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The Summerhouse (Restaurant)

Picture of The Summerhouse in Maida Vale & St Johns Wood, London

Opposite 60 Blomfield Road, Maida Vale & St Johns Wood, London, W9 2PD
Cuisine: Seafood
Tel: 0871-811-1853 ? | Email to The Summerhouse | Transport: Warwick Avenue | Write review

The Summerhouse Review

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That’s it; summer’s officially over for another year. At least we got five good days of sunshine before the foreboding grey skies set in. As I look up and get large droplets of rain on my glasses, I realise that it’s probably not the best day to go to The Summerhouse. Foolishly leaving my umbrella at home, the boyfriend and I sprint over to the venue, trying in earnest not to get soaked through but failing miserably. We notice its sister venue The Waterway out of the corner of our eyes but are preoccupied with keeping dry.

We slowly plod to our tables and we see why it is called The Summerhouse, as it looks like someone’s own terribly posh vacation home. Inside, there is a gorgeous skylight and black and white striped banquettes. The kitchen is on show and there are a few bar stools in front of it acting as a supposed bar area. Predictably sporting a nautical theme, which isn’t too garish, such as the delightfully shell shaped salt and pepper shakers and gingham upholstery; I begin to enjoy the presence of the rain as we are well sheltered. Our table is on the decking where we’re able to peer over, gaze at the Union Canal and, for a split second, imagine that this isn’t London. However, the gloomy council estate opposite with large Union Jack hanging from a balcony destroys that whimsical fantasy.

The boyfriend indicates he is chilly by making grumpy faces and complaining loudly. The brilliantly attentive staff notice his plight and are at hand to turn on the heaters, or to offer a navy blue blanket. He chooses the heater and huffs into his menu. The menu is rich in fishy offerings and I am stumped. I always get into a tizzy when it comes to ordering. I suffer from food envy and food regret, and I have quite a severe case of it. No matter what is on my plate, I will always be jealous of other’s food. Struggling to pick a starter, the boyfriend declares he is having the calamari and the special. I confidently choose the tuna carpaccio and the fillet of sea bream.

A gaggle of Canadian geese cruise up, so I stop talking and give them my full attention. Whilst I clap and giggle excitedly at these honking creatures, our starters arrive.

The boyfriend always piles his food into his mouth at great speed, whereas I like to take my time and savour all the wonderful nuances of the dish. The tuna is thinly sliced and so delicate that it breaks apart with the lightest touch. It is enlivened by Parmesan and a drop of lemon. The calamari, I have to say, looks epic. Huge battered crispy rings of soft squid with a thick freshly made tartare sauce. I ask the boyfriend if I can sample a piece and he graciously agrees. Uh oh, the jealously has set in and it’s definitely not pretty. I point at the cute seven duckings, cautiously swimming along the canal and pinch another whilst his head is turned. The boyfriend knows my game, but let’s me play it nonetheless. Starters finished, I feel gluttonous but simultaneously pleased with my efforts.

It always makes me feel old when I look around a restaurant and see lots of couples dating. Smartly dressed, all very rah, with buckets of cash; I’m not entirely sure we fit in.

At last, my favourite part of the meal arrives; dessert! It can’t disappoint, it’s Knickbocker Glory. As soon as I saw it on the menu, it made me reminisce cheerily about my childhood. I think the last time I had a Knickerbocker Glory was when my Dad took me to Wimpy’s (do they even still exist?). It’s all about the long spoon, so that you can delve into its berry and cream goodness. Fan wafers on top and squishy strawberry moosh on the bottom. I didn’t even glance at the boyfriend’s sweet.

As the rain dissipates and the sun creeps out, it is time to bid adieu to The Summerhouse. The setting is beautifully picturesque and the food is fresh and interestingly constructed. Perhaps go on a day when there is a glimmer of sunshine, so that you get the full experience of the place, and don’t forget your brolly, as due to the unpredictable British weather, you may end up being a bit drenched.
...read more

Cat McGovern

Customer Reviews for The Summerhouse

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Summerhouse.

“Considering it's parked on a canal opposite a housing estate, the Summerhouse does a damn good job of convincing you you're sitting next to the Thames somewhere up near Richmond. The occasional passing flotillas of ducks help with this. The food falls somewhere between haute cuisine and traditional English fish'n'chips stuff, and does both pretty well. Slight question mark over some of the prices, but I suppose you're paying for the atmosphere too. The staff are friendly without being obtrusive and the service was excellent throughout. I'd definitely go back - it's possibly not the best value for money around but the food is delicious and the venue itself pretty charming. The ducks don't like the breadsticks, but what do they know?”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Matt, London (3 years 8 months ago)

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The Summerhouse Opening Hours

Monday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm Friday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm Saturday: 10:00am - 11:00pm
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm Sunday: 10:00am - 10:30pm
Thursday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm    

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The Summerhouse Food & Drinks

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Venue ID: 20697

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Loved

"I had a banging meal at the driver in kings cross last week with my best friend and we both agree that it was a great afternoon spent there both loved it.. thanks :) x" Which venue is this?

Hated

"A good friend of ours held her birthday bash at the Hunter S on Saturday. It seems there were two quite large parties that evening that had booked areas and this may go some way to explaining the shoddy..." Which venue is this?

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