Family ties with Tyrrells

Mon 5 February, 2018

Family ties with Tyrrells

For Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ Box Office Team Member Angela Harrison and her mother Karen Mawer, the announcement that one of Southampton’s most famous department store names Tyrrell & Green would be returning to its original location in the heart of the city’s new Cultural Quarter as restaurant partner at NST City has evoked fond memories of their grandfather and father, respectively, Roberto Elvisio Marchi, who was a head chef at the original Barova restaurant from 1956 until he passed away in 1965.

“Visiting him at the restaurant was always a special treat for me,” remembers Karen. “We’d sit in the waiting room while somebody would send a message back to the kitchen to let him know we were there. He never came out of the kitchen to greet us but he would always press his face against the kitchen window and wave.”

Karen also remembers being woken up frequently in the middle of the night by her father with leftover cakes and ice cream, which she and the rest of her family had to eat immediately as they wouldn’t keep until the morning. “Often, he brought home wonderful cakes filled with fresh cream which looked huge to my eyes then,” she says.

Angela and Karen’s connection to the Tyrrells name also stretches to other members of their family. Not only did Karen’s brother, who was training to be a carpenter at the time, make elaborate cake stands for the Barova restaurant, but her sister also had her wedding reception there. What’s more, Karen’s sister-in-law worked in the mother and baby section of the department store.

For Karen, Tyrrells returning to Guildhall square as restaurant partner at NST City has brought her dad back to her. “He passed away when I was 11 so it’s been nice to recollect,” she says. “It’s brought back memories that I thought I had forgotten.”

As Roberto passed away before Angela had the opportunity to meet him, she doesn’t have any memories of her own, so the opportunity to learn more about him from her mother recently has been brilliant. She adds: “I like that I’m going to be walking the same corridors he did.” 


Join us in NST City’s restaurant and bar Tyrrells before a show and enjoy an excellent two or three course meal as part of your visit to the theatre.

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