Oliver Peyton is a renowned restaurateur and the founder/chairman of Peyton and Byrne Limited. He owns several restaurants throughout London, which, over the years, have been as much applauded for their architectural achievements as their gastronomic standards.
Peyton's first venture was in owning two successful nightclubs in the Eighties. Although he made a lot of money from them, he only ever saw them as a means to an end.
Peyton moved into his real love, restaurants, in the early Nineties. His first restaurant was Atlantic Bar & Grill, perhaps his most ambitious and spectacular achievement, followed by Coast, Mash, Isola and the Admiralty in Somerset House. Then in 2004, Peyton opened the eco-friendly 'Inn the Park' in the heart of St James's Park.
2006 saw the opening of a further four restaurants: A new restaurant 'The National Dining Rooms' at The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, The Wallace Restaurant in the sculpture garden of The Wallace Collection. In 2006, Oliver opened a second eatery at the National Gallery - The National Café. The next adventure was opening a cafeteria in the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road followed by a second Peyton and Byrne bakery in the newly refurbished St Pancras International Station. Peyton and Byrne won the contract for the café-bar in the ICA in 2007. Taking over the catering at the British Library in 2009 and then Kew Gardens in 2010 built the business further with the latest addition being the Restaurant at the Royal Academy, opening in January 2011.
Oliver's constant mantra is "restaurants should be about having fun". He is not a cook but an impresario of pleasure. Matthew Fort once described him as the Phineas T. Barnum of restaurateurs, saying "He has a penchant for the spectacular and the idiosyncratic"
Peyton considers the most common mistake in the restaurant business to be lack of vision, which, he feels, transfers from food to design to everything else.
He says: "I generally begin with a food concept, then start thinking about the design and how to amalgamate those things."
The entire dining experience is essential to Oliver Peyton. With this in mind, he always aims to create a great room, a great atmosphere, and then leaves the customers to enjoy themselves.