I was totally thrilled and beyond excited!
The day of the dinner dawned and due to my impeccable timing skills, which I have inherited from my parents (thanks guys), I ended up being almost half an hour late practically screaming at the taxi driver to go faster. I was off to a good start running into the restaurant and totally not keeping my cool.
After apologising profusely I was handed an icy cold glass of Pimm's, that made things much better and I took my seat at the end of the table.
I had a name card and everything!
I introduced myself to my fellow bloggy neighbours, Rebecca, Jayne and Emma, and Ed and Ben from Square Meal. We soon were chatting left right and centre about why we started blogging, what we did and above all how much we loved food. We all love food a lot. It's a good thing to have in common with people I think!
Soon it was time to turn our attention to the menu, so many decisions!
Our waitress Katia, who really deserves a mention for looking after us so well, told us her suggestions and then helped to match a wine to go with it. Perfect!
A glass of pink fizz! Katia could spot me a mile off!
While we were waiting for our food we tucked into the little shots of healthy goodness laid before us and surveyed our surroundings. Bumpkin really is so pretty with real thought having gone into their outside Secret Garden area. Perfect party place and indeed there was a birthday going on behind us!
Bloggers doing what bloggers do best!
Our lovely healthy shots, which feature on their brunch menu, weren't really my bag but tasty enough and a good pallet cleanser!
Soon our food started arriving to the table and naturally before anyone could tuck in the obligatory photos where taken left right and centre.
My choice was the scallops in a pea soup with pancetta crisps. Beautifully cooked scallops matching well with the sweet pea and the salty pancetta it was a great start and one of the most popular starters amongst us!
Here was the asparagus with poached egg and truffle shavings, another popular starter.
Emma gave everyone massive food envy when her dressed crab turned up! A delight, she informed me.
After a good first round Bumpkin were doing well and I was excited for my main.
Oooooo look there's my name card again... sorry back to the food.
The main event: Monkfish with samphire with a mussel curry sauce.
Oh my, it really didn't disappoint.
A perfectly cooked hunk of meaty monkfish by a yellow pool of heavenly smelling, delightfully yellow sauce. (My white shirt was not so happy to see the minefield of yellow sauce, luckily I was a big girl and didn't smother myself in it)
It even had a hidden surprise of a sweet potato fondant underneath. Honestly I contemplated asking for bread to mop up that sauce, it was the star of the show, and if it hadn't been considered rude my lick my plate I would have done.
Other mains surrounding me were
Seabass with braised chicory, fennel and crab salad
Lamb rump with Heritage carrots and spinach
Rose veal chop with a mushroom, tarragon and anchovy sauce, this was a string contender for my main. Emma went big and got the mac and cheese as a side too. A lady after my own heart! I can confirm that Bumpkin do a laaaaavely mac and cheese.
A mozzarella tart with Golden and Elegance tomatoes accompanied by sides of peas and beans and a buttery Jersey Royals. A veggie feast for Ed!
A slow braised short beef rib with cauliflower cheese and triple cooked chips
A hushed silence descended as we feasted with the waitresses making sure we were all topped up and happy with our choices. We were really spoilt.
Bumpkin had tweeted me earlier saying they were looking forward to showing off and boy, did they show off.
It really is such a fantastic menu you are spoilt for choice but there really is no rest for the wicked as dessert menus were placed in front of us.
Even I was persuaded to have a dessert after one of Katia's recommendations of summer berries with lemon curd, meringue and cream.
To be honest, I should have gone with my gut, ha, and plumped for the sticky toffee pudding as for me personally this wasn't a dessert for me. What I left behind though was eagerly snapped up by waiting vultures with spoons poised, so don't worry, there was no wastage.
There were oooos and ahhhhs from Ed and Rebecca as they demolished the chocolate tart with honeycomb
Jayne tucked into her generous cheese plate and the evening began to wind down.
Soon we were the last ones standing, typical I had to be there, and we heaved ourselves off our chairs and said our goodbyes.
It really was such a nice evening, so great to meet new people and chat about something I love so much. I really could talk a hind leg of a donkey when it comes to food and discovering restaurants in London.
The names above are linked to the other's blog and I suggest you head on over to have a sneaky read of them!
We compared notes on so many different things but the ultimate conclusion was that all of us would be returning to Bumpkin as soon as we could. I really, really need to share that curry sauce. It needs to be shared, quite possibly one of the most moreish dishes I've eaten in a while.
Thank you so much to Square Meal and Bumpkin for such fantastic evening!