Monday, 27 October 2008

Petersham Nurseries, Richmond

The pain is finally over.... my exams are done. This has given us not only an excuse to celebrate and dine at fantastic restaurants, but I also now have some time on my hands to dedicate to the Paunch.

Since my birthday weekend I have been spoilt rotten by Mr B. And this weekend was no exception, when I was taken on a secret lunch at a secret location.

I have a love / hate relationship with surprises.. they excite me but equally infuriate me! Despite failing to guess where we were going, I was over the moon that the exclusive Petersham Nurseries was the target, where chef Skye Gyngell works the stove.

We didn't know quite what to expect on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Due to the grind of revision, I have spent most of my recent weekends in a woolly jumper and Jack Wills trackie Bs. So I was delighted to have the excuse to glam up somewhat for lunch... but someone should have warned me not to wear my fav snake skin heals... as we had to wade through slusshy wet, muddy gravel to get to the 'restaurant', which did in fact resemble a glorified green house!

But this was the charm and style of the place. The staff we equally as welcoming, trotting about in black skinny jeans and wellies. It had a lovely relaxed Boho atmosphere and the food certainly did not disappoint.

The menu was brief, with only 4 options for each course. Scottish girole mushrooms on toast and 3 epic, massive grilled sardines were both superb starters. Its not every day you pay £12 for a starter of sardines, but the portion was vast and they were truly scrum.

Scottish Girolles from Petersham Nurseries

Sardines from Petersham Nurseries

For mains, as predicted, Brown was true to form and had the slow roasted shoulder of pork, accompanied with endless veggies, beans, and a very herby salsa verde. Simple, tender and beautifully cooked. However I was pretty smug as the Monk fish stew was actually astonishingly good! Big, plump, meaty chunks of fish, sweet roast peppers, fennel and tomatoes, almonds, all infused with lashings of garlic, saffron, plus a naughty blob of aioli.. YUM!

Monkfish Stew from Petersham Nurseries

Pork shoulder from Petersham Nurseries

As you can imagine our bellies were feeling pretty stretched at this stage, so we shared a delightful and refreshing clementine sorbet to finish.

A fantastic way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon. Delicious, honest feel-good food... if slightly on the pricey side. Great place to treat someone with earthy, stylish qualities, who doesn't wince at a speck of mud!

Petersham Nurseries Cafe on Urbanspoon


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Thank you for this review. This is another place I see mixed reviews about and, given that it's not exactly cheap, I've been holding off from going. Now I'll put it firmly on the 'must go' list.

Oh, and well done for getting through those exams!

Sophie said...

Lovely pictures! And what a fab birthday treat.

I had also heard mixed reviews about Petersham so it's good to hear that you enjoyed it (I'm dying to go there really!)

Browners said...

Glad you liked the pictures... it's a really great restaurant. Lots of fun and very different. Just bear in mind that they don't do dinner, so the lunch time menu costs the same as you'd get for dinner elsewhere. i.e. Expensive!

We loved it and can't wait to return.

Browners said...

Sophie - you're blog is beautiful. Really glad I've now found it.


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