So this Marylebone restaurant isn’t going to get a horrible review, but it’s not getting a rave one either. The Potting Shed is just the type of restaurant that exists. It’s not wowing anyone, nor being visually offensive. It’s just there, with so-so service, food, decor and prices. I’ve been a couple times due to its convenient location for business meetings when meeting with colleagues off the train, but other than that, I see no point in being a recurring patron.
Let me break it down for you. The Potting Shed is set underground, in the basement level of the Dorset Square Hotel. This would be a disadvantage for many restaurants, but they actually make use of the light they do have, and use a lot of white accents to keep the place airy and not feeing dingy. Their decor, though, is not quite right. The cluttered walls are packed with all white ceramic decorations. Whether it’s the wall of white small pots (how fitting), the one of ornate garden plaques and gargoyles, or the area of white clay leaves, it’s all really boring. And, right in between the boredom of the repetitive white against the actually pretty mint-colored backdrop, you have the ugliest piece of “art” I have ever seen. Black and white bold, oversized number surrounded by rustic wood paddles of some sort. Might be a British thing. Regardless, it doesn’t match and adds to the clutter. The restaurant is full of these little mismatched oddities, like with an outdated lamp in a window between the upper dining room and the lower bar.
Once you get past the decor and focus on the food, the selection is quite nice. An upscale British mix of meat, fish and pasta classics, lunch specials, and an Afternoon Tea. It just never tastes quite as good as it sounds. My mint pea and mint soup was delicious, and looked lovely in the bowl. Bright green against the white bowl and mint surroundings. But the pumpkin gnocchi special was bland and the entire dish was missing some contrasting colors and textures.
And I have to point out my tea. While The Potting Shed aimed for a grand presentation, the whole tea service was a little contrived. The teapot was presented with a strainer (as is common for loose leaves) but the pot was actually filled with just tea bags! What was the point?! So close, but so far.
Even with all these little grievances, I did, however, book a table for a business meeting coming up, due to lack of options in that area. So, either Marylebone or The Potting Shed…one of you needs to tighten up. Either get new restaurants in your area or revamp the existing ones! There’s still hope Potting Shed! There’s still hope.
The Potting Shed
Dorset Square Hotel
39-40 Dorset Square
London NW1 6QN