Kenny and Abbie Atkinson to open new restaurant, Solstice

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

House of Tides owners Kenny and Abbie Atkinson Are actively planning the launch of a new restaurant, Solstice.

Solstice will be located a short distance away from their flagship, Newcastle's only Michelin-starred restaurant, where their award-winning bistro, Violets, used to be before closing in April 2020. A more intimate space than 60-cover House of Tides, Solstice will have just seven tables and a central kitchen, making for a more immersive guest experience.

In an interview with The Staff Canteen, chef owner Kenny Atkinson, famed for achieving a Michelin star at Scilly Island's St Martin's in 2006, for his appearances on Great British Menu and for earning a Michelin star and four AA Rosettes for his own restaurant, said he and Abbie had considered letting go of the lease on Violets due to the pandemic, but decided to extend it instead and are now ready to take it in a new direction.


'You've just got to get out there and start pushing things forward, rebuilding'

Yet to fix an official launch date and with more details to follow, the chef said he hoped the announcement would impart some joy and excitement after months of hardship for the industry.

"Like a lot of places, this time last year we were all working hard to survive," grappling with revenue losses, repeatedly opening and closing and struggling to operate under ever-changing restrictions. 

"We've got through it, we survived it and we decided to keep the space and see what we could do with it." 

"We want to get some more positivity back into the industry. There's a lot of negativity at the moment - whether it's staffing, business closures or kitchen violence. We want to show that kitchens can be a good place to be."

Even though Covid still looms over the industry, he said, "you've just got to get out there and start pushing things forward, rebuilding."

"House of Tides is a great business, I built it from scratch and I'm so proud of what we've done and what we've achieved so far. I'm so proud of the staff and how they've grown, cooking consistently at such a high level all the time." 

On the new venture, he added: "If it was about money I wouldn't do it - but there's something inside us - I feel like I can do more. I don't feel I've reached my absolute full potential. At 44, I've matured a lot and I feel I've made mistakes. Next door I think I'll put that all to use, the mistakes I've made and the successes we've had. I still feel there's more we can achieve," he said, "and if I don't do it I'm going to regret it." 

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 11th August 2021

Kenny and Abbie Atkinson to open new restaurant, Solstice