After a few minor issues finding the venue, the warm flicker of candlelight and the gentle hum of music told us we were in the right place. The Stew House’s entrance is a modest doorway positioned underneath a large, imposing building.
After tackling a rather imposing velvet drape, we were confronted with a wonderfully intimate spectacle of candles, banquet tables, ceiling drapes and the rich smell of hearty food.
The open plan kitchen space – with its large slab like counters and belching stoves – was situated on one side of the room and we were audience to the chefs as they prepared everyone’s sustenance for the evening.
The Stew House embodied much that is great about the pop up craze: a cold, open space transformed into a cosy and refined venue – and as we sat down on our benches we were warmly greeted by fellow guests accompanying us on our table.
After a brace of cocktails (the tipple highlight being the LDC) we were served a starter of ham hock and pickled vegetables, followed by a main of venison & chocolate stew (trust me, it works). A vegetarian option, spicy sausage and Welsh cowl, were great alternatives – but opting for the venison stew seemed logical considering where we were!
The stew itself was delicious, tender and rich, stewed for a whopping 23 hours! It felt almost medieval as we buttered large chunks of brown bread and dunked them into our bowls.
Full to the brim and bursting at the seams, it was time for the apple crumble to come out – a sweet end to an amazing meal.
All in all, the evening was a wonderful experience: personal, down-to-earth and incredibly friendly. The ease with which guests interacted was a testament to the thoughtful intimacy of the setting, and we loved every minute of it. Our guests Peter, Laura and Steph were equally impressed – and a great evening was had by all.
Hats off to the Stew House!