The Cloudy Bay Shack

When the sun is shining and people are not rioting in the streets there is truly no better place to be in the world than London.  Sunshine has been a little in short supply this summer but two weekends ago the sun put on a sterling show perfectly timed to coincide with The Cloudy Bay Shack which had ‘popped up’ in Parsons Green for the weekend.

The Cloudy Bay Shack

The Cloudy Bay Shack is an annual affair which features New Zealand’s famous Cloudy Bay wines matched with dishes prepared by a Michelin star chef.  Last year the chef was Tom Aikens and I got an advance preview of his menu but did not manage to make it to the actual event.  When I was invited again this year I was determined to go, especially when I heard Petersham Nurseries chef Skye Gyngell was in charge.

Spinach, mozzarella and fennel salad

The “shack” was actually a silver air stream caravan complete with deck chairs, a random rowing boat and a three piece band.

The band – I just wanted to take them home! 

Skye had created five dishes which were a very reasonable £4 each or £8.50 when paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay wine.  MTV boyfriend and I tried out the spinach, mozzarella, pea and fennel salad which was a great fresh combination of flavours.  For something more warming, the risotto with lemon and cured ham which was loose and creamy.

Slow cooked veal

The veal with black olives and preserved lemons was very tender with the bold flavours that only come through long and slow cooking.

Wild sea bass

However, the stand out dish was wild sea bass with nam jim and pak choi.  The sea bass was silky smooth and enlivened with the sharp mix of hot, salty, sour and sweet that is characteristic of nam jim.  It was one of the best things I have eaten all year and it was served on a paper plate.

Heritage tomato salad with burrata

The only dish that failed to delight was the heritage tomato salad with goats curd and oregano.  Some of the tomato was a little flavourless and watery which made me suspect it had been bulked out with tomatoes of the non heritage varieties.  There were no such issues with the wine.  We paired the food with some of the honey and apple notes of the Cloudy Bay Riesling Dry 2007 and the classic, crisp Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010.

The crowd at the Cloudy Bay Shack

The Cloudy Bay Shack is definitely one to mark in the diary for next year.  You get Michelin star cooking and great wine for very reasonable prices.  In the meantime Skye is offering one dish on the menu at Petersham Nurseries Cafe for a week with the appropriate wine pairing. There are five dishes so the promotion will run for five weeks after the shack.

Gourmet Chick was a guest of Cloudy Bay.

Details: Cloudy Bay Shack, Parsons Green, SW6 4XE (Tube: Parsons Green)
Damage: Reasonable

Gourmet Giveaway
Thanks to everyone who entered the Gourmet Giveaway to win dinner for two and drinks at Soho Bistro du Vin.  The winner is Emma F.  Congratulations Emma.  There is still time to enter the final Gourmet Chick Third Birthday Giveaway for two tickets to Harvest Festival


  1. I passed by this when I was in London the other week and really wanted to get out of the cab to see what it was all about. I wish I had now as it looks like so much fun. Maybe next year!

  2. I went there last year, it was my first blogger thing (so exciting!) and really enjoyed it. Shame I completely missed it this year, could have done with some chilled Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc…

  3. Gods above, I swear anything mozzarella-related has me drooling at my desk. The spinach salad, and the burrata look INCREDIBLE.

  4. I love Skye’s simple approach to food and her latest recipe book is the best-thumbed one on my shelf. In it she has a recipe for crab salad with nam jim so can imagine the sea bass was divine. I live literally round the corner and managed to miss this somehow…there’s too much going on in London! 🙂

  5. Simple dishes, but so enticing and beautifully done. I wan to try it all! THe good news is that none of it is so far reaching that you can’t try to recreate it at home. I love that.
    Have a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  6. Nordic Nibbler – Oh what a shame you missed it! Yes next visit to London…

    Ute – Yes I was sorry to miss last year.

    Blonde – I have a similar addiction…

    The Little Loaf – I will have to look that recipe up as the sea bass was just amazing.

    Heavenly Housewife – A good point – it is actually quite simple food but done really well.

  7. oh my goodness…how lovely does this look?? make them do it in Chicago, please!!

  8. If only I had that influence ! I would also request an Australian leg to the airstream caravan’s tour.

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