the shed

to celebrate finding our perfect bridesmaid dresses at twobirds we made our way to lunch at the shed in notting hill. there are two things to know about the restaurant. firstly, space is a premium at the shed but then, the clue is in the name really, secondly, the food is so worth the squeeze.

after a number of high profile reviews the restaurant was extremely busy and arriving early we were told our table wasn’t quite ready. we had a drink at the bar and celebrated our successful shopping trip with a bottle of sparkling english wine. i have indulged bubbles for much less – this was very well-deserved. the shed menu, the shed notting hill, best restaurants in london,rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blog

after a game of musical chairs (we were seated then asked if we minded moving before another table became available which had slightly more room) we settled in and got down to business looking at the menu. as well as three dishes for brunch, the plates are dividing into slow and fast cooking. it’s not tapas but each portion is a starter size and we were advised to get two per person.

the food more than makes up for the lack of space, and by lack of space i mean you will in all probability be sat with your back flush to the person behind you, but that pales into significance when you sample the food. it really is incredible.

pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogIMG_7229pigeon, roasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogenglish sparkling wine, the shed, the shed notting hill, best restaurants in londonIMG_7224IMG_7225

we feasted on lamb chips with harissa, thick rectangles of succulent meat shredded and deep fried. do get these if you go they were not what we expected but were bursting with flavour. the rainbow trout was equally delicious, light and seasoned to perfection with roasted potatoes boasting a smokey quality. it took serious restraint on our part not to lick the plates clean.

the goats cheese was presented drizzled in oil and sprinkled with hazelnuts. yummy.

we also had pigeon, tender, juicy and pink in the middle, roasted vegetables, swimming in oil and sprinkled with herbs, and the venison, which came in melt-in-your-mouth sized slices with carrot crisps perched on top.  pigeon, roasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogroasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogroasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogIMG_7227IMG_7235IMG_7230

we didn’t have room for pudding, there was wedding cake to be tasted back at home, but i did see another table ordering the rhubarb jelly crumble ice cream and it looked divine.

the only downside for me was the lack of space – one waiter, a young lad that reminded me of bambi, he was all legs, managed to launch a bread basket into my face as he rushed past me – he apologised profusely and said he was still growing.IMG_7238IMG_7226IMG_7239

the shed is run by brothers oliver and richard gladwin, one greets you at the bar while the other pops his head out from the kitchen every now and then. i loved the ramshackle feel to the place, tractor parts are nailed to the walls, seats are mismatched and walking through the door is like climbing through the wardrobe to narnia, except you arrive into the country, a welcome haven from the hustle and bustle of london.

i will be returning – the food exceeded all expectations although i can’t imagine my male friends would enjoy being so squished, so for me, it seems it’s a girls’ only venue. pigeon, roasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogpigeon, roasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blogpigeon, roasted root vegetables, rainbow trout, pan fried goats cheese, the shed, the shed restaurant notting hill, best restaurants in london, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blog

lucky fried chicken

my friends and i are just a wee bit obsessed with lucky chip burgers. whether it’s greedily tucking into a post-broadway tom selleck while sitting on the pavement at netil market on a saturday, or a midweek kelly lebrock burger date at the sebright arms pub, we decided long ago that you simply cannot find a better burger in london.

i thank the patty gods often that i live within walking distance of two of the lucky chip outposts (in addition to the netil market food truck and residency at the sebright arms, they also have a slider bar in soho).lucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut buttered

so my excitement was predictable when the news spread like wildfire across twitter earlier this year that the lucky chip boys were adding to their portfolio of down and dirty food by setting up a fried chicken shop in the grafton arms pub in kentish town.

while most food fans were there with bells on opening week, i was delayed in making the voyage. i was waiting for friends who were equally keen to try it out, but after a fortnight of hopping from foot to foot i just couldn’t wait for the slow pokes any longer and instead grabbed my friend lisa, who happily obliged my immediate need for fried chicken. lucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut butteredlucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut buttered

we turned up last tuesday, when the weather was awesome and spring seemed to be in the air. we toasted the end of winter (given the snow in my backyard, i’d say we were a little premature) and headed to the bar to order our feast. the upstairs counter was closed, so we dined downstairs next to the big windows where we could appreciate the glorious evening.lucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut buttered

we ordered a jumbo box – five huge pieces of chicken, creamy potatoes and gravy, coleslaw and two warm bread rolls. the chicken is perfectly juicy, with a herby, spicy batter that manages to be so delicious without being too greasy. it’s lick-your-fingers stuff. in fact in my humble opinion, it kicks any other fried chicken’s ass on the finger-licking scale.lucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut butteredlucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut buttered

the potato and gravy was creamy goodness and the coleslaw provided the perfect light zing in the midst of all the gluttonous flavour, while we unashamedly mopped up the remaining gravy and coleslaw sauce with our warm rolls.

we finished up with two big honking slices of cherry pie. not the prettiest girl in the room, but damn was she tasty – tart and creamy and delicious. lucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut buttered

the best part? getting to eat fried chicken with a glass or three of wine to wash it all down.

the guys confirmed on twitter yesterday that tom, kelly and the rest of the burger gang are joining the menu at the grafton from tomorrow. like we needed any more reason to return.lucky chip lucky fried chicken at the grafton arms on peanut buttered

cay tre and tonteria

the first few days of spring sunshine in london have left me craving a holiday. the prospect of exploring somewhere new, exotic, and preferably with a gorgeous beach has preoccupied my thoughts. after graduating from uni i spent the best part of a year travelling the world with three of my best friends – i had the time of my life and i’m not ashamed to say i pretty much ate my way around the globe. let’s not forget sampling the local tipples too. (full moon party bucket anyone?)

beach in vietnam

after consuming enough pad thai to sustain a small country in thailand, we crossed the boarder into vietnam and welcomed new culinary treats. steaming bowls of pho, fresh seafood and spicy noodles became our diet staples.

sometimes it feels like the trip happened in another lifetime and i find myself completely forgetting where we visited. my memory is average at best, but a recent trip to a vietnamese restaurant brought with it little culinary reminders of my time in south east asia.rice paper rolls, cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Sohoscallops cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, vietnamese food, vietnamese restaurant in sohoIMG_6408

in january (yes i have been a very bad blogger and left this post that long) my school friends organised a trip to cay tre in soho. it’s reasonably-priced, tasty food with many signature dishes found in vietnam on the menu. it won’t blow your socks off and it’s certainly not for your fancy pants, but it won’t leave you disappointed either. it proved the perfect spot for a relaxed catch up and a girlie gossip.meat platter, cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Sohosalt and pepper squid, cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho

pip’s found out the hard way how spicy her pepper was

cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
sizzling seafood dish, cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho

we shared an array of starters including rice paper prawn rolls, chilli, salt and pepper squid and pork belly.

for main i chose the sizzling seafood, a light vegetable and fish dish, but i was left with a serious case of food envy when the steaming bowls of noodles for the other girls arrived. i won’t be making that mistake again.

cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho

noodle bowl, cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho

this side of the table got a little rowdy
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
our side was a little more reserved/drunk
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho
cay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Sohocay tre restaurant, peanutbuttered blog, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese restaurant in Soho

after cay tre steph and i decided to head to tonteria in sloane square to check out the launch of its tonteria express night. as well as a tequila train carrying shots to various tables  they were performers and a make-up artist. before i knew what was going on this happened…

tonteria

it was nice of steph to put on some make-up for a change. only she could make a skeleton look sexy. we drank some tequila cocktails and bopped around on the dancefloor, before calling it a night. the venue, which launched at the end of last year and is the brainchild of guy pelly and marc burton, hosts some seriously cool parties and is definitely worth a visit.
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bar at tonteria
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