Eat to the Ethical Beat - Bumpkin Restaurant, Notting Hill
With decor striking just the right balance between classically posh and rustic, the Bumpkin restaurant in Notting Hill is the perfect choice for a slow, sustainable Sunday lunch. That the ingredients for their excellent menu are all seasonably and ethically sourced in Britain completes the picture perfectly.
At Bumpkin it is all about the little touches. The butter arrived in a nice little package telling us that it was traditionally churned at Netherend Farm in Gloucestershire. The raw vegetables accompanying the silky stilton dip were festively arranged in a mini farm bucket. The flowers on the table were held in a simple recycled jam jar.
Usually boasting a good selection of beer, we visited on what must have been an off day with only one organic lager available and the Bumpkin flagship beer replaced by Heineken. The connoisseur in our group was disappointed, but this little blip was soon forgiven as the food arrived.
Catering for many different tastes, the menu offered a worthy range of fish, meat and vegetarian options. The rabbit stew was full of flavor, simple and lean. The seabass came in a wholesome broth and the fish pie, served up in traditional enameled tin trays, came crammed with fish, eliciting all the right noises from the people who chose this dish.
With portion sizes just right, there was enough room for pudding. Apple crumble with homemade custard was a popular choice while others at our table were lured by the lavender and honey poached pear with whipped cream. One was charmed by the cheese board. None were let down, although the consensus was that the relationship of flavour between the cheese and the chutney was perhaps a little distant.
The service was impeccable and attendant, without crowding us. Our waiter did confuse us a little by repeatedly saying “bless you”, without a sneeze in earsight. We decided that, rather than him suspecting we had the plague, he was merely at the enthusiastic end of the polite spectrum.
Bumpkin’s concept seems to have struck a note with Londoners, with three restaurants adorning the capital’s culinary jewels. Bumpkin was awarded a sought-after two-star rating from The Sustainable Restaurant Association as well as the Soil Association's Silver Catering Award.
Bumpkin Restaurant, 209 Westbourne Park Road, London, W11 1 EA, Tel: 020 7243 9818