In addition to its brightly colored homes, antiques and, more recently, an influx of increasingly trendy restaurants, Notting Hill also has a great bar scene.
Should you find yourself in the neighborhood in want of a drink, try one of these haunts – from a vinyl-filled wine bar to a working distillery filled with hundreds of gins.
With a natural wine list and seasonal cocktail menu, the first-floor bar at this local restaurant has established itself as a prime drinking spot. Enter through the dramatic mural on the front of the building to dark and stylish interiors – the perfect environs for a drink later in the evening. Unlike many places in the area, Gold is open until 12.30–1am every night.
Try the House on Fire, a fiery interpretation of a margarita using mezcal and habanero syrup, or a glass of Sicilian orange wine. There are also good options if you’re not drinking, such as a pomegranate and basil fizz or ginger lemonade.
95–97 Portobello Road, London W11 2QB
With over 300 tequilas and mezcals on the menu, it’s safe to say this new underground bar takes agave seriously. Agave aside, the bar’s zero-waste approach is omnipresent. The walls, for example, are fashioned from recycled cork, while creative cocktails utilize kitchen leftovers.
Everything on the menu is excellent and worth trying, but we’d particularly recommend the Smoked Earth (a bit like an earthy margarita) and the Queen Mayahuel, which mingles whiskey, mezcal, chocolate, banana and cold brew – a boozy alternative to a dessert. And, as expected from the sibling to locally loved restaurant Los Mochis, the bar snacks are heavenly (order the baked crab taco maki).
87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ
Situated pretty much at the foot of the Brutalist Trellick Tower, this open-fire restaurant and wine bar opened last year to great reviews. It serves a good selection of red, white, rose and orange wines – plus cocktails – in a two-level space. The intimate wine room is where you should go for a good glass of red, and the subterranean restaurant – filled with crate-digger’s nirvana of vinyl – is ideal for a late-night hang on the weekend.
If you’re hungry, the food also excels. Cooked over an open fire, the best dishes are equal parts smoky and tender. Try the pork belly with pineapple salsa, preceded by lemon-dotted crispy chicken skin.
46 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PR
A members-only club in support of emerging musicians and creatives, Laylow is a chic place to have a drink if you’re part of their club (or friend of a member). The comfortable living room-esque decor is the ideal place to while away a few hours, then eat something and eventually end up at a performance in the lower-level music space.
If you aren’t a member, you can still visit – the ground floor restaurant is open to the public if you’d like to eat and drink. The brunch, in particular, is excellent.
10 Golborne Road, London W10 5PE
This Portobello stalwart features a ‘Ginstitute’ where patrons can taste and blend their own gin, plus various bar spaces, private dining areas and three rooms for lodging. It carries 100 gins from around the world, and a good range of mixers and garnishes allow the unique character of each flourish.
Outdoor tables along Portobello are ideal for summertime drinking alfresco. Should you wish to deviate from the classic gin and tonic, try Paddington Bear’s Marmalade Sandwich, which mixes the Distillery Celebrated Butter Gin (uniquely redistilled with salted butter) with marmalade, egg whites, aperol and toast dust. A food menu is available as well.
186 Portobello Road, London W11 1LA
Golborne Fine Wine & Deli
Situated on the quieter Golborne Road, this rustic Italian deli also has a small wine shop and bar, with a few tables out front in summer. Its wine list spotlights natural, organic wines, with a helpful sommelier, Sam, consistently on hand to help you select your bottle of choice.
The bar menu features an evolving roster of wines by the glass, with the option to buy a bottle in-store and drink it there for a small corkage fee. Plus, on Wednesdays from 5–7pm, Sam hosts tastings on the long, wooden table in the center of the store, with the aim of introducing patrons to a greater variety of wines.
100–102 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PS
This story was first published by Quintessentially and is republished with kind permission. Please go to Quintessentially.com for more information.