The prominent, self-standing pub sign on the front terrace proudly declares ‘Free House’, and sure enough, the Ladbroke Arms is a law unto itself.
Happy to cater both to moneyed fortysomethings sinking sancerre on the sunny front terrace, and to ale aficionados after a pint of Sharp’s Doom Bar or Twickenham Spring Ale, the Ladbroke stands on a quiet, residential street in Holland Park lined with police cars attached to the station opposite.
The decor in the light main bar is noteworthy, with an original 1920s poster for Fap’Anis (‘celui des connoisseurs’ and worth a few bob) on one side, a display shelf full of decorative bottles of olive oil on the other. A back room fills with middle-aged chatter, while one narrow corridor behind provides peace and quiet for book-readers – every pub should have one. Dining is of the smart, upscale variety.