Straddling the affluent border between Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea, West Kensington boasts some of the most desirable neighbourhoods in London. Rents here may be higher than in most boroughs, but the area is popular for a reason: Kensington’s simmering wealth has spilled over the borders from W8 and the streets are now lined with speciality shops, such as Dorian Caffot de Fawes Antiques, inventive restaurants (like theatre pub The Curtains Up) and stylish bars (especially along North End Road). It's also extraordinarily well served by public transport. Even village life has made it here, with a Saturday farmers' market.
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L'Elysee Artisan Café & Patisserie
This Hammersmith café was set up by five friends. It should get quite a bit of custom from those heading to and from London Olympia – it's just over the road. Savoury items on the food menu include salads such as Thai beef with white cabbage, red onion, tomatoes and broccoli in a lime, ginger and soy dressing, and sandwiches filled with honey-roast ham, emmental, rocket and a honey-mustard dressing, or crayfish with sliced avocado rocket and lemon mayo. Breakfasts sandwiches and pastries also feature. Sweets include praline and toffee and pecan cheesecakes alongside tiramisu, a dark chocolate and chantilly slice and a strawberry and Champagne mousse. Coffee comes from Union, and is made using a La Marzocco coffee machine.
Restaurants in West Kensington
As well as serving the best quality Aberdeen Angus beef from Argentina, Hammersmith's El Toro has a range of pizza, pasta and fish dishes on offer. The corner restaurant, open seven days a week and with free WiFi, is a minute's walk from Kensington Olympia station.
A short walk from Kensington tube, Miran Masala is a BYO restaurant that serves up Pakistani specialities, such as karahi bindi gosht (lamb with okra), karahi chicken (with yoghurt, cumin and mixed spices) and karahi fish tikka (with tomato, pepper and spices), as well as dhansak, jalfrezi, madras and korma dishes. There's also a takeaway menu available.
Things to do in West Kensington
Barons Court Theatre
Located beneath The Curtains Up Pub, Barons Court Theatre tends to stage a mix of classic adaptations alongside the work of new or up-and-coming playwrights. The 60-seat, subterranean venue is well served by artistic director Ron Philips who rarely shies away from staging ambitious productions in a tiny space.