The ultimate guide to Notting hill’s restaurants and cafes
Notting Hill, the bohemian heart of London boasts some of the capital’s most interesting and sought-after eateries. With neighbours like Chelsea and Kensington, it should come as no surprise that many of the area’s restaurants are Michelin star fine dining establishments serving haute cuisine to the residents and tourists alike.
Here’s out top five places to treat your taste buds in Notting Hill:
Probably the most recognisable name on Notting Hill’s roster of restaurants, the Ledbury has been delighting diners since 2005 and can now boast two Michelin stars. The Ledbury also achieved 42nd position on the world’s 50 best restaurant’s list in 2019 and has gained international recognition as a truly memorable place to eat in London. The man behind the Ledbury is Australian chef Brett Graham, whose daring nature and extraordinary culinary talent can be found in dishes like the floral roast turbot with elderflower and fennel or the unique Earl Grey tea aged wood pigeon.
For fine dining, try Caractére, owned and run by Emily Roux (granddaughter of Albert, daughter of Michael Roux junior) and her husband Diego Ferrari, the Italian-born, French-trained former head chef of Le Gavroche.
The pair’s debut restaurant features a Franco Italian menu with limited choice but unlimited quality. Dishes have poetic names like ‘robust’ and ‘curious’ which might sound pretentious, but the food is dazzlingly honest and the restaurant’s décor smart and stylish with a warm, welcoming and unstuffy atmosphere. When a restaurant is this good, you’d expect premium prices, but Caracteré’s are not outrageous with a £39 set lunch menu that feels like a steal.
Clare Smyth is the first female chef in the UK to hold three Michelin stars, earned during her time working for Gordon Ramsey. Now she’s gone solo with Core, a fine dining establishment set in an elegant period building with a highly technical but playful menu (including carrot with lamb, the vegetable not the meat being the main attraction, and a potato dish which features just that – a large potato.)
Core’s suppliers are hand-picked with meticulous care and attention to provide top quality dishes that are truly a delight to sample.
Gold is a stylish contemporary eatery with a leafy bohemian interior and elite clientele. The duo behind the project are Alex Ghallbe, formerly of Soho House, and ex River Café chef Theo Hill. Between them the pair have created a magnetic Mediterranean inspired eatery with an open wood oven.
Dishes include char grilled peaches with burrata, radicchio and Tuscan ham and smoky chicken resting on sourdough and smothered with nduja and tomato sauce. The restaurant is perhaps best known, however, for its mouth-watering pasta dishes, from rabbit tortellini to nettle ravioli filled with sheep’s cheese ricotta.
Small and stylish seafood restaurant Orsay is chef Jackson Boxer’s third opening in London, with a rapidly changing menu based on the daily catch delivered by a trusted team of fishermen.
Boxer grew up in the Western Isles and his love of seafood is clear and inspiring. Choose from such delights as scallops served with shiitake mushrooms and vin jaune, raw gilthead bream with fennel and orange or egg noodles with razor clams.
Notting Hill café culture
Lively and hip, Notting Hill is also peppered with quirky and stylish cafes to recharge with a freshly brewed pot of coffee, enjoy a healthy, leisurely brunch or treat yourself to something delightfully sugary. These cafes are a great place to relax and recharge if you’re shopping at Portobello Road Market or to pick up breakfast and a hot drink on your daily commute.
Here’s our top five cafes in Notting Hill, to suit a range of individual needs:
For a hot drink pit stop, Daylesford combines an organic farm-to-table shop, small restaurant and busy café in a pretty spot for people watching, with both indoor and outdoor seating available over picturesque Westbourne Grove.
Along with a fantastic range of coffees, Daylesford stocks many specialist organic and sustainably grown teas in unusual flavours like White Peony along with classics like Moroccan mint. Every possible milk substitute is also available for drinkers with specific dietary needs.
Insta queens will find plenty of material at Farm Girl, a quirky Notting Hill café with an eye catching menu that includes brightly coloured matcha lattes in blue, pink and green along with hot drinks served with a sprinkling of edible flowers, cute puppies stencilled in the foam of your latte and classic brunch dishes including avocado toast and French pancakes, that look as good as they taste. This hipster friendly haunt, tucked away on Portobello, also serves arguably the best Turmeric latte in the capital.
Clean eating fans flock to healthy eatery Bodyism, located on Westbourne Grove and favourite haunt of Notting Hill based celebs (Pippa Middleton is reported to be a fan.) Choose from nutritious prebiotic shakes, icy acai bowls or just grab a morning coffee – and why not stay for a cutting-edge class in the attached gym? We recommend Bodyism Budokon, a hardcore yoga class fusing martial arts and calisthenics.
Eggbreak is a hidden gem of a café, located close to Notting Hill Gate. The menu is centred around, you’ve guessed it, the humble egg – with dishes ranging from simple eggs on toast to omelettes and Turkish eggs (though other options are available.)
Eggbreak is relaxed, welcoming and has a great sense of community. Try the classic smashed avocado on toast or mix it up with poached eggs, kale and chilli in this all-day neighbourhood diner.
Also close to Portobello Road Market, Lowry and Baker is a warm, cosy little nook that encompasses Notting Hill’s strong sense of community. With rustic décor, friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere, this is an easy place to grab a coffee with a friend, enjoy a leisurely lunch, tap away at your laptop over a latte or sample some fantastically flavoursome baked goods including a lavender shortbread that’s out of this world.
The coffee is of great quality and the service is attentive without being intrusive – what’s not to like?
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