Notting Hill – an insider guide
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Notting Hill – an insider guide

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Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Notting Hill was cool ¨C a small west London neighbourhood where those who hadn’t the resources to live in Chelsea or Kensington came to lay their hats. It was cheap, it was raw and it was edgy. This was the home of the famous Carnival, now the largest in Europe, a chilli-infused hotpot of multiculturalism. It was shabby and chic. It was a place to party, to hang out at late-night speakeasy bars, to buy music and fruit, Afghan coats and dodgy antiques from the Portobello Road and the odd illicit substance from the All Saints Road, when it was lined with bobbies, not posh bathroom shops. These days, the neighbourhood is known as London’s fashionable Notting Hill. But despite all the boutiques and high-brand shops, the new resident bankers (and the tourists searching for Hugh Grant’s blue door) you can still find the spirit of the real Notting Hill. You just have to know where to look.


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The best restaurants in Notting Hill

Lateef Okunnu


Over on the quieter side of Notting Hill, Jackson Boxer ¨C one of the duo, with Andrew Clarke, originally behind Vauxhall¡¯s Brunswick House and Shoreditch¡¯s St Leonards ¨C has just opened his newest venture. It¡¯s inspired by the tiny Outer Hebridean island where Boxer spent his childhood holidays, and there¡¯s a sense of Hebridean tranquility to the space, with its simple short menu listing things like gorgeously textured Isle of Mull scallops, tiny clams from Barra, beef and tuna tartare and a huge shorthorn rib for two to share. The two chefs co-own an organic farm in West Sussex, so vegetables take pride of place too; there are colourful plates of roast cauliflower and datterini tomatoes, or burrata and grilled peaches drizzled with the boys¡¯ very own burnt honey. Mercifully free of gimmicks and fads, this is a proper, grown-up neighbourhood restaurant. Read our full review of Orasay here.

Address: Orasay, 31 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU
Telephone: +44 20 7043 1400

Core by Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth, the first and only British female chef to win three Michelin stars, opened her first solo restaurant back in 2017. This is fine dining redone; there are no tablecloths, menus are presented on a piece of folded card, and U2 drifts out of the speakers. Order the five- or seven-course tasting menu; while the core ingredients may seem simple and familiar, the reality is anything but. Highlights include a humble potato dish, inspired by Clare¡¯s childhood on the Northern Irish coast and elevated with herring and trout roe and topped with a rich seaweed beurre blanc; carrot, braised lamb and sheep¡¯s milk yoghurt; and a superb pear and verbena pudding with poire William sorbet. The very best seats are around the chef¡¯s table, right under the nose of the glass-fronted kitchen, but if you haven¡¯t managed to snag a table several months ahead, you can eat in the bar too, where a few seats are kept back for walk-ins.

Address: Core by Clare Smyth, 92 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2PN
Telephone: +44 203 937 5086

Suzi Tros

Since it opened in 2012, Notting Hillites have made regular pilgrimages to Mazi, the inventive small plates restaurant that revolutionised London¡¯s Greek food scene. Riding on its success, husband and wife team Adrien Carre and Christina Mouratoglou have just opened a second venture, Suzi Tros, serving up modern twists on the best-known classics from Mouratoglou¡¯s hometown of Thessaloniki. Seasonally changing dishes include whole roasted aubergine bubbling with cheese and sweet honey; juicy prawns in a garlicky tomato and feta sauce and wafer-thin sea bass with a yuzu dressing, served in a stripped-back, taverna-like setting. Downstairs, a tiny cocktail bar serves drinks packed with punchy Greek spirits like ouzo and mastika.

Address: Suzi Tros, 18 Hillgate Street, Notting Hill, London W8 7SR
Telephone: +44 207 221 2223


There¡¯s a formidable team at the helm of Caract¨¨re; Michel Roux Jr¡¯s daughter Emily runs front of house, while her husband Diego Ferrari ¨C the ex-head chef of Le Gavroche ¨C leads the kitchen. The Franco-Italian menu riffs on the couple’s roots, dividing dishes into six short sections: curious (meaty starters), subtle (vegetable-led small plates), delicate (fish), robust (meat), strong (cheese) and greedy (pudding), while for the indecisive, there¡¯s a clever a pick and mix-style tasting menu. The cooking here is adventurous but fuss-free; a deceptively simple dish of cacio e pepe is the star starter, while other hits include flaky Cornish cod, a blushing-pink saddle of lamb and ravioli stuffed with pulled pork and peas, finished with a light lemony broth. With such top-notch cooking, it¡¯s obvious that hospitality runs in the DNA of this restaurant¡¯s power-couple owners.

Address: Caract¨¨re, 209 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1EA
Telephone: +44 20 8181 3850

Ingrid Rasmussen


Notting Hill¡¯s newest neighbourhood haunt has already become a bit of a celeb magnet ¨C Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were spotted on a double date here just after it opened, and Jourdan Dunn and Olympia Campbell have also popped by. Owned by nightclub mogul Nick House, it¡¯s headed up by former River Caf¨¦ chef Theo Hill, whose unfussy, deeply seasonal menus focus on cooking over a flame or in the wood-fired oven. Everything¡¯s designed for sharing; top picks include wood-roasted purple potatoes with a smoky sauerkraut slaw, burrata with charred peaches and sea bream with capers and oregano. Behind the moodily-lit bar, the fern-laden dining room must be one of London¡¯s prettiest ¨C and on hot days the glass roof retracts to open the restaurant up to the elements.

Address: Gold, 95-97 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2QB
Telephone: +44 20 3146 0747


Greek food in London often translates as suspect tzatziki, chunky feta cubes weighing down a sore betrayal of the nation¡¯s signature salad and taverna-style moussaka, sometimes good, sometimes not. Moussaka may not have made it onto the menu at Mazi, Notting Hill¡¯s favourite Greek haunt, but lamb certainly has ¨C as a shredded shoulder fricassee with lemony avgolemono sauce. The Greek salad comes with crisp barley rusks and delicate crumbs of creamy feta. The menu is an imaginative spin on authentic Greek food, elevating national classics for a spoilt modern palate. The seafood manti dumplings come with a puddle of saffron kakavia (a Greek fish stew) and are topped with bottarga powder, while the doughnut-like loukoumades pudding is doused in lavender honey and sprinkled with crushed walnuts. These delicious dishes are served in a casual setting that errs on the rustic. Owners Christina Mouratoglou (Greek) and Adrien Carre (French) lamented the city¡¯s lack of proper Greek food and opened in 2012 in a building on Hillgate Street ¨C the black-railings-and-pastel-painted-townhouse sort that makes American tourists swoon. The wine list is a patriotic ode to Greece¡¯s finest and lesser-known but discerningly selected vineyards, all reasonably priced ¨C we had the Roditis-Malagousia, which easily tuned into every dish. And if bread ¨C much like a restaurant loo ¨C is the barometer of restaurant quality, the light, doughy slices drenched in basil olive oil with a dab of rock salt are fulfilling their role effortlessly. Rosalyn Wikeley

Address: Mazi, 12-14 Hillgate Street, Notting Hill, London W8 7SR
Telephone: +44 20 7229 3794


Once a pub on a quiet stretch of Ladbroke Grove, now a pastel-pink cocktail bar, this Portobello small-plates spot is a clever place to book for a Saturday night. It might be the garden out front that appeals most, or that there¡¯s plenty of room upstairs for those craving a late night ¨C but, really, we think we were sold by the bright-yellow bar, behind which a DJ spins house remixes of Dolly Parton. The South American-inspired food, overseen by former Bodega Negra chef Sebastian Becerra, plays with taco toppings from pull-apart pork belly and crisp guillo prawns to spicy, sashimi-grade tuna tartare. Truffle chips might seem a random addition to the menu, but they¡¯re so fluffy ¨C and cooked in beef dripping, as all superior chips are ¨C that we¡¯d recommend ordering them anyway. This is a space to keep the drinks flowing, ordering tacos as and when you get peckish. The tropical cocktail list includes strawberry and jalape?o Margaritas that have a subtle kick of heat, refreshing watermelon Daiquiris and the RumGroni: rum, Campari, Belsazar Red vermouth and walnut and chocolate bitters. Sarah James

Address: Nbhd, 225 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6HQ


Back in its Eighties heyday, Julie¡¯s was one of the grande dames of the west-London restaurant scene. Kate Moss held her birthday parties here; Diana, Princess of Wales, popped in for lunch; Tina Turner danced on tables with velvet curtains that could be drawn for partying in privacy. No one really came for the food. In 2015, Julie¡¯s closed for refurbishment, but endless planning issues kept the doors shut for four years. Recently reopened ¨C just in time for its 50th birthday ¨C Julie¡¯s is back, with ex-The Goring head chef Shay Cooper in the kitchen. His modern British menu is unfussy, concise but expertly executed: kale risotto with creamy white crab; buttermilk fried quail; British salt-marsh lamb and flaky Cornish cod with cuttlefish noodles. Portions err on the side of small ¨C so don¡¯t skip pudding; especially the fig panna cotta served with a sugar-dusted Earl Grey doughnut fresh out the oven. The handsome street-level bar is a good place for a pre-supper sharpener, but the real atmosphere is down in the subterranean dining room, which has held on to its original bohemian charm: colourful stained glass windows, ornate wood-carvings and high-backed chairs upholstered in bright Pakistani kilim textiles. It remains to be seen if new Julie¡¯s can pull in the same A-list crowd, but with Cooper in the kitchen, it¡¯s certainly set to send ripples through London¡¯s best restaurant scene.

Address: Julie¡¯s, 135 Portland Road, Holland Park, London W11 4LW
Telephone: +44 20 7229 8331

Six Portland Road

Here¡¯s a proper neighbourhood restaurant we all wish we had at the end of our road: classic British cooking, an impressive wine list, crisp white tablecloths and sensible prices. Six Portland Road is the brainchild of affable restaurateur Oli Barker, one half of the duo behind small plates and wine bar Terroirs, just off the Strand, and its smaller spin-offs Soif and Brawn (he¡¯s since sold off his shares in each to launch a breezy beach hotel in Devon, Hope Cove House). On a leafy suburban road just along from Holland Park Tube station, it has just 36 seats ¨C regulars and neighbours often pop in on their way home to try to snag a cancellation, but most nights tables are turned at least twice. The menu changes at each service, but the classic, unfussy cooking remains a constant. Expect lamb neck served on a bed of ratatouille and chickpeas; burrata with purple sprouting broccoli and salty anchovies; gnocchi with sausage and fennel ragu and turbot with Jersey Royals and spring greens¨C before sticky toffee pudding and chocolate mousse. The impressive wine list is predominantly French and Italian ¨C the tiny bar isn¡¯t big enough to settle in at but it¡¯s a good spot to sit and chat to the team about their recommendations while waiting for your table. There¡¯s a very affordable lunch menu too ¨C at ¡ê21 for three courses, this is a great place to know about after a morning¡¯s shopping on nearby Portobello Road.

Address: Six Portland Road, 6 Portland Road, Holland Park, London W11 4LA
Telephone: +44 20 7229 3130

Cunningham Captures


It¡¯s good to see Notting Hill¡¯s bohemian set alive and well. Having been lured for some time towards trendier stretches ¨C the Peckhams and Hackneys ¨C they have at last reason to regroup at Golborne Road hotspot Laylow, where patrons fuel the budding careers of resident musicians, and trainer-clad movers and shakers tuck into posh burgers and innovative drinks. Bella Freud¡¯s glossy, animated aesthetic paints this former pub ¨C from the staff¡¯s jumpers to the suede booths and pink fringed lamps with black felt lining to neatly match the dark lacquered tables.

We dined on the fried chicken starter with sriracha dip (it¡¯s so good it merits the glowing reviews), posh hen¡¯s egg on a tasty bed of mushrooms and lentils, and perfectly-cooked and sliced steak with butternut squash and charred broccoli sides. There¡¯s a well-curated wine list without the pretentious entry point: ¡ê28 for a Bulgarian red is more than civilised; Chablis and Chateau de Rochemorin Rouge for those wanting to spend more. For pudding don¡¯t miss the caramelised banana bread with dulce de leche Ru, named after Vogue editor Edward Enninful¡¯s dog (both regulars). This flows effortlessly into cocktails upstairs (the Penicillin hits the Friday night spot) and dancing downstairs. DJs and pianists perform throughout the week, a new salad bar pulls the freelancers off their keyboards for lunch and the private apartment at the very top of this buzzing townhouse is available for an in-is-the-new-out kind of dinner. Rosalyn Wikeley

Address: Laylow, 10 Golborne Road, London W10 5PE
Telephone: +44 020 8969 6000

Casa Cruz

When impossibly well-connected Chilean-born restauranteur Juan Santa Cruz opened his first London outpost on a residential Notting Hill street, it proved an instant hit. Casa Cruz knocked Chiltern Firehouse off its pedestal to become the latest darling of the restaurant scene ¨C and within weeks of opening, celebrities including David Beckham, Prince Harry and Arizona Muse had all bypassed the three-month waiting list to snag a table behind its imposing doors. A few years later, it¡¯s mercifully easier for the rest of us to get into. Blingy jewel-box interiors are a jumble of copper, brass, gold and crushed velvet, with a trippy mirrored staircase leading up to a lovely first-floor terrace shielded from prying eyes by a wall of tropical greenery. The simple small-plates menu packs a punch while still managing to feel virtuous; start with wafer-thin slices of ib¨¦rico ham before plates of octopus carpaccio with a citrus-chilli kick, freshly rolled ravioli swimming in a brown-butter and truffle sauce, and enormous pan-seared scallops served in their shell. Meat is cooked on a Josper grill ¨C top-quality steaks are imported from Argentina and served with dainty pans of spiced corn and black sesame avocado. Come for drinks, dinner or the whole night; the margaritas are so well-mixed it¡¯s hard not to have a good time.

Address: Casa Cruz, 123 Clarendon Road, Notting Hill, London W11 4JG
Telephone: +44 203 321 5400

Jonathan Clark Architects


Pan-Asian champion Uli ¨C first established over two decades ago on All Saints Road ¨C closed a few years ago. But to the delight of locals it was later resurrected in a new location on Ladbroke Road, just minutes from Notting Hill Gate Tube station. In its new incarnation there¡¯s a lighter touch to the cooking ¨C soft-shell crab, aromatic duck, sea bass steamed with ginger and garlic ¨C and a huge, Mediterranean-style pavement terrace that¡¯s always filled with writers, artists, food critics and actors. If he¡¯s around, be sure to rubberneck with founder Michael Lim ¨C he¡¯s often seen, serving free nightcaps to his regulars.

Address: Uli, 5 Ladbroke Road, Notting Hill, London W11 3PA
Telephone: +44 20 3141 5878


For something a little swankier, head to Australian restaurateur Will Ricker¡¯s E&O (he owns the King¡¯s Road¡¯s Eight over Eight and
Soho Mexican street-food joint La Bodega Negra too), with its prime people-watching position just off Portobello Road. The dining room is dark and moody and on the menu there¡¯s dim sum, sushi, sashimi and barbequed meat, while the black cod with sweet miso is a must order. The buzzy cocktail bar at the front fills up with glamorous young things who spill out onto the pavement on warm evenings ¨C the bar staff mix a particularly mean lychee martini.

Address: E&O,14 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London W11 1NN
Telephone: +44 20 7229 5454


Millennials flock to this clean-eating oasis owned by Camilla Fayed, daughter of Mohamed Al-Fayed, who spotted a gap in the market for vegan, nutrition-aware restaurants like the ones all over LA and New York. The easy on the eye interior takes on a jungly theme and is full of naked wood, bamboo, hanging plants and moss-green booths, with a gleaming golden bar in the centre. The carefully labelled menu is full of dairy-, gluten- and nut-free options, from buckwheat pancakes with coconut yoghurt to fragrant green curries, crunchy kimchi bowls and pizzettas with macadamia cheese. It also specialises in one of the more obscure afternoon teas in London serving CBD-infused plant-based teas ¨C including an intriguing hemp loose-leaf brew.

Address: Farmacy, 74 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W2 5SH
Telephone: +44 20 7 221 0705

The best cafes and brunches in Notting Hill


Eggslut has grown from humble street-truck beginnings into a cult mini-chain ¨C with outposts in California, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Kuwait and, finally, London. The much-awaited UK branch opened on Portobello Road in the summer ¨C and the queues are pretty epic by the time the Sunday market rolls around. This is fast food, rather than somewhere to linger ¨C but with a Cordon Bleu-trained chef behind the menu, you¡¯re guaranteed some of the best scrambled eggs in town. Brioche buns from Bread Ahead bakery are stuffed full with various combinations of egg, gooey cheese, caramelised onions, bacon and even wagyu beef, all parceled up in a brown paper bag for a perfect quick brunch fix.

Address: Eggslut, 185 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2ED
Telephone: +44 20 3745 1920



No prizes for guessing which ingredient takes centre stage at this perennially popular caf¨¦ in the heart of Hillgate Village. From the same stable as hipster hotel chain the Hoxton, it draws the biggest crowds at weekend brunch, when tourists and locals drop in for cold-pressed juices, mugs of tea and shakshuka, eggs benedict or even a downright dirty fried-chicken burger. The vibe¡¯s very Soho Farmhouse ¨C creamy tongue and groove walls, kitsch china plates and chipped metal chairs.

Address: Eggbreak, 30 Uxbridge Street, Notting Hill, London W8 7TA
Telephone: +44 20 3535 8300

Farm Girl

This Aussie-inspired caf¨¦ on Portobello Road fills up quickly on weekends with gym bunnies fresh from yoga and spinning, as brunch hits of turmeric-rinsed oats and BLT¡¯s with vegan coconut ¡®bacon¡¯ are doled out. The coffee is excellent and there are plenty of blue, gold and rose matcha lattes too, plus a choice of kombucha ¨C a fermented tea that¡¯s all the rage in LA and oh-so-good for the gut.

Address: Farm Girl, 59a Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 3DB
Telephone: +44 20 7229 4678

Coffee Plant

This no-frills coffee emporium on Portobello Road, which started life as a pavement bean stall, has been here for more than 20 years. It¡¯s an importer and roaster above all ¨C smart Notting Hillites come by to stock up on supplies of organic and fairtrade beans ¨C but the low-key coffee shop serves the best macchiato in the West and fresh croissants and pastries are baked on site each morning.

Address: Coffee Plant, 180 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2EB
Telephone: +44 20 7221 8137

Issy Croker


Star chef Yotam Ottolenghi¡¯s deli and restaurant emporium may now stretch across London ¨C but it was here in Notting Hill that it all began. His original outpost has been open for almost 17 years, and the tiny site¡¯s calming all-white interiors are decorated with a long counter groaning under a visual feast of colourful salads, pastries, cakes and huge oversized meringues. The menu changes regularly but remains resolutely Middle Eastern, featuring veggie-led dishes including roasted aubergine with feta, pomegranate and mint and za¡¯atar fritters with rose-harissa yoghurt. There¡¯s a tiny seating area at the back, but everything¡¯s available for home delivery or to take away.

Address: Ottolenghi, 63 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AD
Telephone: +44 20 7727 1121

Kristin Perers

Granger and Co

Self-taught Aussie chef Bill Granger¡¯s original UK outpost of his eponymous restaurant chain is still the best. Be prepared to queue if you¡¯re visiting at peak weekend brunch time ¨C people flock here for his menu of healthy salads, rice bowls and a handful of more decadent dishes too, including scrambled eggs made with gallons of cream and his famous ricotta pancakes with melting honeycomb butter. There¡¯s a cool Sydney beach caf¨¦ vibe, and the full Aussie breakfast is particularly popular, served with jasmine tea-smoked salmon, poached eggs and lots of greens.

Address: Granger & Co, 175 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2SB
Telephone: +44 20 7229 9111


Daylesford¡¯s original outpost is in the Cotswolds, of course ¨C but this urban version has the same fiercely strong farm to fork ethos focusing on organic, seasonal and delicious food. Upstairs, an open kitchen serves all-day menus of squash and courgette tarts, bee pollen and kale salads and a vegan bolognese, while the deli and bakery downstairs sell heaps of treats to take home including freshly baked loaves and artisan cheeses from the creamery at the Cotswolds farm. It¡¯s usually filled with yummy mummies, catching up over a matcha latte at one of the stripped-wood communal tables.

Address: Daylesford, 208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2RH
Telephone: +44 20 7313 8050

The best bars and pubs in Notting Hill


The KPH has always been a bit of a Notting Hill legend. It¡¯s where Tom Jones performed his very first London gig, and the Clash¡¯s Mick Jones famously declared it his favourite local. But it had been crying out for a refurb, and when it closed a few years ago neighbours rallied around and launched a high-profile campaign to save it from being snapped up by developers. Harcourt Inns ¨C the group behind The Coach in Clerkenwell and the Three Cranes in the City ¨C swooped in and, after a two-year overhaul, it¡¯s just reopened as a super-smart pub, decked out with red-leather banquettes, original fireplaces and stripped wooden panelling. Upstairs there¡¯s a proper dining room, run by ex-St John chef Ruairidh Summers. The seasonally changing menu is filled with French bistro classics: toasted brioche loaded with creamy foie gras; anchovy-studded lamb rump; clams cooked in Normandy cider and a huge cut of perfectly pink c?te de boeuf that could easily feed three. The food is superb ¨C and a surefire sign of the steady gentrification of this slightly grittier end of Notting Hill.

Address: The KPH, 139 Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, London W10 6HJ
Telephone: +44 20 7199 7236

The Ladbroke Arms

Tucked away on a quiet residential street behind Notting Hill¡¯s main drag, the Ladbroke Arms feels more like a quaint village pub than a London boozer. You¡¯re likely to find locals here rather than tourists, and on sunny days the flower-filled terrace swarms with regulars drinking a craft ale with their dogs in tow. Behind the bar, there¡¯s a dining room serving gastropub-quality food and brilliant Sunday roasts ¨C and the extensive wine list includes a handful of organic and natural bottles too.

Address: The Ladbroke Arms, 54 Ladbroke Road, London W11 3NW
Telephone: +44 20 7 727 6648

The Hillgate

Sleepy Hillgate Village, with its rows of pretty pastel-coloured houses and narrow one-way streets, is hands-down one of Notting Hill¡¯s loveliest enclaves. Once a fairly rowdy sports bar, The Hillgate is now a bright-eyed local pub set in an imposing Victorian townhouse on the corner ¨C it can get quite noisy (in a good way) on a Friday and Saturday evening, but draws a particularly family-friendly crowd for Sunday lunch. The resolutely British menu feels more comfort food than fine-dining and it¡¯s worth booking ahead for a table.

Address: The Hillgate, 24 Hillgate Street, Notting Hill, London W8 7SR
Telephone: +44 20 7727 8566

The Windsor Castle

The Windsor Castle is a pub with proper history ¨C back when it first opened in the 1820s, farmers would stop by for a pint on their way to Hyde Park¡¯s livestock market. There was a clear sightline of its royal namesake from one of the upstairs windows ¨C but sadly a rather ugly block of flats now blocks the view. Today, the pub has dodged dramatic modernisation and kept its slightly scruffy village inn charm ¨C the Victorian wooden screens originally used to separate the men¡¯s and women¡¯s bars still remain in place, as do the wood-panelled beams and open fireplaces. The huge beer garden out the back is a real boon, and there¡¯s good solid pub fare on the menu too: fish and chips, steak and cheddar pie and bangers and mash.

Address: The Windsor Castle, 114 Campden Hill Road, Notting Hill, London W8 7AR
Telephone: +44 20 7243 8797

The Cow

Tom Conran¡¯s (of Conran family fame) pub on Westbourne Park Road is legendary ¨C and the beef and ale pies and pints of prawns are almost as celebrated as its regulars. One-time neighbour Stella McCartney has held many a party here; David Beckham and Tom Cruise have washed down oysters with Guinness ¨C and there¡¯s a cheerfully scruffy feel to the place, even if the upstairs restaurant¡¯s recent makeover managed to smarten things up a tad. The bar area is always packed, and there¡¯s a small pavement terrace that drinkers spill out onto on warmer evenings.

Address: The Cow, 892 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London W2 5QH
Telephone: +44 20 7221 5400

Trailer Happiness

What poses as a Hawaiian shop-window display at 177 Portobello Road is in fact the entrance to Trailer Happiness, a drinking den of creative cocktails with a tiki-twist, where rum is king and kitsch and off-beat interiors set the tone. Concoctions include Hell in the Pacific (rum, grenadine liqueur, fresh lime juice and pomegranate molasses) and Jezebel’s Blush (rum shaken with cr¨¨me de p¨ºche, falernum-spiced syrup, lime and Veuve Clicquot). The mixologists entertain the crowd with theatrical moves, shakes and flames, as do the DJs on designated nights when they transform the bar into a bona fide party zone of house, reggae, funk, soul and hip-hop. Guests are advised to stick to two of the Zombie cocktails each ¨C a dangerous blend of rum and absinthe ¨C although the beef sliders, Jamaican-style patties and jerk chicken do a great job of soaking up any over-indulgence.

Address: Trailer Happiness, 177 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2DY
Telephone: +44 20 7041 9833

The Portobello Star

For a local G&T there’s really only one place to go: the Portobello Star, which has been serving booze since 1740, and crafting its own rather brilliant gin for the past eight years. Order a Portobello Pour (made with 1724 tonic and a twist of pink grapefruit peel); if you want to know more there are Ginstitute classes and a small museum upstairs (and down the road at 186 is London’s first gin hotel, The Distillery, which flung open its doors in early 2017).

Address: The Portobello Star, 171 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2DY
Telephone: +44 20 7229 8220

Notting Hill Arts Club

A long-standing favourite with locals, this scruffy basement music and arts venue is one of the early pioneers of niche club nights and music genres, hosting everything from Afrobeats and dubstep to moombahton and hip hop. There¡¯s a small stage that plays host to an eclectic array of live acts and DJs, and the drinks are very reasonably priced for this part of town.

Address: Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JQ
Telephone: +44 20 7460 4459

The Globe

Opened in the 1960s as a hole-in-the-wall speakeasy that Hendrix, the Stones and Bob Marley all frequented, The Globe must be one of West London¡¯s oldest late-night hangouts. Today, it¡¯s still a community favourite; the buzzing basement dive bar churns out old-school hip hop and reggae on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 10.30pm. Don¡¯t bother dressing up ¨C it¡¯s small, sweaty and gritty ¨C but unashamedly good fun.

Address: The Globe, 103 Talbot Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AT
Telephone: +44 20 7221 0652

The best things to do in Notting Hill

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