THE LONG-AWAITED opening of the Beachcliff development is edging closer with Michelin-star winning chef James Sommerin set to open his self-titled restaurant next week.

Scaffolding is slowly being brought down from the £6million redevelopment as the final touches are applied to the iconic 110-year old building.

As well as maintaining the classic architecture of the building that many people had demanded should be retained, the building also retains the official Penarth crest of three bears, a Welsh dragon and a sailing ship on either end of the redevelopment.

Cardiff-based property developer Richard Hayward is behind the £6 million redevelopment of Beachcliff, which is creating five luxury seaside homes, a boutique hotel and fine-dining restaurant in the 110-year old building on Penarth Esplanade.

Inside Beachcliff, the fit out of the exclusive restaurant and nine-bedroom hotel is well underway with the former set to open to the general public on Friday, May 16, after a series of ‘pre-launch’ events, and the latter due to open later this summer.

Both will be run by the highly acclaimed chef James Sommerin who was formerly awarded a Michelin-star as head chef of The Crown at Whitebrook.

Richard Hayward, who was first granted planning permission back in 2007, said: “No expense has been spared with Beachcliff and as the scaffolding is removed people will be able to see the beautifully restored architecture in all its glory.

“Quality and attention to detail have been our focus throughout the redevelopment and the fit out of the hotel, restaurant and apartments is no exception with classic décor and top of the range fixtures throughout. We want to create a real sense of luxury for guests and diners.”

More than 2,000 advance bookings have already been made for Restaurant James Sommerin, which is set to open to the public after a week of special events, including a fundraiser for cancer charity Maggie’s. The high-class venue will seat around 75 diners and feature an exclusive invitation-only chef’s table in the kitchen.

Chef James Sommerin said that he was “hugely excited” by the opening of the restaurant, that will begin with pre-launch ticketed events on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by opening to the general public on Friday, May 16.

“If anyone had seen it two weeks ago they would have thought there was no way it was going to happen, but in one week I have seen it change so dramatically in appearance it’s been amazing,” he said.

“Now we are busy fitting out the kitchen.”

He added that some of the first people to see the restaurant finished would be those attending a private fundraising event in aid of the cancer charity Maggie’s on Tuesday, May 13.

“We have created an event for them and they are going to be the first people in there to have dinner,” he said.

“Cancer charities are very close to my heart and I like to support them in any way I can."

He added that he couldn’t wait for the official opening as it would be the culmination of two and a half years of work.

Beachcliff’s residential sales are being handled by estate agent Savills and the two apartments are now on the market for around £600,000. The smaller townhouses, which are being finished to ‘shell’ to allow their owners to create a bespoke luxury interior, will be the next part of Beachcliff’s residential offer to become available.