Churchill Arms

Bars and pubs Kensington
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
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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: Open 11am-11pm Mon-Wed; 11am-midnight Thur-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-10pm Mon-Sat; noon-9.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: High Street Kensington or Notting Hill Gate tube
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
NakedPRGirl Claire
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.

Sarah R
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.

GirlAboutLondon
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!

Laura B
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

TaraD
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. 

James A
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)

HyunSook Jung

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.

Isaebella Doherty

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.

Ace

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!

Andrew

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.