Monday, 23 April 2012

Love This! The Grazing Goat, London

When I first started working on the idea that eventually became West Egg, I quickly got into the habit of writing down notes on different things I found inspiring, interesting or just fun. I'm sure you know the kind of thing - favourite places, great tips, beautiful stationery, great interior ideas, and making notes on some great finds. This weekend just gone I ran a Furniture Painting workshop in Suffolk on Saturday and Sunday was my day off. With my husband away, I ear-marked the afternoon for some hard-core organisation. I was probably a bit optimistic with what I could achieve in just one afternoon, in fact of the 8 things I wrote down, I did 2. But one of those two things was that I sorted out all the bits of paper, postcards, post-its and what not, and ended up with a pretty nice collection of things I absolutely love. 

Sharing these notes on this blog and also on the Nest Egg blog seemed to be the natural solution to cataloguing them. So, here goes - my first post in the Love This! series. 

Tucked away on New Quebec Street in London's Portman Village is the Grazing Goat. Billed as a country house style pub and hotel in town, the GG is run by the same team behind The Thomas Cubitt, The Pantechnicon and the Orange. Their winning formula is simple enough: bustling (some say heaving) downstairs bar, beautifully lit and airy first floor dining rooms with private dining available, and at the Orange and the Grazing Goat there are also hotel rooms upstairs. As with the other venues, the Grazing Goat quickly established itself as a must-visit neighbourhood haunt.

The interior design and styling of the Grazing Goat pretty much encapsulates classic British heritage. The oak panelling and muted tones create such a laid-back, rustic feel that the first time I visited, I temporarily forgot I was in London altogether. In terms of simplicity and charm, it is right up my street. I love this look because it's classic, comfortable and relaxing. I love the decorative accessories they have used in such a clever way making the rooms feel cosy but uncluttered.

I first visited the Grazing Goat with a group of friends for Sunday lunch. We were a fairly large group of 10, with some annoying requests - no dairy (me), place to store a suitcase (me) and various late arrivals (not me). The waiting staff were so accommodating and nothing was too much trouble. Our waitress was cheerful and attentive, the food and wine arrived at just the right times, and all in, it was a really relaxed and fun Sunday lunch. The British menu is simple and excellent, we chose from a set menu because of the size of the table but there was a great choice and all the food arrived perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious. 

I guess the only real downside of the Grazing Goat is that it does get super busy. Their winning formula is, well, winning, so do book ahead if you want to visit. 

Oh, and if you're wondering why it's called the Grazing Goat, it takes its name from the original usage of the land. In 1532 Sir William Portman acquired the land which was used for pig farming but also as grazing land for goats. The reason? Lady Portman was allergic to cow's milk so she kept goats to provide her with an alternative. Feeling so much better about my dairy intolerance now. 

All images courtesy of The Grazing Goat.
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