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The Shed (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Shed in Notting Hill, London

122 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill, London, W8 4RT
Cuisine: British
Tel: 020 7229 4024 | Email to The Shed | Transport: Notting Hill Gate | Write review

The Shed Review

Best for: Homemade cheese; home-cured meats; oak smoked potatoes.

Great: Passion; buzz; loo wallpaper.

Ever read the book about the girl who tastes the emotions of the cook in everything she eats? It’s no joke.

She’s so drained by the screaming confusion of annoyance, misery and crushing ennui she detects in most ordinary food, the safest bet is processed goods.

It’s hard not to play the game. Analyse appearance and seasoning, but once you’ve read this review – or the far superior book (Aimee Bender’s The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake; Fluid London likes to feed the literary as well as the culinary soul) – you’ll be critiquing your food’s mood too.

And by far the happiest place to do this is The Shed restaurant in Notting Hill, which exudes joy through every warm yeast bubble of sour dough and pink pore of steak, because, I’m certain, the chefs are thoroughly chuffed.

Their chuffed-ness does a jig on your tastebuds in every mouthful. And they serve ‘mouthfuls’; aperitifs like sardine rollmops whose tails curl into a grin; and pear & blue cheese snuggled like drowsy babies in tiny endive leaves, gurgling with glee.

Even The Shed’s position, below – I blink - what appears to be a fairytale cottage nestling careless of its incongruity on the streets of Notting Hill, is a warmly extended hand in a slightly stuffy room.

Sheds have long been the sanctuary of Man; a place to kick back with slippers and a quiet mind and be, well, manly (I can only guess, as Woman I’m in the house, wondering where the hell you are).

So it’s the perfect name for this seven-week old restaurant and bar which plays sanctuary to two brothers; slipperless, but very obviously content.

But the duo, chef Oliver Gladwin and restaurateur brother Richard, have christened their venture not so much for its propensity for masculine me-time – though boys, there is a tractor bonnet above the bar and the loos are decorated with the kind of farmyard wallpaper I know you secretly covet – but because they see it as extension of their parents’ farm and vineyard in Nutbourne, West Sussex.

The ethos is to introduce the cyclical harvesting of nature; the growing, foraging and farming the brothers, along with a third who still farms, have grown up with; to a Notting Hill restaurant which is more than ready to gobble every animal part going, now the trendies have sanctioned it.

Hence the Shed is a cacophony of colourful oil drum tables, mismatched chairs, farming paraphernalia, exposed brickwork and bark.

We sit next to the kitchen counter, my hair visibly on end as it dangles perilously close to the fluffy meringue-like dollop of homemade labneh cheese which gleams pearly white, alongside fresh herbs and home-cured meats.

But the smells alone soothe its follicles. We’re brought flutes of Kingscote sparkling English cider, order those cheerful mouthfuls, and told ‘To get right in there’.

‘There’ is a land of small plates which form our main course. We pick eight, and juggle them in twos and threes.

First, Shed Salami. It lounges speckled, chunky and pink like the healthiest of tongues. Mine laps up sheer enjoyment.

Speaking to Oliver later, it’s clear why; every weekend he visits the family farm and forages what’s available from the livestock, hedgerows and fields. His pleasure is crystallised in the dish.

Next, washed down with the brothers’ parents’ own white wine, girolles, thyme crumpet and labneh cheese; spiced beef chipolatas and mustard; a winter root vegetable salad spiced with dukka; and oak smoked potatoes.

Those potatoes. A potato is rarely silent. Baked, and it talks of autumn after-school days, relief Gordon’s in the broom cupboard, and you’re home. Roasted, and it crackles with celebratory anticipation.

But smoked, they whisper magic; woodlands and fires of bracken at some unearthly hour, drums and dancing hares. I’m getting carried away, but this is what food crafted with love does to a hungry soul.

A simple Sussex beef steak with horseradish followed, alongside cuttlefish, almonds, black beans and paprika and pan-fried goats cheese with hazelnuts, honey and thyme.

The dishes are primarily a celebration of Britain – more specifically, Sussex – embracing what can be reared and discovered on our doorstep.

But at the same time, Gladwin, formerly a chef at River Cottage, hasn’t been afraid to integrate the flavours of Southern Europe or North Africa. Beneath their simplicity, each dish is packed with clever layers and partnerships.

And of course between them, concertinaed tightly, is the joy. And while that lasts, The Shed can’t go wrong. more

Customer Reviews for The Shed

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 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 Shed.

“I did not expect the Shed to be such a find - a cute little hideaway in Notting Hill with delightful interiors and even more delightful food. Even on a Tuesday, The Shed was rammed and you can tell from the volume of noise coming from the diners that everyone enjoyed the food and drink immensely. I particularly enjoyed the cuttlefish, smoked potatoes and the home made labneh cheese - none of which I had tried before. I would certainly recommend the Shed to others - make sure you allow lots of time to enjoy the food on offer, we were there for at least 3 hours, not due to slow service (service was excellent) but due to the need to try most items on the menu!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Denise Shackleton, London (8 years 5 months ago)

“I celebrated my birthday at The Shed. The begin with the establishment looks very cool and stylish. The rustic but tasteful decor evokes an informal but civilsed atmosphere that makes any dining experience a pleasure. The place was busy at 8pm, which I thought was brilliant considering it hasn't been open for too long, and thats always a good sign I think The table was booked for 13 people, but we added 2 more at the last minute. This wasn't a problem and they catered to our every need, including a nut allergy, which was greatly appreciated. A great selection of beverages, from the highly drinkable lager beer to the taste bud tingling 'daily loosener', all went down a treat. Obviously the food is the main attraction to any restaurant. To be quite honest I was a little blown away by the standard of the food. The quality, simplicity and originality of everything we ordered was second to none. A few personal favourites included the confit pheasant on toast, crispy pigs ears, lamb chips (probably my favourite) and the rolled lamb saddle. Absolutely excellent, elegant and down right tasty food. The passion of the staff, the owner Richard and the head chef Oliver is evident to see and I am greatly looking forward to returning at some point in the near future. Thankyou for a great birthday guys!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Peter Oppersdorff, Exeter, Devon (8 years 6 months 19 days ago)

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