The London Shell Co
There are some places that I walk past in London which really catch my eye and I must say that every time I walk along the canal from Little Venice to Paddington, The London Shell Co is certainly one of them.
I think it’s a combination of many things. I love that it’s flanked by other, colourful, busy looking boats, buzzing with people whatever the time of day. I love the chefs poking their heads out of the windows of their tiny kitchens whilst prepping fish for the days’ service and I love the rather regal looking entrance to the boat.
Lucky me; I mentioned to a very good university friend that I had my eye on the boat whilst discussing the best location for our dinner and she just so happens to know the owners, Harry & Leah. And so I went to the soft launch of their second boat: The Grand Duchess.
The décor is perfect: simple, modern, clean and very light. I particularly liked the round seating area at the bow of the boat, with a beautiful wine display. The other tables all had lovely views out on the canal.
The food is divine. We started with oysters, which were so good, we ordered them again (ahem Princess…) – they were served with a godly combination of celery, tomatoes, shallots and vinegar. These with their house bubbles, made in the UK. Amazing.
Next up: crispy lobster with curry sauce. Which obviously sounds ridiculous but tasted sensational. Please, please if you only have one glass of wine, choose this dish with the white Bordeaux that they have from St John. It’s like that moment in Ratatouille when he pairs two flavours and fireworks happen. On to the cod with crispy capers, courgettes and borlotti beans creamy, salty, full of flavour: a triumph.
The staff are down to earth and visibly proud of what they serve – offering knowledgeable insight into which wine to choose with which dish (the menu is also a delight). I don’t envy the chefs, who are in full view of all of their customers but this does add to the wonderfully family feel of the place.
It’s gorgeous. It’s personable, it’s delicious, it’s not up itself and it’s something novel too. The other boat then own goes up and down the canal every evening whilst this one remains docked. All in all, it comes highly recommended for a treat out in London. I’m even thinking of hosting my next birthday aboard.
The London Shell Co
The Grand Duchess
London W2 6DL