restaurant James Sommerin

AA Notable Wine List 2018-19
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

Dazzling displays of contemporary cuisine

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Credit cards accepted

Reach the Severn Estuary and head for Penarth pier and just across the esplanade you’ll find Restaurant James Sommerin (RJS) in a handsome Victorian terrace. The view is lovely and if the weather is not always calm and soothing, head indoors where you’ll be greeted warmly and seated in the charmingly civilised dining room. It’s a contemporary space, smartly so, with linen tablecloths and velour seats to sink into. RJS also has deliciously designed rooms if you’ve a mind to stop over, with sea views from the best of them. The eponymous chef-patron’s menus don’t give a lot away, with simple descriptions belying the complexity and creativity of each course from the carte or two tasting menus (six or nine courses). The seasons lead the way and a good deal of the produce comes from around these parts, with more than a whiff of European détente. Creamy burrata stars in an opening course with heritage carrots and seed granola, while pea ravioli is a dish that took James all the way to the BBC Great British Menu final. Main course delivers Welsh lamb, naturally, but with coconut, cumin and mint, or go for monkfish with the well-judged flavour of curry spices. Like everything else, desserts look stunning on the plate; an inventive apple number, for example, with tarte Tatin flavours. The wine list includes interesting options by the glass, and also features Welsh organic and biodynamic wines from the Ancre Hill Estates.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Closed: 26 December, 1 January
  • Days closed: Monday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2.30
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 9.30


  • Chef(s): James Sommerin

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 15
  • Wines over £30: 100+
  • Wines by the glass: 14

Price guide

  • Starter from: £9
  • Main course from19.50
  • Dessert from: £9
  • Tasting menu from: £65
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 65
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 12
  • Off-site parking available: On street

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