You know, we’ve eaten at some nice places over the years, but there’s a rare few occasions where we’ve pretty much fallen in love with the experience. And London Shell Co is definitely an experience. A Tardis-like restaurant that sits within a beautiful, 30 year-old canal boat called The Prince Regent, moored at Sheldon Square. But the really icing on the fishcake is the fact that, as well as being a phenomenal dining location, the boat itself sets sail whilst you’re working your way through the various courses. If you think it sounds good, we’re probably not even doing it justice.
A weekend booking at the evening tour (which is what we did) sees diners taken on a 3-hourish journey that makes its way from Paddington, past Regent’s Park and over to Primrose Hill. It’s a truly wonderful experience, especially if you’ve never been on a boat through London’s canals before. It’s a sort of calm, alternate look at a load of places that you probably know really well. Well worth doing even if you aren’t sitting down for dinner in fact.
But in this case the food and wine is by far the main event. Serving largely seafood, London Shell Co provide an impressive selection of dishes available as part of the their set menus. With four courses that constantly change week by week, you’ll have some of the nicest seafood we’ve managed to find in London. A standard roll call of dishes includes things like, Carlingford oysters supplied by The Wright Brothers (so good!), salmon rillettes with pickled cucumber and horseradish, grey mullet with razor clams and seaweed and sesame salad, cod fillet with caponata and fried potatoes and doughnut peaches with cherry and almond ripple. To be honest picking a favourite would be almost impossible, but if we were pushed, we’d go for the salmon.
There’s also a massive range of wines to compliment the fish, although you need to check the list on the site before you go, as they only have a limited number of bottles they can take, in case you have a preference. We went for a pretty amazing dry white, suggested by the staff, that went perfectly with each course. Perhaps too perfectly, you kind of lose track of time and alcohol consumption when you’re longingly staring out the window at beautiful scenery.
Having people sat in a limited space for two hours lends itself to a sort of camaraderie, and people from different tables chatted amongst themselves as the sun began to set. It’s a ruddy nice atmosphere to be honest.
To be honest, we can’t fault any of the experience. If you like seafood, wine and something a bit different, London Shell Co is an absolute joy. The tour itself costs £45 and includes four courses, with the fifth cheese course available for an additional cost. Wines vary from about £20 to £55, depending on what you want, and there are other drinks available. If you don’t have time for the cruises, then you can book a static meal at lunch throughout the week.
For details of how to book, and to see an updated menu, head over to the website here.
Picture Credits: London Shell Co