I stumbled upon the Summerhouse while walking around Little Venice with my sister-in-law and her two children before an afternoon event.
Saturday lunchtime (25 August) and the place was about half full. We were seated immediately at a table by the window overlooking the road, which suited us very well. The staff were extremely polite and welcoming, despite that arriving with a 9 and 15 year old may have put some off. Henry was given a children's menu, a colouring sheet and a jug of crayons, while the rest of us were given the adult menus and wine list to peruse.
The menu choice was limited, but still very interesting and as a vegetarian, I had more than one choice, which is not always the case. Our drinks order, then food order were taken promptly, without us feeling rushed. It was then that we could sit back and take in the lovely ambiance of the place. We remarked that it really did feel as though we were abroad and not a 10 minute walk from Paddington Station. Decor is light, airy and nautical without being twee or cheesy.
When the food arrived, we were surprised by the portion sizes as they were much bigger than expected. Two large salads, one fish and chips and chicken gougons left us feeling full, but with the interesting offerings on the dessert menu, we had to order three of those too. Eton Mess, lemon tart with fresh raspberries and a chocolate mousse with pistachio cream were all delicious and plates were cleared.
The only part that took longer than needed, was getting the bill. Meercat-like, I had stretched upwards several times to get anyone to notice we were finished, but it was not until the barman saw me that the bill was brought over.
It was a delicious meal in lovely surroundings with good service. For a suburb-dwelling west Londoner, I found the price rather high, especially as we had not ordered alcoholic drinks, but this is a well-to-do central London location. I also do not like service being added, even if it is optional, however, I felt that we were treated extremely well and did not ask for any of it to be removed from the bill.
I would definitely recommend the Summerhouse and am very glad we came across it by chance.