Wednesday 23 January 2008

Shoredtich House

Shoredich House
is the latest incarnation of Nick Jones' chain of private members clubs for young, trendy, media types. Tucked away in deepest darkest Shoreditch it is almost impossible to find. Deliberately tucked away behind hot shop ad agency Mother you are know you are there because the graffiti starts to get more artistic rather than just vandalism.

When, you've managed to find the way in you are greeted with a Damien Hirst print of a sign prohibiting people from wearing suits from entering. The Carlton Club this is not!

We were here for a creative workshop in one of their private rooms. It makes a great place to generate ideas in a communual environment. Much better than being stuck in an office all day. The room was great. Adorned with a huge Sony screen, bar, and oval table for 14 it couldn't have suited our needs any better.

Our waiter was charming, attentive and more discreet than an old fashioned Royal butler, as opposed to that weirdo Paul Burrell! He popped in and out of our room serving us the best coffee I have had this year. Creamy froth and deep powerful coffee. We spent the morning presenting mood boards and ideas before breaking for lunch.

My scallops with pancetta were stunningly good. Expertly cooked and stylishly presented. Simple but delicious. I followed this up with a bold bowl of Italian sausage papardelle with wild mushrooms. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. Big, friendly and the kind of dish that gives you a big warm hug. The rest of the team had things like roast suckling pig, lamb hot pot, thin crust pizza, beef carpaccio, risotto etc. Everything looked stunning and was sent back on plates that would have been licked clean had we not all been behaving ourselves!

We really liked the irregular crockery from South Africa which just added to the Wabi Sabi style that you feel wherever you go in the building. Everything is carefully thought out and has been designed by a team with flair, style, class and a sense of fun.

We went on a little tour after lunch to walk off all the goodies we'd just eaten. I was bowled over by their kitchen. They've got an awesome set up which has the informality of home kitchen but the always open nature of a canteen. The indoor BBQ and wood fired pizza oven caught my eye before it fell upon a steak cabinet! Basically it's a glass fronted chiller cabinet full of aged ribs of beef and prime cuts of steak! The kind of thing that I want to have in my house once I'm a millionaire!

The restaurant area is an informal set up with long refectory tables and chairs for people to spread out and join in together. Another nice touch is the way that they have a bowl of lemons wrapped in muslin on hand in case you fancy a squirt of lemon. This would be great on their incredible bowls of crispy fried cougettes. They've also got a constant supply of char-grilled burgers ready for you. Is there anything they haven't thought of? O... and they've got a roof top swimming pool. Who hasn't?

I'd love for them to open a Wandsworth House with all the frills they've got in Shoreditch. It's the kind of place that batchelors dream of. If Carlsberg did private members clubs, Shoreditch House wouldn't be far off!

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