Summer // The Potting Shed Restaurant, a Summer Pop Up at The Grove Hotel

July 18, 2018

I've mentioned time and time again how much we love The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire for special dinners and forever ogle over their landscaped gardens. Just down the road from us, it's a place we've been visiting for years and there's always a lot of hype when the England football team or NFL stay there, one time Obama was in town and we watched him tee off! It's a really stunning luxury hotel which has become known as London's Country Escape and is constantly topping UK hotel lists. We adore the Glasshouse restaurant there but I was especially excited when I saw on their Instagram that they were opening up their walled garden {normally just for hotel residents or members} and creating a pop-up restaurant for the summer in their Potting Shed. I actually looked at this space when we were planning our wedding, it's a greenhouse surrounded by vegetable plots. I booked in a few weeks back for dinner with Ben this summer as it looked our kind of style {we adore The Pig Hotel's restaurants set in greenhouses and this seemed a similar, local food kind of kitchen garden vibe}. But then, a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from their PR team - not aware that I'd already booked - asking if I'd like to attend the launch of the restaurant and stay overnight. You can imagine my joy.  YES PLEASE I replied! I think they were slightly concerned by my over enthusiastic reply. But it's the greatest treat to stay at The Grove and it turned out to be the most beautiful hot summers day to enjoy their outdoor pool during our stay - something I've always dreamed of doing. The new restaurant was even better than I imagined, and ridiculously instagram friendly full of botanicals where all the food is cooked over flames outside or in a wood fired oven. I've shared some more photos below if you'd like to see...

Set on an 18 hole championship golf course, the Grove is surrounded by lakes and the canal running through.

Wild flowers as you approach the mansion.

Hydrangea goals.

We arrived ready to use the pool! And spent a dreamy afternoon relaxing before dinner.

There's a beach at The Grove, miles from the sea, which is a really cool feature. It's a really family friendly hotel with an extensive kids club and a pool just for children. As well as being super luxurious for couples like us wanting to relax. It feels more like a resort? You HAVE to try the Sequoia Spa too.

The pop-up bar in front of the new restaurant.

Love how they theme the displays around the hotel depending on the season. Last week was Wimbledon.

We had a very similar room to last time {see full post of my review from our last stay here} and it was fun getting ready for our date night. With the 30c weather, it felt like a holiday {this summer!!}

Loved this cool converted VW caravan turned into a champagne bar.

So onto the star of the show... the Potting Shed.

With our allotment and garden we're always interested in other veg plots for new ideas and enjoyed the Grove's growing space. 

The menu for the Potting Shed is inspired and updated based on what's growing in the garden.

You're greeted outside with a drinks menu before being taken into the restaurant, with tables piled high with pretty plants in the foyer and a table dedicated to summer squashes and tomatoes that look more like an art installation than homegrown produce. Our kind of heaven!

The chefs prepare tonight's menu outside where you can watch them grilling your steak, rolling out a flatbread or griddle your lobster.

Inside, you're met with an almost industrial style botanical space that feels almost too cool to be a restaurant, a rustic meets elegant setting. A pop-up perfect for summer evenings.

I adored the school style chairs and plants hanging from the ceiling.

With pretty place settings.

The menu made it hard for us to choose, so in the end we had a bit of everything! Fresh ingredients and simple summer cooking, we ordered garden salads as starters. Mine had courgettes and tomatoes just picked along with a flat bread that was as big as a pizza {Ben chose this one with beef brisket on top but next time I'll go for the classic heritage tomatoes and mozzarella}

Followed by half a lobster with herb butter and slow cooked lamb. You order your meat then choose sides and sauces to go with it. We had a mint yogurt for the lamb, sweet potato fries {which are my favourite!}, new potatoes and cauli cheese. But there were also steaks on the menu 'from the land', including a Tomahawk for two, fish 'from the sea' and garden choices. 

My only criticism?! The pudding menu was a little simple and uninventive compared to the other restaurants at The Grove which have set a very high bar. Our desserts were still good, the sundae probably the best, but I guess it's a simpler summer focus.

Prices were fair and actually a lot more reasonable than the other restaurants at The Grove. And overall we had SUCH a gorgeous evening with really delicious food in that dream setting. My parents have booked in for their anniversary this summer and I think it's going to be hugely popular.

If only my fiddle leaf fig was this big!

The Potting Shed is open now until the end of August and if you're looking to go, I'd recommend phoning them for availability as the website seems to show fully booked for a lot of the summer. 

I forced myself to go for a run around the grounds before we ate breakfast in the garden. It's a buffet style breakfast and we were spoilt for choice. My favourite would have to be this rhubarb custard danish though. 

A sunny, sunny weekend ahead.

Saturday morning heaven reading by the pool after breakfast. We realllly didn't want to drag ourselves away to go back to reality.

A HUGE thank you to The Grove for hosting us last weekend but I would have definitely told you about this gorgeous new restaurant regardless and can't recommend it enough.

You can find more here.

R <3 xx 

{I was a guest of The Grove Hotel but all opinions are 100% my own and you should know by now that I'd never promote anywhere that I didn't truly love}

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