This week is a bit of a crazy week. After just over 2 years in my job and some of the best working years of my career so far, I left the office today for the final time. I have the opportunity to go travelling for a few months and am making sure that I grab it with both hands, and whilst I’m genuinely sad to be leaving my role and my colleagues in London, I am more than excited to be heading off on this adventure. I will be sharing more on my travel plans as they unfold, but for now I’m in the middle of getting myself organised and saying some goodbyes, which brings me to this post. Some of my colleagues kindly took me out for a super special goodbye lunch at The Shed in Notting Hill and my goodness this will be a lunch that I remember for a very long time!
The Shed was opened in 2012 by the three Gladwin Brothers, Richard, Oliver and Gregory, each with their own superpower in the world of food. A restauranteur, chef, and farmer respectively, they were perfectly positioned to launch their concept of local and wild sharing plates in a gorgeous shabby-chic (with tractor wallpaper in the toilets!), hidden-away gem on a side street in Notting Hill. I took it as a huge compliment when one of my colleagues described it as “right up my street” – they know me so well!
I knew we were in for a treat when, after much menu-perusal, deliberation and strategising, someone suggested that we order one of everything to “keep things simple”.
First to arrive were the “mouthfuls” designed to whet your appetite. The leek ash macarons with Blue Vinny cheese mousse and topped with red-veined sorrel were sweet, cheesy and absolutely delicious. The potted pork with pickled apple on a sourdough blini-like morsel was seriously tasty as well. At this point we were more than ready to see what else was in store. The “daily loosener” was a rose cocktail served in a glass shaped like a wellington boot – cute!
Soon the courses started arriving thick and fast, the first of which were the vibrant onion squash hummus with chilli & walnut and generous shards of caraway crispbread and a plate of beetroot carpaccio with pickled walnut gel and dusted with blue vinny and more sorrel. One of my highlights was the pan-fried goat’s cheese with almonds, honey and thyme. Sweet, salty, creamy and delicious. Heaven!
The chorizo with labneh and (yet more) caraway crisp bread was an instant hit with the group – a crowd pleaser with a decent kick.
We followed with the crispy sprats served with fennel, preserved lemon and sumac, and a new dish of pressed cod. One of our highlights of the whole menu was the Venison cigars: fall-apart tender venison wrapped in a crisp, buttery pastry with a touch of caviar on top and truffle mayonnaise alongside.
Two more vegetables dishes arrived at the table. The tempura marrow was simple but comforting, but the Harissa aubergine with pumpkin seed butter and dukkah was the winner. I’m biased towards aubergine anyway but the sweet-spicy-crunchy effect of this dish was next-level.
Finally we came to the show stopping meat dishes. The grouse breast with blackberries, sage emulsion and ceps was full of flavour, and I loved the venison with corn puree and cobnuts. We also tried the hake with a super crisp skin and perfectly cooked potatoes. A firm favourite across the group was the pork with cauliflower puree and a sweet bacon jam. It sounds weird but it totally worked.
After all of that food, I’m not sure how we found space for dessert, but needless to say we made it work. It was worth it for the rich, thick chocolate mousse with crunchy bran flake praline, smooth salted caramel sauce drizzled over the top and a garnish of lemon balm. The lemon thyme set cream with plums and a pine nut crumble was also divine.
We ate like kings and left absolutely stuffed! I quite honestly loved every dish that was brought out to us and left thoroughly impressed if a little deliriously full. I would return in a heartbeat for those leek ash macarons, venison cigars, pan-fried goats cheese and that chocolate mousse! I’m so excited to have found a restaurant with this concept that just jives with everything I love about food and foraging and I can’t wait to see how their menu develops. I’ll definitely be back!
Book a table at The Shed here: https://www.theshed-restaurant.com/