Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When in London: Petersham's Nursery Cafe

Can you see the joy?  I think we were all feeling how these girls look, when we went to Petersham's Nursery, in the outskirts of London, near Richmond Park.  I had always wanted to go there since I bought the two cookbooks of the chef Skye Gyngell-- quite possibly two of the most inspiring cookbooks I have.  First, they are shot so beautifully, by Jason Lowe, one of my favorite food photographers.  Second, she just has such a way with food--it's so based on seasonal ingredients, cooked in a very loose way. So the last time we were in London, about a year ago, we made a booking, and went with our friends Ariel, Paul, and their daughter Daphne.  It was fantastic.  Here is what we ate:
Fiore di latte with black figs and prosciutto
Roast beetroot, sweet potatoes and celeriac salad with spicy yogurt dressing
Slow cooked shoulder of lamb, chard, borlotti beans, and salsa verde
Beef fillet with farro, baby leeks, carrot salad, and horseradish cream
Monkfish and clams with roasted almonds, rosemary, and aioli
(I am looking at the menu in my notebook--this is not from memory)
I didn't snag the dessert menu.  I just remember something like an olive oil cake, and the girls polished off a chocolate pudding.

The other great thing about this place is that it really is a nursery.  You get to wander around the lovely plants and flowers, and pick up books on gardening, or very cool garden tools.  The only downside to this place is that it is just too expensive.  I was mortified when I picked up the check.  It was something like 250 pounds for just lunch!  Yes, we had a bottle of wine, and the girls ate as much as adults, but still, it was so much.  Main courses were around 26 pounds, and starters were around 13.  This is a place you would come to if you are lucky enough to be on an expense account, which I was.  Otherwise, get the cookbook.

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