We are all abuzz in Shepherds Bush about a new neighbourhood restaurant opening on the Uxbridge Road in late May 2013. Locals will have spotted the fabulous midnight blue building emerging amidst the hustle and bustle, as the old Bush Hall and Music House for children has a fabulous new makeover. The restaurant situated next to the Music house will bring all-day modern dining and traditional values to this popular area.
Bush Hall Dining Rooms is the latest venture by husband and wife team Charlie Raworth and Emma Hutchinson who already operate live music and events venue Bush Hall and music school, The Music House for Children. We caught up with Emma to find out more about their new venture.
Tell us about your latest venture, the Bush Hall Dining Rooms…
Our dream of a family friendly, musically minded restaurant next door to our school and performance space has evolved for over three years. Bringing this project to fruition has been a labour of time and financial effort, mainly achieved by Charlie’s extraordinary negotiating skills.
Bush Hall Dining Rooms will celebrate traditional dining room values of eating together around a table, and serving classic dishes in new, and hopefully at times unexpected ways. It will provide a much needed place to collapse for a coffee mid-morning, will be a haven for a wholesome breakfast, light-hearted lunches for local entrepreneurs and families, a gorgeous cup of tea for parents waiting for their children to finish music lessons, not to mention a cool, chilled space to have pre-gig dishes, a quick glass, or delicious supper for local couples – all within walking distance.
What inspired you to open a restaurant on the site?
The need was greatest when we realised that families enjoying classes from The Music House for Children were walking miles for a cup of tea. Many are local residents, and the consistent enquiry extended to cake, cappuccino, and even a milk shake. Bush Hall too, had to constantly recommend alternative restaurants nearby – great for other trade, not so good for our own. Approximately £120K of revenue was being outsourced to caterers for weddings and private events in the hall – not a good PR exercise. As a working resident I longed to be able to slip out nearby for an affordable and delicious lunch. With our new venture many freelancers and local businesses will benefit from this new business.
Will it be family friendly?
Absolutely. Next door at The Music House for Children we have over 300 children enjoying music lessons – from babies to teenagers. In addition to a seasonal and bespoke lunch and dinner menu, our children’s menu will reflect our discerning and hungry toddlers taste buds, with colourful treats in store (all will be revealed). Our dishes designed by our indefatigable chef Tim, will consider home-grown, attractive traditional dishes, with a touch of ‘yumminess’ specially for the children. There will be a range of simple parlour games in store involving more then just a crayon or two.
What challenges have you faced?
The major challenge has been delays in the planned opening, mainly due to the shockingly cold weather. Given that, our building team is doing a fantastic job. They have unearthed some Edwardian treasure and these will be retained to enhance the interior. Keeping the team calm and communicative has involved huge sacks of humour and keeping everyone sane just by making sure everyone knows what they are doing. Charlie deserves credit for keeping the team together. Being able to open The Music House for Children for the summer term without looking like a building site was a miracle, yet achieved again, with the tireless energy of our team. Every challenge has been overcome… so far!
What’s on the menu?
Our menu will be playful, classic but sometimes unexpected and seasonal. Family-style serves will be available at breakfast and feature during Sunday lunch as Roast Joints with all the trimmings (for the head of the table to carve themselves). Dishes will include Kedgeree, Bloody Mary Mussels, Rack of Lamb with a Pistachio Crust and Earl Grey Cambridge Burnt Cream. As an ever-changing menu our recipes will reflect flavoursome fresh produce such as wild garlic and purple sprouting broccoli. Our delicious, home-bred meats will have a story to tell since we know all our farm suppliers.
How do you juggle being a mum and setting up a business?
That’s an interesting one! With three lively boys and four demanding businesses involving children, my school, performance, music resources and now, the development of a new restaurant, my tip to any working mother is to love the work that you do. I try to be organised, and not to encroach work onto home time. Lots of humour, lots of energy, never let your children see you work (impossible) and love everything you do. Finally, delegate – if you are working then you deserve to, and are justified in having a cleaner or someone to help where necessary.
BUSH HALL DINING ROOMS, 304 Uxbridge Road London W12 7LJ
For more information, please visit:
www.bushhalldining.co.uk or call 020 8222 6933