As the Gladwin brothers prepare to open their second restaurant Rabbit, in Chelsea, Catherine McCabe revisits their first venture, The Shed in Notting Hill
When I imagine how The Shed’s interior was devised, I picture Annie Sloan with a precocious toddler sidekick, ready to create a colourful playground of distressed furniture and Coleman’s mustard signs. But the Gladwin brothers’ restaurant wears its overkill with pride.
A grouse on a hook here, a wagon wheel there – and a bathroom plastered with children’s tractor wallpaper. It’s like the set of American variety show Hee Haw, especially on the day of my visit, when a man in a tan waistcoat and horseshoe moustache is playing a cover of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright just a few feet away. But faux hoe-downs aside, it’s hard to fault what the Gladwins have achieved with The Shed.
On top of running the venue, brothers Richard, Oliver and Gregory Gladwin, have a second job of rearing their own pigs on their farm in Nutbourne, and source the bulk of their produce from the area. The menu is divided intriguingly into ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ cooking, with prices ranging from £5 to £9 – these are modest servings, so if you’re hungry, order around four or five main dishes between two.
The waiter (who allegedly left his job in marketing to work at The Shed) recommends a Bloody Mary and chorizo with labneh, crisp bread and kale, and I proclaim him to be a genius. Both are exquisite; the stupidly tender ground chorizo matched with the smoothness of the labneh had me returning like a crazed pig to the trough. Other highlights included the lamb chips with harissa: two slabs of soft braised lamb breadcrumbed and fried; and the delicately diced wood pigeon.
In just a few weeks, the Gladwins will be launching their second restaurant, Rabbit, in Chelsea, and I’ll be joining the queue, even if it means dusting off my dungarees.
122 Palace Gardens Terrace W8 4RT; theshed-restaurant.com