Despite being a born and bred Londoner, you would have never caught me at an “artisan bread shop“ or “‘neighborhood restaurant”. In fact, I didn’t know what those terms meant until I started uni and became friends with a lot of people who had just moved to London.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. And I’m the first to “well actually” when anyone has any criticism. And I don’t particularly see myself living anywhere else.
Maybe I was taking London for granted, or maybe I was hard and jaded after years of living on the Central Line. But I thought I’d reframe my thinking, and see what it was that drew so many people to the city.
One quick Overground journey later, I found myself at Kew Gardens station, ready for lunch at the new Hawthorn restaurant. There was lot of buzz about this place, as it replaced the Glasshouse, which had been there for years and years. I heard about it via Code, and decided to take advantage of a good deal and have some good food.
The cuisine was modern British, and the decor was simple, light and airy.
I started the meal with some homemade bread and butter, and a canapé made from crispy pork skin and salmon roe. Absolutely delicious. It was a great first bite that set the scene for the whole meal.
For my starter, I picked the guinea hen raviolo. The pasta was thin, and I enjoyed the filling, but the standout to me was the sauce, and small mushrooms dotted around the pasta. I was a mushroom hater until 2 years ago (I know, I was missing out) so I’m glad my taste buds matured in time for me to enjoy this dish.
I felt comfortable enough to ask whether I should go for the onglet steak or the hogget. As a lamb lover, my choice was already made, but I like to get the opinion of the staff before doing anything. I was assured the hogget would be the better (and more interesting) choice, as I’d enjoy the smokyness of the slow cooked shoulder, and rump. And I did. A lot.
However, in true me fashion, the proof would always be in the pudding. I ordered the chocolate delice with Jerusalem artichoke ice cream. (Yes, you read that right, I did a double take too). I had to see what it was all about. It was the highlight of my lunch. (Apart from the canape, that can’t be beat). My first bites of the dessert, I was deciding if I liked it or not. And then I noticed I was halfway through because I couldn’t stop eating. So moreish. I could do with another portion, actually. Maybe I’ll go back.
I am very excited to see the growth of Hawthorn in the coming years. And while you all go to there, I’ll continue to run around London with the excitement of a bright eyed tourist. Maybe I’ll find a “hidden gem”.