Churchill Arms

Bars and pubs Kensington
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(17user reviews)
Churchill Arms

Not that most tourists would know, but there seems to be a contradiction here. The Churchill, a celebration of the wartime leader (they even estimate the number of champagne bottles the man consumed), is in fact an Irish pub – didn’t Ireland remain neutral during World War II?

Regardless, this is a fine establishment, part homely tavern (it’s a Fuller’s, and the beer is excellent) and part Thai restaurant. Character is provided by the lived-in feel and mass of junk – portraits of prime ministers and American presidents, the documented triumphs of the Clare GAA hurling team, shiny copper things. The verdant frontage, embellished by an image of Churchill giving the V, is a regular winner in its category of

the London in Bloom competition. Tourists love it, yes, but the regulars here include locals, and not just the posh ones.

Posted:

Venue name: Churchill Arms
Contact:
Address: 119 Kensington Church Street
London
W8 7LN
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 12pm-10.30pm
Transport: Tube: High Street Kensington or Notting Hill Gate tube
Price: Free
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|17
1 person listening
tastemaker

Lovely pub, beautiful exterior and friendly atmosphere. We went to the Thai restaurant tucked away at the back of the pub. The food came out in record time and was delicious. Service was not very personable but none the less efficient. Great value for money and the portions are big.


5 Stars are mainly for its longevity. Like many, I have frequented this pub for many years and I return from time to time because it IS one of London's treasure pubs. Beautiful, lovely bar-staff & proprietor.....Great Bitters (Fullers), decent wine selection. Even if it is crowded you'll get a seat eventually. Thai staff who (on the whole) are terribly rude; oh and by the way...the Thai food is good (not magnificent), this being the UK's first Thai-pub outfit. Pity Time Out do not update their very dated reviews or reviewers. A 5 star pub without a doubt.

tastemaker

This place is difficult to miss due to its impressive floral display on the exterior of the building. It's a charming, characterful pub with a strong Churchill and Irish theme in its decor. There's a large collection of chamber pots on display. Apparently it was one of the first pub's to introduce a Thai menu. There's also a full range of immaculately kept Fullers beers. The pub area is not large and was very busy. Fast, friendly service too. 

Tastemaker

I had a hard time enjoying this place as we came when it was jammed packed. I mean, hard to move packed. Even then though, the staff were pretty quick to serve you once you wriggled up to the bar. The pints are nothing special in terms of pubs, however its just great to stare at all the kooky shit on the walls. There is also a Thai restauant in the back, but could not snag a table.

Of course, if you come around the holidays, get ready for the Christmas light dispay outside. Instagram worthy.

tastemaker

It's hard for me to judge this one as I dont frequent pubs and so I don't have much to go on. However, this local boozer of mine attracts a lot of clientele and so it was natural that I'd get a case of the curious cat and wonder inside.

Before that lets talk about the outside...

It's decorated in pine trees. Its for the festive season but all the same the effort is worth the trip!!

Now inside you'll be met with very friendly and relaxed staff who want you to enjoy yourself. The prices aren't over the top and it's never THAT loud in here from what I was told.

We had a nice glass of wine and left promising to return. It's a 5 min walk from nottinghill gate station . Not bad I'd say. Not bad at all.

tastemaker

I love this pub so much - it's beautifully decorated inside and outside with flowers and other knick knacks (perfect for your instagram feed). 


Inside at the back of the pub is a very cute conservatory decorated with hanging baskets and butterflies, and some super delicious thai food on the menu (and pretty reasonably priced too).


I've been going here for years and used to never have a problem getting a table for lunch or dinner, however this pub has gained so much popularity recently it's hard to even step foot inside with the crowds of people it attracts (must be in loads of guide books). It might be best to book ahead or go off peak if planning to eat here.

Tastemaker

One day, I want to actually go in this pub and order a drink. But every time I seem to walk past it is too early in the day for boozing ;-) The spectacle is something to behold and you will hardly believe your eyes. It is situated moments away from Notting Hill Gate - but away from the crazy world of Portobello Road and it is gloriously covered with flowers and flags. Its amazing and I want to live there.

tastemaker

A bit out of the beaten track. 10 minutes walk from Notting Hill Gate station, you can find this strange pub decorated with an abundance of plants and flowers.

Exterior is definitely pretty to look at and very photogenic, for all of the Instagramers out there. Inside on the other hand, seems like hoarder’s heaven. There is a bunch of memorabilia everywhere, on ceilings and walls , which is causing the pub to smell quite funny. Clientele it's a weird mix of locals and loud tourists, locals being grouchy old men.
Apparently, they offer Thai food, which I thought it’s a weird mix, but it’s supposed to be quite tasty.
My advice? Take a photo of the building but keep on walking, there are much better pubs everywhere.

tastemaker

The Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street draws crowds, not just because of their good Thai food or cosy bar, but because of the flowers and plants that cover the exterior throughout the year.

It's hard to walk past it without taking a photo.

In summer it's in full, technicolour flower-basket bloom.

Christmas time it's surrounded by nearly 100 twinkling Christmas trees which is exquisite to see at night.

Interestingly it costs £25k a year to maintain the famous fauna.

The bar is well-known with locals, many on a first-name basis with the long-standing, award-winning manager, Gerry, who’s decked out the bar in interesting memorabilia. From a tourists’ eyes it’s a proper London pub experience.

At the back is the dining area- The Churchill Arms was the first London pub to serve Thai food. My only complaint is that is that the seating area is cramped and it could do without the dusty old trinkets and dried plants. It gets very busy and the small ladies loo floor is often covered with scrunched-up hand-towel because the bin is over-flowing. But even if you don’t eat here (you do need to book in advance, especially on the weekend BTW), you must visit for a drink at least. And a photo of the flowers!

Tastemaker

Popped along in December to marvel at THE most Christmassy of establishments. Inside was cosy and packed out - difficult to inch round let alone find space to stand or even sit. But, for as long as the decorations continue, I strongly suggest you visit in December to marvel at the sheer scale of it. Wow

Tastemaker

This place is always packed, mostly for the brilliant thai restaurant inside. It's like entering into an eastern jungle with just as many plants on the inside as there are outside. The menu has all the classics, super spice green curry and delicious pad thai. I definitely recommend booking for the restaurant as it's nearly impossible to get a table if you just turn up, especially at the weekends. 

moderatorStaff Writer

If you don't come for the crazy amount of flowers and plants on the outside, come for the trippy interior and if you don't come for either of those - come for well cooked and dirt cheap thai food (but when they say something is spicy, the mean it, so order wisely)


I had a good thai food with beer under hanging plants. If you look for thai food near Nothinghill gate, I would recommend it. Nice atmosphere! Service(thai) was not that great.


My workmates and I never get to have an afternoon all out together, but this past Bank Holiday we decided to close the restaurant and head out for a family dinner. Our bar manager suggested a place in Notting Hill, The Churchill Arms and we headed there to be astounded by the hilariously overgrown outside and very entertaining Granny's house meets hoarding Caveman decor. They have an awesome selection of beers, I had a Czech Budvar which is always delicious. We decided because it was a rainy day outside that we all really wanted some heavy food, and the place served Thai which was perfect. We asked the hostess if there was any room for us (we had 10 people in the group) and she said there wouldn't be any until 9pm (it was around 6:30 then). We drank our beer, started to try to find somewhere else while hoping some people in the corner would vacate the table so we could sit down. Finally the woman told us we could have dinner if we vacated the table by 9, but we had to order then and there and pay as well and then wait 40 minutes to sit. It was a total pain in the arse, but we were all so starving by that point, we didn't care. When we were finally sat, the food was brought out two at a time with up to 15 minute intervals, they just shouted the numbers at us, which none of us could remember, and then didn't even seem to know what was in the dish if we responded with, "Beef? Pork?" I had a Pad Thai which was all noodles and a few veggies, tasty but definitely not the best I've ever had. My friend and I also had a green curry which was delicious. The restaurant area is ridiculous, it was like being on acid in a cramped English cottage, though I do love eccentric decor. The only problem at this place was the service, the hostess was so unbelievably rude and made us feel like we were at McDonald's, constantly speaking in demeaning tones and barking at us orders. I would have walked out if I wasn't starving. It was disappointing because we all work in hospitality and manage the most supreme service because we know how important it is. The place is fun, beer is good, food decent, service horrendous.


We got sucked in my the most unique exterior we'd ever seen in a pub (or most anything else for that matter). The interior and service were every bit as nice. Try the Red Fox!


Extremely impressed with this pub when we visited this evening. Chose it because it is dog friendly and for the food. Service was excellent, food top notch, and it literally oozes character from every seam. Great find.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...