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Earl of Lonsdale

Bars and pubs Notting Hill
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A bit of a surprise, this. First, you’ll see a sturdy pub, occupying the corner of Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove. Within, there are partitioned areas done out in neat, shiny wood and interconnected by chest-high doorways.

The curiosities lie further back: one room is somewhere between a gentlemen’s club and a tearoom at a honeymoon resort, a lounge that seems more suited to toast and coffee than pie and a pint.

Among the photographs – past carnivals, touched-up images of Portobello Market – is another oddity: a wall honouring the man after whom the pub is named, the so-called Yellow Earl, who is most famous as the founder of the AA. It’s a Sam Smith’s pub, which means the drinks aren’t a great part of the appeal.

That you have to walk over and help yourself to salt, vinegar and sauces indicates little snobbery where pub grub is concerned.



Address: 277-281 Westbourne Grove
W11 2QA
Transport: Tube: Ladbroke Grove or Notting Hill Gate tube
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-9pm daily
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Users say (7)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
1 person listening

Staff was SO rude and unprofessional. The bartender threatened to take my ID because it was a Texas ID and he thought it looked fake. I understand not wanting to serve someone because you are not sure if their ID is real but they handled the situation very poorly and he spoke to me like a child. Go literally anywhere else. 

Staff Writertastemaker

You know what, its a Sam Smiths so it kind of is what it is. The drinks are awful but you know that going into it (yeah yeah the beer is apparently nice but I dont drink it so I can say what I want, its rough for a spirits drinker in a SS.

Anyway since we know what we know about their booze I'll discuss the rest of the pub. Big space out the back with comfy sofas, a large basic garden with plenty of benches, almost always you can get a seat here, even with a big group at the weekends.

The bar is small and often under staffed and the food is microwaved but sometimes thats what you need. An inferior pub compared to many of the other SS's but in Notting Hill sometimes its great to have the solace of a bit of a dive!


Hobbit-hole sized cubby holes dotted around the double ended bar provide great privacy for an intimate group, but ensure much disturbance and many bumped heads when a larger group of drinkers attempt to duck through from partition to partition and out into the sizeable outdoor smoking area. 

Being a Sam Smiths pub, the beer options are limited, which is compensated for by their also being cheaper than any other pub chain - and probably about half-price when you compare the Earl of Lonsdale with its Westbourne Grove neighbours. It was 11am when we set foot in the Earl today so we didn't go in for the alcoholic beverages. Not so much #DryJanuary as #DryUntilAfterLunchBecauseThenItIsFine. Two large drinks, one a strong coffee, one a watery hot chocolate, came to £3.70. The staff were pleasant, but busy. Scandinavian tourists were pouring in as quickly as refugees are into their own countries, and it was all hands on deck with the three servers fighting to manage punters coming at them from all angles on the oblong-shaped bar.

What the Earl of Lonsdale does have which its competitors do not is a sunken cushioned seat on a bench, located inside the corner drinking cubicle we chose to take our rest. This seat gives the pub an edge. Comfort is not the word. It is immensely pleasing to flop down into, as your body's rear slots snugly into the depression - a perfect fusion of bean bag malleability and ergonomic drinking posture support. This seat right here is the best seat in any pub that I have ever been to. That it is snuck away into an alcove, hidden from view, only adds to its majesty and mystery. See the picture for yourself, and weep with awe. 

loved it cosy and friendly even met jolly and curteous kitchen staff

cosy traditional Pub, looks very nice and has good traditional food! I enjoyed it a lot

Dreadful..don't go there. Shame on Sam Smiths.. Food arrived and it looked sno disgusting we just asked for money back and left. No wonder place was deserted on a Sunday afternoon . Miserable bar staff didn't help either......

Good location but rude staff. They have lost our orders and made us wait for an t and when we complained they didnt even apologise. Food was alright but 2 burgers were ready in 4mins and my friend's burger was cold...

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