by Sue Lancaster
As any parent to young children will know, a night out as a couple is a rare treat. So when my mum offered to come and babysit on a Friday night to allow my husband, Tom, and me to celebrate our mutual birthdays, we jumped at the chance. As it was a special occasion, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a restaurant in Kew Village called The Glasshouse. When Tom initially called up to book a table, they could only offer us a 7 o’clock or 9 o’clock reservation. As we knew 7 o’clock would be too early, we reluctantly opted for 9 o’clock, which I thought was a bit late to be starting a three-course meal. Luckily, a few days before our date night, the restaurant called to say they could seat us earlier, at 8.30pm, which was quite thoughtful of them.
Arriving in Kew around 8pm, we had a quick drink at the nearby pub Tap on the Line before heading across to The Glasshouse. The restaurant, although not huge, was fully booked and had a lovely atmosphere as people chatted and laughed and enjoyed the fine food. My husband is a vegetarian, and had notified them when booking; as soon as the waitress brought over the menus she discussed the veggie options with him.
The menu had seven choices for starters and seven for mains—I opted for cured sea trout with oyster mayonnaise, dill, pickled kohlrabi, salty fingers and trout caviar to start with, followed by honey-glazed pork with haricot beans, kale, crown pumpkin and pickled crab apples for my main. Tom chose off the menu (the waitress had said the chef would create something for him if he wanted), and had ceps with pearl barley risotto, roasted hazelnuts, black garlic and winter truffle followed by roasted cauliflower with cous cous, pumpkin puree, toasted almonds and salted grapes.
The price for three courses was £45, which I silently gasped at, but the food was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented; in fact we could not fault a single thing about our meals. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, the staff were attentive, making sure our drinks were never empty and that we had everything we wanted.
When it was time for the third course, the dessert menus were brought and the waiter, without being prompted, told Tom that one of the choices had gelatine in it and so was not suitable for vegetarians. This is such a different experience from so many other restaurants we’ve encountered where the waiting staff couldn’t even tell you what was in something, let alone offer the information without being asked.
Despite being full to the brim, I squeezed in a dark chocolate and orange mousse with hazelnut dacquoise and burnt orange ice cream, which was beautiful, and Tom had tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. The cheese board, which was another dessert option, seemed to be a very popular choice with our fellow diners, and I was rather jealous to have not had it as I watched it being carried around. The huge board must have held over twenty varieties of cheese, and the waitress who was manning it knew about every single one in fine detail.
Overall we had a lovely evening at The Glasshouse and got to spend some quality time together as a couple, chatting about non-child-related topics for once. If you’ve got a special occasion to celebrate, I would highly recommend going there—you will not leave disappointed.
For more info:
Address: 14 Station Parade, Kew, TW9 3PZ
About the author:
An Essex girl, Sue came to London 12 years ago and never left. She moved to West Kensington with her now-husband, then spent a couple of years living in Stamford Brook, before finally settling down in Mortlake. Prior to becoming a mum, Sue worked in TV production. She now stays at home, looking after toddler Tabitha and writing whenever she can.