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North Kensington area guide

Find the best restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do in W10 with Time Out's guide to the area

Things become edgier on the northern side of the Westway. Ladbroke Grove, so gentrified at the Holland Park end, is here lined with late-night shops and fast-food joints, and overlooked by local authority housing, though there are also some handsome houses, long since converted into flats. Portuguese cafés feed a mini expat community, and an indoor market turns the thundering Westway to its advantage. At the area’s northernmost boundary, you’ll find the green oasis of Kensal Green Cemetery (the first of London’s grand Victorian burial grounds) and architect Ernö Goldfinger’s 31-storey Trellick Tower, Grade II*-listed, and a modernist icon.

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Goldfinger Factory
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Goldfinger Factory

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants in North Kensington

Lowry & Baker
Restaurants

Lowry & Baker

The northern branch of the Notting Hill Tribe loves Lowry & Baker – so much so that one local advises against even trying to get in at the weekend. This is the kind of local café most people dream about: warmly welcoming and with a laid-back attitude that makes you feel immediately at home. Indeed, our local informant said: ‘It’s like being in your living room – staff talk to customers and customers talk to each other.’ L&B (which opened in summer 2010) has established itself as the leading local independent coffee shop with a small, reasonably priced menu of uniformly high-quality food: good soups, sandwiches, salads and sweet things worth crossing town for. The blueberry cheesecake and banana bread are heavenly. Food is served on a delightful jumble of unmatched crockery, while the expertly brewed coffee, made with beans from Monmouth, comes in well-warmed white cups.  

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Snaps & Rye
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Snaps & Rye

Scandinavian cooking has been a big deal here in London for a few years, but much of it has been Swedish in origin or orientation. Snaps & Rye is Danish. You’d have to be well versed in the region’s cuisines to spot the finer points of difference, but whatever the national origin, the result is sensationally good. Snaps & Rye occupies a large ground floor in a patch of north Notting Hill that still retains plenty of old-fashioned run-down charm. When I say ‘occupies’, what I mean is: ‘transforms into a thing of beauty’. This place embodies all that’s best about Scandinavian design: simple and functional, but every detail designed or chosen with aesthetic pleasure in mind. But Snaps & Rye isn’t just a pretty space. The owners have clearly taken great pains to make their food, prepared by a British chef called Tania Steytler, as good as it can possibly be. While Denmark’s famous open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) are simple in concept, Steytler raises them to great heights through superb ingredients, masterly cooking skills and attention to detail. There’s a selection of ready-made sandwiches, but we ate two from an ‘à la carte smørrebrød’ menu that had just been introduced that day. One was exquisite: frikadeller (meatballs) with blue cheese croquette, red cabbage, roast apple purée and a crisped slice of heavenly own-made rye bread. The other was even better: flash-fried smoked eel with potato salad, watercress salad, a creamy mustard dressing and a slice of ‘crisped ham’

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Galicia
Restaurants

Galicia

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be the philosophy of Galicia, which has changed little in its many years of serving Spanish food to north Notting Hill. The grudging effort at décor, the rarely smiling (but still efficient and personable) service, the cooking – all emphatically reject food fashion. The locals clearly like this just as much as I do. On a Saturday lunchtime the place was heaving, with a nicely mixed clientele. Spanish men clustered in the bar that occupies the front room. In the back, the tiny dining room housed young couples, families with little children and a group of elderly gents. A Spanish woman of a certain age greeted the (slightly younger) waiter with ‘Oye, guapo!’ (Rough translation: ‘Hey, handsome!’) For people-watching alone, Galicia is a joy. The tapas are old-fashioned dishes you will find all over Spain, and not just in the north-western region that gives the restaurant its name. If you’re looking for cutting edge (or ‘hi-my-name-is Pablo’ service), go elsewhere. Come here for excellent renditions of standard dishes such as fried bacalao (salt cod) with tartar sauce, juicy morsels of pollo al ajillo (chicken bathed in garlic-rich olive oil) and perfectly cooked berenjenas (aubergine), glazed with tomato sauce and cheese. Best of all was a textbook version of regional standby pulpo a la gallega: octopus boiled to melting tenderness and seasoned just with extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt and pimentón (paprika). There is also a long

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Anar Persian Kitchen
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Anar Persian Kitchen

The name of this Persian restaurant and wine bar on Portobello Road translates as 'pomegranate' - a fruit native to Iran and popular throughout much of the Middle East. It's little surprise, then, to see its sweet and sour seeds sprinkled throughout Anar's contemporary Persian menu. That menu features dishes ranging from dolmeh, torshi and salads of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber with walnuts and feta cheese to meats cooked on the charcoal grill, slow-grilled chicken wings and fesenjan khoresht - an authentic Persian stew of hand-shredded, slow-cooked poussin with crushed walnuts and pomegranate purée. Keep an eye out for daily specials, too. The dessert selection continues the authentic theme - think shirini (traditional Persian biscuits), ab havij with bastani (carrot and saffron ice cream) and faloodeh (a Persian sorbet made from thin starch noodles combined with rose water and lime juice). There's even a delivery service, for those unable to dine in. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Things to do in North Kensington

Kensington Memorial Park
Things to do

Kensington Memorial Park

Trellick Tower
Attractions

Trellick Tower

Completed in 1972, Ernö Goldfinger’s 31-storey Trellick Tower, built as social housing in the style of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation, is perhaps London’s most famous brutalist building, and has gained iconic status among architecture fans. The Grade II-listed tower is a desirable address, with flats in the upper storeys boasting views as far as the South Downs. The entry lobby and a couple of flats are often open for tours as part of Open House London weekend, held in September, but be warned: Trellick Tower is one of the hottest tickets at this annual event.

Bars and pubs in North Kensington

The Eagle
Bars and pubs

The Eagle

Venue says: “'What’s your beef Wednesdays'. A flat iron steak, choice of sauce, fries, plus a glass of house wine or a pint of Truman’s Raw for just £15.”

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs

Ariadne's Nectar Bar

A pub in North Kensginton – Justin from The Vaccine's favourite, no less, as he told Time Out.

West Thirty Six
Restaurants

West Thirty Six

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs

Metropolitan Bar

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