NOTTING HILL PUBS
A SPACE FOR EVERY TASTE
Finding a Notting Hill pub is disgustingly easy – the area is plastered with them. And to be fair, most are good, but you can walk into some bang-average places that appear pretty decent from the outside (we’ve done this too many times).
To save you the aggro, we’ve listed our favourite pubs in Notting Hill that have always been top-notch from our visits.
A CLASSY, COSY AFFAIR
Part pub, part restaurant, part gastropub – The Pelican doesn’t really fit into any of these categories; it somehow manages to capture all three. Scandy-inspired colours, use of wood and general rust-like decor lend themselves to some proper cosy vibes, not least because of a roaring fire that makes an immediate statement upon entry.
The Pelican has been around for over 150 years and has taken many pub forms: from grotty to squalid, then average to really poor. The wee Pelican has seen it all. It has since had a glorious makeover and restaurant rejuvenation to what we see today. And we love it.
You won’t find pub grub here – the closest thing are their pies: we’ve had turkey, as well as a lobster & monkfish which have both been phenomenal, packed with flavour and richness. This showcases the creativity you can find on the menu. Again, this isn’t an old-school pub.
It’s not just a restaurant, though – you can pop in and have a drink with friends – they offer great local ales, an extensive wine menu and a great pint of Guinness.
Whatever you want to call it, in our eyes, it’s a brilliant Notting Hill pub, and one of our favourites.
The Windsor Castle
DRINK IN HISTORY
There is a trend of many great drinking dens getting ‘gastrobombed’: the interior gets ripped out, licks of paint cover up history and in-vogue furniture turn something interesting into a homogenous Instagram haunt.
The Windsor Castle dates back to the 1820s: it has character in abundance, so there was a real risk of a planned refurb ripping its much-loved rustic charm apart. Fortunately, it didn’t. Nooks and crannies remain and its bygone era sits front and centre.
Enter and you’ll find a series of small rooms with low ceilings, filled with original furniture ever-so-slightly upholstered to improve comfort. Wood in the forms of beams, oak panelling, flooring and bar dominates, and its gentle refurb has left many a snug area to sit and catch up with friends.
If you’re in the area and want to drink in a space that has a real history, The Windsor Castle is a must.
The Churchill Arms
ECCENTRIC DECOR & COSY DRINKS
Unmistakably eccentric and unapologetically extra, The Churchill Arms is well and truly at home in Notting Hill.
Dripping in hanging baskets, window boxes and flora that bursts with colour on even the dullest days, The Churchill Arms is one of the most recognisable pubs in London.
As you push through the door the fun continues: an assortment of antiques, baskets and unusual knick-knacks hang from the ceiling: expect war medals; garden baskets and clocks; there’s even a mounted declaration claiming that Churchill made wartime broadcasts from the bar itself.
Come the evening, warm, amber lighting shines through the ever-expanding bric-a-brac, transforming the space into a cosy den that feels as if it played a part in English history,
Though you wouldn’t expect it, the pub serves an extensive Thai menu and claims to be the first English pub to have housed a Thai restaurant. They also serve a beauty of a London Pride and a lovely smooth, cold pint of Guinness – a must for any lover of the dark stuff.
Grab yourself a leather pew and settle in for a few – it’ll be a feat to leave after one drink and a feat you wouldn’t be proud of, for this is one the most popular pubs in Notting Hill.
The Prince Bonaparte
THE PLACE FOR FISH & CHIPS
Since its refurbishment in 2021, The Prince Bonaparte seems to have been on a laser-focused mission to establish itself as the top gastropub in the area, and based on our experience, it could well be.
This isn’t a pub that serves food, nor is it a restaurant that serves drinks – it is both. The beauty here is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Fancy a few drinks after work? Great. Fancy a couple of small bites with a glass of wine? Go for it. Want to take it a step further and settle in for a first-rate dining experience? Consider it done.
The menu is extensive and ever-changing – we’ve been here on a Sunday and had one of the best pub roasts in Notting Hill. We’ve also been midweek and had fish and chips that are better than 99% of pubs we’ve visited (and we’ve visited a hell of a lot).
All in all, this is one of the best gastropubs in Notting Hill and should be high on your list of places to libate.
OLD SCHOOL MEETS MODERN
Boasting an ornate gilded ceiling that only a pub with history could sport, The Hayden offers history and modern swag at once.
Panelled walls, statement mirrors and rustic oak flooring set the scene – it’s not too upmarket, nor is it faux market, it’s just right. Pendant lighting hangs from the ornate ceiling, whilst plush red leather seats look right at home against the backdrop of dark mahogany wood.
Hayden’s food menu includes classics like fish & chips, steak and rotisserie chicken to modern-day must-haves like slow-cooked BBQ ribs, burgers and a helping of mac & cheese.
Not only tasteful, but a place that serves great cocktails and beer, The Hayden is a sure-fire standout in this list of best Notting Hill pubs.
The Ladbroke Arms
FOR SUNSET TIPPLES
A busy pub is a sign of a belting pub, and this alone qualifies The Ladbroke Arms as a belter of a boozer. Locals love it. Tourists love it. We love it. You will too.
Framed within typical Notting Hill residential architecture, The Ladbroke Arms is that person we hated at school – pretty, popular and annoyingly nice. It’s worth mentioning that the staff are always friendly and hospitable; despite being in one of London’s most affluent areas, there’s absolutely no pretence entertained.
There’s a lovely seating area outside the front of the pub that catches the sun in the afternoon – grab a seat there and settle in for some sunset drinking, little beats it.
QUITE SIMPLY, A GREAT BOOZER
Too many pub guides wax lyrical in ways that mean nothing. Whilst others can dedicate a paragraph to chosen chair fabrics, we want to cut the rubbish: how about a pub just being a great boozer? Nothing more, nothing less. A great boozer is one of the best compliments we can give, and The Eagle is a deserved recipient.
This is a Hippo Inns pub, an important point as they try to create spaces that act as a hub for the local community, and you’ll often see weekly quizzes packed to the rafters, summer times filled with people in their expansive beer garden, and a Friday night buzz that only certain places can achieve.
With plenty of indoor and outdoor space (their garden can seat up to 50 people), a great drinks selection and a varied food menu, this Ladbroke Grove pub is a fail-safe choice for group bevs.
To reiterate: The Eagle isn’t trying to be a Soho House knockoff (ahem, The Walmer Castle), this is simply a great local. We can’t say much more than that.
SIMPLICITY & A GREAT ATMOSPHERE
A charming drinking den in the heart of Notting Hill, The Champion can always be relied upon to deliver quality atmosphere, service, and reasonable prices (given the area).
Despite being a pub with history (Freddie Mercury and Queen used to visit), it doesn’t ram it down your throat. And that sums up the place – it’s an understated London boozer that offers the allure of an old English pub with modern fare. We’re fans.
Tell us of your experiences at these Notting Hill pubs by commenting below.
And if you’re after more Notting Hill tips, be sure to check out the following guides:
* Notting Hill Greek Restaurants
* Notting Hill shopping
* Breakfast and brunch in Notting Hill
* A Notting Hill coffee shop guide