What? Run by brother and sister, Harry and Leah Lobek, London Shell Co is a floating restaurant aboard the Prince Regent that cruises along the Regent’s Canal. Visit on any other day and you’ll be eating seafood, but go on a Tuesday throughout October and November and you’ll be sitting down to a game menu.
New? The game menu is new, but the London Shell Co has been cruising up and down the Regent’s Canal since November last year.
Where? Giving you a reason to visit Paddington other than to head out of London, the boat is moored at Sheldon Square– if you visit in the evening then you’ll cruise up to Camden. The Prince Regent, Sheldon Square, W2 6DS, www.londonshellco.com
On the Menu: Changing each week the set menu features different game dishes (some to share, some to devour alone) each paired with different wines – expect to find the likes of wood pigeon and black pepper sausages with plum ketchup; roast venison haunch and for pudding baked russet, blackberry ripple ice cream and oats.
The Look: Against the dull grey of the canal, the bright blue Prince Regent is a beacon of cheeriness. Inside it’s modest and unpretentious with simple wooden tables and flickering candles. Of course, given the fact it’s a narrow boat there isn’t that much space and with tables being communal you’re potentially going to get cosy with strangers, but hey, if you strike lucky you could make new friends and despite our tube manner you can prove that Londoners are capable of talking to each other. At one end sits the teeny kitchen – how head chef Stuart Kilpatrick manages to cook that many dishes to all come out perfectly at the same time is magic in itself; at the other end is the bow – head out here between courses for your Insta snaps.
What We Ate: For a restaurant that specialises in seafood (as their website says it’s aimed at ‘Tommy Tucker’s who like a Lillian Gish’) they also make an excellent game restaurant. Visiting on their first night, you wouldn’t know that they hadn’t always been serving game. Things got off to a great start with coarse rabbit rillettes – perfect for scooping up onto baguette with salty pickles. Roasted red legged partridge to share (tricky to get off the bone, you’ll need to get stuck in) was accompanied by a Waldorf salad which had the juiciest grapes – get ready to fight for the last forkful. Autumn was epitomised in a dish of venison, turnips, black cabbage and wild mushroom sauce and to finish there was a buttermilk pudding, akin to a panna cotta, with boozy raspberries. Dishes were hearty, rustic but, as with the first time we visited, couldn’t be faulted.
What We Drank: There isn’t a drinks list but Harry matched each dish with a different wine, each unique and unusual but wonderfully paired and despite being a game menu there were white and sparkling wines. The evening started with a Moscato and lime cocktail accompanied with toasted hazelnuts.
Go With: Once you’re on the Prince Regent, you’re on the Prince Regent – you’re not getting off until they stop, so if you’re the sort of person who likes to eat quickly and leave then it’s not for you. If, however, you’re a fan of good game, excellent wines and once in a while taking life at a slower pace (yes, it is achievable even in London) then you’re going to love London Shell Co.
Final Word: There’s a wonderful warmth to the London Shell Co, Harry and the team are excellent hosts, full of passion and enthusiasm – especially when it comes to describing the wines. We loved it the first-time round and it’s good to see that it hasn’t lost any of its charm.
London Shell Co: The Prince Regent, Sheldon Square, W2 6DS