There's nothing that attracts my attention more that a restaurateur who doesn't like food bloggers. So when I opened the paper on Wednesday and read that the two owners of Peasant at The Barracks were not blogger fans I was hooked, especially since I was booked to dine there that night.
Would I blog or not? I put the question out to the Twitterverse and the reactions were mixed, ranging from don't tell them you're a blogger to wear a t-shirt with your blog address on the front. The overwhelming response was 'name and shame'.
Interestingly, others ventured opinions that these restaurateurs were among many who just were not up to date with the new style 'word of mouth' of blogging.
And when I saw some of the comments on the restaurant posted on various food sites I was not surprised that the owners were a little wary of the internet. Quite a few diners were less than impressed by the front of house or wait staff. Somewhat challenging statements to restaurant owners who pride themselves in their New York style of being able "to dictate to people but still let them have what they want''.
However, I have to say that my experience did not reflect that. Our waitress was delightful and made some good recommendations, which was handy as the menu was not easy to navigate.
The restaurant decor inside is quirky and atmospheric, with wild painted ceilings of different heights and lots of wood and brick. We sat in a semi circular booth at the rear which was good for conversation but could have benefited from some pillows for extra back support. There were tables for two set under a pergola with fairy lights around - they looked cosy and romantic.
The food was what you would expect from a Spanish restaurant - jamon, morcilla, crumbed croquettes and sardines with some good salads on the side. We enjoyed the dishes but did not find them overly filling for the price.
My main beef would be with the oh-so-tricky, hand written blackboard menu on a 'slate' which we had to share between the four of us. It was difficult to read and gave little explanation. The waitress filled in the gaps but it would have been handy to have more of a point of reference than the sketchy menu.
Bottom line: Interesting and worth another visit.
No. 4 The Barracks, 61 Petrie Terrace, Paddington p3367 8066