Saturday, 14 April 2012

Post number twenty, 'La Grenouillere' Montreuil, Pas de Calais

I had not taken the ferry from Dover to Calais for years, last weekend I decided to put that right and I must say I found the whole experience rather grim. The boat was rusty, tired & packed, no waves of sweet nostalgia here. 'Langan's brasserie' provided limited sanctuary, watery smoked haddock & rubbery poached eggs. Thankfully I had booked the tunnel for our return.

The three days & two nights in France that followed were however superb, despite the grey, rain filled skies. We had some super meals; La Matelote in Boulogne was excellent; old school, classic Michelin star, rich French food in immaculate & appropriately garish surroundings. Lunch in Le Touquet on Sunday at Perard was a joy, fantastic fruits de mer & their famous Soup de poisson. I hadn't been to Le Touquet before, what a charming little place.  The real star of the weekend though was an old Auberge in Montreuil just a few miles east of Le Touquet, La Grenouillere.

Situated in a pleasingly rural location one could be miles into the vast countryside of France here...the fact is you are a mere hour from Calais. 

The restaurant is owned by a father and son combination, Roland and Alexandre Gauthier, the latter seemingly in charge of the general direction of the food and indeed the Auberge as a whole. Alexandre was present on arrival, throughout dinner running the pass and there to say goodbye on our departure.

It is within the last year I believe that the incredibly theatrical new kitchen and dining room have been added to the old parts of the building. If you imagine 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover' you won't be far away from the ambiance of this amazing space. 

The old parts of La Grenouillere (The froggery) are also stunning... dark, stylish & moody. The paintings on the walls in what was the old restaurant (now the lounge) are illustrations of Fontaine's fable of the Frog who ate until he exploded, it sets a wonderful scene.

We stayed in one of their 'huts' in the gardens, at one with the countryside all earthy and wooden, La Grenouillere mixes old with new brilliantly well.

Dinner provided a gastronomic journey; sight, sense & taste were at times delightfully aroused. We opted for the eleven course tasting menu, eight out of those courses were show stoppers... highlights of the appetizers were a brilliant ball of poached squid with peas, a pressed form of avocado & seabass. 

The three main dishes were all sensational; first a plate piled with smouldering pine & juniper arrived, encouraged to lift a few twigs off a fat lobster tail was exposed, the spikey greenery a genius faux shell; we were told to eat the buttery, bulbous, rich wonder of the sea with our hands...... this was a very fine moment.  Next another innovative plate centred around chicken 'oysters' with hop shoots & a light hoppy jus, delicious. Finally beef, we were told from a female beast, just older than veal but not quite a cow, I can't remember the French name. Served with just a few pieces of cut spinach with a garlic puree, it was brilliant.

Strawberries served in a strawberry pasta shell, the lightest chocolate mousse coated with pistachio crumbs the deserts continued to impress. The final desert was delivered with a twist, our impressive & knowledgable waitress nonchalantly dropping a transparent egg on the plates in front of us. It smashed, we were startled, she was not, clever delivery breaking the sugary shell so we could devour the cleansing sweet, herby ice cream inside, brilliant.

To finish a pile of giant parsley was presented to us, hiding were long, thin, green macaroons, a fitting finale.

Wine was superb, a fine Meursault then a great sweet wine of the house made with just local honey, water and yeast, decanted from a giant bottle with a test tube by our splendid wine waiter.

The meal was memorable, it was light, fresh & theatrical, all of which I cannot say I have really connected with French food over my years of culinary indulgence. The dishes were all uncomplicated which I really liked, two, maximum three ingredients. There was elements of Londons fine 'Young turks' about the experience.  

All this just a tad over three hours drive from London town.....I will be back.

La Grenouillere, 

La Madelaine sous Montreuil, Montreuil sur mer,

tel- 0033-3-21 06 07 22

NB Alexandre Gauthier is a partner in the nearby more casual 'Froggys tavern' Montreuil.  We ate lunch there on the way just serves simple rotisseried meat & fish; we both had a great slab of a pork chop with fried potatoes, sharp green salad and a giant pot of mustard. Bloody yum. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Post number nineteen, 'Hedone' .....simply stunning

I am sure many of you have already heard the story behind Hedone in Chiswick. The new restaurant by chef/patron Mikael Jonsson a self taught, sourcing obsessed foodie who also writes the blog Gastroville .

I had the incredible pleasure of dining there last night and without going into too many eulogies, it blew me away.

The simple, no frills approach to each and every dish, the stunning flavours of the amazing produce on every plate, Hedone provided me with a dining experience I have rarely been lucky enough to enjoy.

It is a stylish room, minimal but tasteful and a touch quirky, I loved the freestyle drawing on the ceiling. There is a four or five course (fifty / sixty pounds respectively) pretty set menu or a tasting menu. We opted for five courses;

First a savoury jammy dodger, cheesey, tasty. Next the freshest most beautiful piece of mackerel I have ever eaten, just simply presented on a slate slab with a little green.

Then onions, with shaved pear and a little citrus/butter sauce....this sounds nothing but the gentle flavour of the onion, with the sweetness of the shaved pear then the sauce, it was sublime. This plate was also one of the prettiest I have ever seen.

Next Crab, white meat, served in a crater compartment of a huge glass bowl, with cauliflower, chive and citrus creme fraiche. Again it was so fresh, the flavour of the cauliflower engaging the crab. Stunning.

Then Turbot, served with a carrot sauce and a pretty pink flower(the name of which escapes me)......amazing visual impact with the white fish, yellow sauce and pink flower. The taste, oh my god the taste was a joy to behold. Soft, rounded, fantastic. The quality of the turbot was immense.

Then the meat course, salt marsh lamb, with ratte potatoes and a little parsley puree.......just so simple but again visually so pleasing, the flavours quite incredible. The lamb was perfectly pink, the potato perfectly 'just' cooked. Normally I feel the need for a sauce with lamb, but this just shows when you have ingredients of such high quality simplicity sings. Just a very light reduction aided the dish. 

The wine list has some excellent choices by the glass; Chablis premier cru for the fish, Barbaresco for the lamb, both superb.

A selection of perfect cheese next with complex, rich Alsace white grand cru. Finally a fine apple tart and another glass of the delightful Alsace.

What a meal.

Hedone is exciting, clever, special and brilliant. The quality of the ingredients beams out from the beautiful dishes that Mikael Jonsson produces. The simplicity is similar to that of 'St John' but this is 'fine dining'. The Sportsman' in Seasalter also came to mind as a comparable establishment food wise.

I have little doubt that Hedone will be the hottest table in town very soon, I for one cannot wait to return.

301-303 high road
Chiswick w4 4hh

tel 0208 747 0377

price - One hundred/one hundred thirty pounds a head with good wine

Monday, 1 August 2011

Post number eighteen, 'The Company shed' West Mersea

I have just returned from a weekend in Essex. I had a lovely time, it really is true that every county in our great country has it's beauty. Yesterday, having some time to kill I decided to go and explore Mersea Island. I knew nothing of the place particularly apart from the fact I have seen West Mersea native oysters on the menu at some great restaurants.

I suspected we might get lucky with lunch so I delved in to the world wide web and came up with what looked like a cracker of a lunch venue, The Company Shed, a shellfish/wet fish shop with ten tables or so where you can eat in. It is owned by the Haward family who have been producing some of the best oysters the UK has to offer since 1792.

You cross to the island via a road/causeway that during high spring tides is liable to flood so one has to watch that. I headed straight for West Mersea where The Company shed is located, as we wound our way down the coast road I was amazed how pretty the buildings and the place looked. The Mersea yacht club had a junior regatta running, the lawn in front of the clubhouse a perfect picture of an English coastal summer; adults enjoying jugs of Pimms on the deep green lawn, kids playing around on the shore and in the water in little Lazer dinghy's.

Driving right to the northern end of Coast road I could see in the distance a black slat board shack with a queue outside, this had to be the Company shed. 

It is exactly that, a slightly ramshackle shed by the sea. I went in and enquired how long a table for two would be(there are no bookings), an hour they said. Our name was chalked up on the board and we wondered down the road for a pint in the sunshine to pass the time. NB I tried two superb local ales yesterday, Captain Bob's from Maldon and Island Yo boy from the Mersea Island Brewery.

Returning in an hour the polite and efficient staff informed us they were just clearing our table, this doesn't take long in the Company shed, vinyl table clothes are simply washed down and in we went.

The place was packed, each brightly coloured table equipped with a big roll of kitchen paper, sea salt, pepper, tabasco and malt vinegar. It was an exciting, very social scene that oozed 'bon ami'. Friends/families, couples with their own bottles of wine and bread(you are encouraged to byo here) getting stuck into fantastic seafood.

You order at the bar, we went for a seafood platter, native lobster, grilled salted garlic prawns and half a dozen Gigas rock oysters.  The highlights of the platter were the native crab and lobster, both kept in tanks at the back of the shack so super fresh. There were also prawns, large and small, fantastic green shelled mussels. The Gigas rocks were really very good, the best rock oyster I have eaten actually. Sadly we were out of season and missed the house speciality, West Mersea natives oysters.

Everything was delicious.

I went to the counter to pay our bill and nearly collapsed when all I was required to hand over was £23, the Gigas rock oysters an incredible 75 pence each. What amazing value. At this point I decided to take away some more oysters, mussels and prawns. We sat for the rest of the afternoon on a wall by the sea watching the boats go by grazing on the briney seafood delights, sipping cider. It was bliss.

If you are a shellfish fan, an Oyster fan in particular then this is a must visit place. There is a very deep rooted Oyster culture in West Mersea and from this has sprung The Company Shed. It is earthy, eccentric, hugely charming and amazing value.

I cannot wait to go back after September 1st, take a bottle or two of sancerre and fill up on west Mersea natives.

four out of five stars

The Company Shed
29 Coast Road, 
West Mersea, 
CO5 8PA.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Post number seventeen, 'My stay at the St John Hotel'

My love of all things 'Nose to tail' has never faltered. Since my first visit to Smithfield HQ in late '94 when I was astounded by the brilliant, raw, stylish simplicity of the food and the space I have revisited and generally watched with interest the development of brand 'St John'. I am a vehement disciple.

I was therefore 'chomping' at the bit to get down to the new Hotel. This visit was postponed several times due to building delays but I finally got my chance the other week to eat dinner there, sleep and eat breakfast the next morning.

I arrived about 7pm, the location is quirky for a St John establishment, literally off Leicester square, a very commercialised setting/environment. Check in was delightful assisted charmingly by Michelle; I scurried up to the room and I suppose first impressions were rather disappointing. The room was quite small and the bathroom was actually part of the room, maybe I was expecting a touch more for the three hundred and twenty pounds cost. I had a good nose around the room checking out the bits and was all very proper and the finishings of everything were of a very high standard. Penhaligans toiletries, great mini bar and of course the most amazing room service menu I have ever seen, if you like St John that is. The pegs that adorn the walls in smithfield are cleverly used as a feature throughout the hotel, I liked that. I headed downstairs to the bar thinking this is all very exciting and that the room albeit a little small room was quite cool.

The bar itself is hidden away down at one end of a long, rather austere room. The layout of the building clearly determined this but it seems rather cut off, if, like me you take a seat at the opposite end. There was one other couple sharing a drink together and it all felt rather uneasy and somewhat lacking in a bit in atmosphere. No matter it was all very intriguing.

Downstairs for dinner then, what a contrast to the bar up stairs, it was buzzing. We sat near the front of the room, kitchen end. It is a similar space to St John bread and wine but obviously a bit more modern, a wee bit smaller too; Beautiful wooden floor, steel kitchen bar and wine racks, classic St John dark wood tables and chairs, pristine white table cloths, peugeot salt and pepper mills, perfect.

The food was fabulous; we all started with a couple of native oysters, only ever natives are served at St John. They were perfect, a delicious taste of the sea. Next for me sweetbreads with butter beans & wild garlic; pleasingly caramelised glands with a gorgeously giving, light interior.....the fragrance given by the herbs and further nuttiness of the butter beans made it a dish to behold.
Other starters around table were the pigs head terrine, impressive looking langoustines with the superb St John mayonnaise(for me St John's condiments/sauces/dressings are simply the best I taste, aioli, mayonnaise, ketchup, tartare sauce, vinaigrette, mustard or anchovy salad dressings, green sauce all serious, properly made examples). A top drawer Alsace white was excellent with our starters.

Main courses were beans and bacon, a sharing dish of unctuous joy, a strongly dressed watercress salad the perfect companion. Suckling pig loin, Rump of beef, roast potatoes, burgundy, the table was a happy place. This dining room is definitely more hectic than it's two relations but it is chinatown and in a way I liked the slightly frantic buzz.

To finish, at St John one must have desserts, it is the finest desert menu in the land, Sundae and ginger cake were shared. Both brilliant, the Sundae was sort of deconstructed, it looked so pretty and tasted equally good. The ginger cake was sticky, spicy, sweet and purposeful.

Time for the bill, which definitely seemed slightly higher than Smithfield and SJ B & Wine, but for the fantastic meal I was more than happy. To do it properly, three courses and good wine, St John Hotel restaurant is one hundred pounds a head, to be honest that seems a benchmark figure in good London restaurants nowadays. 

After dinner drink was next up, sadly with the experience pre dinner the bar upstairs didn't feel like an option; we tried to get into the garish 'w' hotel that sits in front of the St John hotel but we didn't pass muster on the door, Dean street town house provided a most agreeable solution. 

Returning back to the hotel I couldn't resist anther peep in the bar on the way up to our room, still empty, another drink seemed in order. Sipsmiths Gin and tonic, Campari and white wine, ooof we were on a roll by this point. We stood at the bar and happily engaged with the staff. There seemed to be a general consensus the bar needed some tweaking.

Bed! After initial crashing and burning I was awoken by the collection of bins or bottles outside(rather unfortunate the bin positioning by the restaurant but again space dictates)and also by the brightness in the room. The white venetians do little to prevent daylight/sunlight streaming through, maybe some black out would be in order behind the venetians. Ablutions in the open plan bathroom take place in front of the person who is with you in the room(if anyone is). This is fine for acquainted couples but no doubt slightly more awkward for ones in the early throws of courtship. Everything in the room oozed quality, the bath fittings, robes, towels, mats all branded with the synonymous pig.

Feeling slightly rough my heart and head was steadied by the thought of breakfast, I had high hopes. Into the ship like centre staircase, down in the lift, into the dining room, it was a much more sedate scene in the morning. Papers on hand, a few couples dotted around including Trevor Gulliver (Fergus was in the night before for dinner, they both keep a very watchful eye on front end proceedings) the menu is short and as always with St John, although classical in someways, often shy away from the obvious so no full english here. Instead smoked haddock, potato & egg, devilled kidneys on toast, ham, egg and fried bread provided the cooked options. I had Ham, egg & fried bread, it was very good, perfectly fried deep golden eggs, griddled succulent ham and just right fried bread. Corinne has the devilled kidneys, a generous amount nestling on the slab of sourdough, also perfect. Tea was good, we had ordered the 'buns', a kind of cross between a danish pastry and a croissant, very good, rich and buttery, a bit too much with our cooked breakfast. No matter they were wrapped and we took away to have for afternoon tea.

The bill for breakfast fifty pounds...again slightly pricey but I enjoyed every moment.

So around 11am we checked out, a fair degree worse off in the pocket but very happy to have spent a night with St John. I will be back for breakfast, Lunch and dinner no doubt. The restaurant offers a fresh, updated St John dining experience in the west end, I am sure the menu's will expand as time goes on, already there are exciting additions to the breakfast and dinner menu's. The bar needs something(maybe just more people or bar stools) and the rooms themselves possibly don't offer great value for money but they are unique and I'm sure there will be no shortage of takers. The service from beginning to end was first class. I really enjoyed seeing the St John philosophy adapted into a new entity such as a works.

Long live the pig!

restaurant five out of five stars

rooms three out of five stars

St. John Hotel

 1 Leicester St, London, WC2H 7BL

+44 (0) 203 301 8069  -

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Post number sixteen, # MEATEASY 'junk food extraordinaire'

I had tasted a meatwagon cheeseburger twice before my visit to the #meateasy, I thought each time it was the most satisfying, brilliant, sloppy, hot, salty, peppery, greasy, burger I have ever eaten, a triumph.

One other factor that had fascinated me about the meatwagon was it's almost cult like the 'towpath' festival in Islington on a freezing day last year I witnessed trendy young things bopping and slopping with burgers and beer by a big army tank, with a DJ of a driver, firing pumping tunes not bullets from the top. This gathering was prompted by in all probability a lone tweet the day before. There were other great street food stalls that day but the real draw was the meatwagon. When Yianni and the truck ventured south west to the @shipwandsworth burgers were sold out in a matter of a couple of hours, one sensed a phenomenon.

It was therefore with sadness and disbelief I greeted the news of the dastardly theft of the meatwagon. The thought of some dirty rotten scoundrels depriving us Londoners of the joy of some proper burger, street-food joy was almost too much to bare.

Thankfully you cannot keep good people down; Yianni, the creator of the meatwagon, and Scott, the man responsible for hosting many meatwagon evenings in conjunction with his pubs, got their heads together and came up with the idea of a #meateasy. 

SE14 was to be the lucky postcode, a space above a rather decrepid  pub,the goldsmiths tavern was to be the venue. 

The tweeting then began, '#meateasy' plastered all over the twitter universe from noon till night day after day creating an almost insatiable desire to get down there and experience it for myself. The opportunity arose the other week to make the sortie to deepest south east London in the esteemed company of @mcmoop and @drapersarms and it was some experience.

The first thought that went through my mind as we marched around the back of the goldsmiths following the chalkboard signage was, god this is clever. Up the stairs, straight ahead a door, with the words written, 'You've made it, well done, not this door, that one' with an arrow pointing left. Pushing the correct door open we walked into another world, it could have been a scene from, 'from dusk till dawn', dark, frantic and cool, country western music bellowing out, yehaaaaa! there was an underground feel, you felt you have arrived somewhere special.

To the right of the room a cocktail bar, trendy guys, some in pork pie hats, shaking trendy cocktails and dispensing in jam jars. After one or two of these great cocktails you are certainly in the mood and whatever wait there is, like the meatwagon everything is grilled to order, time becomes you friend not enemy.

The chalkboard menu unerringly tantalises your burger cravings until your time comes. There are more options than the wagon, we ordered a selection of the best bits; philly cheese steak, chilli cheese fries, chilli burger, dead hippy(a take on a big mac/in-n-out double), bacon cheeseburger, slaw,  chilli cheese dog, mac & cheese...ooof....then.....our moment arrived;

Paper plate, after paper plate descended on our table with a couple of rolls of giant paper roll to mop up. Silence prevailed....... everything was so fresh, hot and damn good. We began frantically slicing the assortment of burgers and dogs in half so we could all try everything (apart from the dead hippy, that disappeared in seconds flat, @mcmoop saw to that). Growls of satisfaction ensued.

To experience the brilliant heart of the #meateasy for me the classic cheeseburger takes some beating, you get the taste of the loosely ground well aged, super seasoned beef so well, but I adored the spicy chilli burger and the heavenly chilli dog, a beefy smokey beast of a sausage smothered in a great meaty, punchy chilli and cheese. In fact it was all memorable. 

There are many good 'posh' burgers to be tried across London town but there are virtually no great proper high grade and well made 'junk food' style burgers to be had anywhere bar this place. Or at least to my knowledge that is. Couple that with an eclectic, electric atmosphere, you could call it something of a sensation.

The meateasy is something new, fresh and brilliant. Surely eight weeks above the goldmiths tavern in se14 is just the start of it's life.

burger heaven, five out of five stars. for details 

Friday, 10 December 2010

Post number fifteen, 'Team Ramsden's Secret Larder'

I wasn't ever really very sure what to make of the rather modern development of supper clubs. In fact I probably would not have been to one right now if I hadn't met a certain young man called James Ramsden one night at the splendid Drapers Arms in Islington.

Post that and from following James's twitter feed I was intrigued with the development of his own supper club, the cutely monickered 'Secret Larder' and I went along to a very early performance. It was a nice evening, I met some interesting people but wasn't overly excited with the food I ate. There was nothing wrong with it, maybe I was expecting too much, but I vowed I would return in any case to give it another go.

That other go came the other week and I was delighted to see, that in taste and feel that the 'larder' had settled down, bedded in and has grown to be absolutely charming.

I also think the attitude I went into the evening with was a better one, my expectation was more aligned to going to a friends house for dinner, not going to a restaurant. 

James had drafted in support in the form of the delightful Oliver Thring for this special 'game evening', quality abounded around the nicely 'lofty' space that is their appartment, James, Mary, Oliver, the staff all calm, relaxed and great 'mine hosts'.

Celeriac soup, drizzled with truffle oil to start was good....above all, in serving twenty people it was piping hot, and perfectly tasty.

Next a pigeon breast salad with an asian sounding mushroom, it was fine. Most importantly not overcooked, perfect breast (stop it).

Main event....partridge, served up in good time, well seasoned, some better cooked than others(but there were twenty and it's damn hard to get Partridge 'a point'), good bread sauce, super braised red cabbage, it was really quite tasty.

Desert of poached pears with creme fraiche was excellent actually.

Last but not least some petits fours including some delicious marshmallows filled with strawberry's, Oliver's handy work I believe.

I took along a fine New Zealand pinot noir to drink, on our table a charming lady called Lucy had bought an amazing french white to start followed by my dream red burgundy chambolle musigny, she was kind enough to share a bit with us. That is why supper clubs are great, like minded individuals sharing and talking, an enjoyable different type of platform on which to enjoy food and drink.

I refer you to the notes on my blackberry which were the basis of this post. As usual I am really quite late in writing it up;

Veeery nice(yes was pissed)

Quite personal

Some one's home which you have an insight in to (nosey got shot?)

Wonderful wine, great company, good food.

Integrity...the Ramsden's have loads of that.

So if you have never been, to a supper club that is (or even if you have) it is well worth a visit to this one. You will have a throughly enjoyable evening and will be handsomely looked after by charming, young, talented people who set a fantastic tone.

'The secret larder"

holloway road ish 

cost for three or four courses approx thirty five pounds.

follow @jteramsden on twitter for details of forthcoming events

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Post number fourteen, 'Petersham Nurseries'

Richmond riverside is quite beautiful. That stunning view from the road the runs out of Richmond gate towards the town centre, past Mick jagger's house, you know the one.  The river bending away towards Ham, Twickenham in the distance, the Petersham hotel proudly sharing the view with you. Somewhere down there on the left before the river winds right is one of the most eclectic and coolest nurseries in London, Petersham nurseries. Home to a fantastic restaurant run by a hugely talented lady, Skye Gyngell.

How it came to pass that a Chef with the talent of Skye opened a restaurant in a greenhouse in a nurseries in Petersham I am not too sure but delighted diners have been enjoying it since 2004.

That said the nurseries and Skye are actually somewhat of a dream team. Her focus revolves around cooking seasonal, superbly sourced ingredients, I suspect a good deal of which are grown within a stones throw of the shed like kitchen. Her style is to me a food heaven, kind of St John meets River Cafe with a slice of Alice Waters thrown in. I believe she worked with Fergus Henderson way back in his French house days.

I managed to procure a relatively last minute booking on the last bank holiday of august(it has been extremely hard in past to get a reservation) and I was pretty much blown away with the place and the food I ate.

The dining room is really a stylishly adorned greenhouse, the amazing colour of the natural dirt floor was the first thing that hit me, cadbury's crunchie honeycomb gold, stunning albeit uneven and no doubt messy on more inclement days. We were very fortunate with our bank holiday weather this particular day, sun glorious sun.

The ever changing menu is a delight, full of saliva inducing interesting combination's. Sea bass, chicory salad and aioli, squid and romesco sauce, Guinea fowl and special, Peteresham tomatoes. All so good.

As bubbly goodness to start we all were suckered in by the rose petal, rose watered proseco, a delicious aperitife.

I chose the squid with romesco sauce to start followed by the fillet of beef with farro and salsa verde...served at room temperature (was knowingly informed of that ).

The squid plate was so pretty, there is real thought in presentation here, a rustic style but hugely appealing. The beef was fantastic, perfectly rare but heat had been allowed to seep through, it melted in my mouth. The farro and salsa verde was superb with it, a touch of preserved lemon in there too which added a lovely citrus fragrance to the accompaniment.

For dessert I had a hazelnut tart with creme fraiche and some perfect raspberries.

Two Italian wines with our meal, a light herby white and a fruity cool red, both excellent.

The fact is just this; The food was sensational, the service was just ok really. The surrounds were as special as the food. A moment in time.

The cooking at Petersham nurseries is better than that I experienced at my visit to Chez Panisse last December, indeed the heart of these two restaurants is very similar.

Chez Panisse has one michelin star, Skye Gyngell deserves that accolade too for the wonderful entity she has created, on the Thames, near Richmond. 

It's a special occasion venue, it's River Cafe prices and on this experience for me, slightly better. It's undoubtedly more pleasing in the summer than winter, but you have to go, if you love to experience a kitchen that thrives on the passion of seasonal, innovative quality food.

for our sunny bank holiday magical experience, five out of five stars. 

Petersham Nurseries
Church Lane
Off Petersham Road
TW10 7AG

tel 0208 940 5230