More Notting Hill Pubs
(I did this on Thursday, so why has it taken me until Sunday to write about it? Hmmm)
So part two of the dreaded Notting Hill Pub Explosion took place on Thursday 19 February 2004. Only two pubs involved this time (boo!) but… well… c’est le vie.
As mentioned last time, we couldn’t get in the place when we went in December. Thankfully myself and Jacko managed to get a table this time, where we happily supped our pints of Fullers’ India Pale Ale.
This is an odd little pub. Lots of eclectic stuff on the wall, and an indoor signpost which points off to four locations, including the tube station and the Fullers Brewery.
On the walls, a plethora of (Winston) Churchill memorabilia and a lot more besides – you can hardly see the wallpaper on the walls. At the back, a bustling Thai restaurant with Thai food in the pub as well. And it smelled good. Several plaques on the walls proclaim that The Churchill Arms has (several times) won the Fullers Best Town-Local Pub Of the Year award, including the award last year – regular readers might remember me saying that the Red Lion in Ealing won the overall prize last year.
The pub though has one (major) problem though – this place gets rammed packed. After visiting last time on a Friday and barely making it in the door, this time we came on a Thursday thinking it might be reasonable. And it was around 6:30. But by the time Catherine was due to arrive (7:30) the place was getting fuller and fuller and fuller. Indeed by 7:15, it was almost impossible to get to the bar easily, yet alone the toiket.
If it’s one consolation, the food smelt very good and the beer was of good quality, but if you don’t want to be rammed in, this is not the pub for you. To be honest, fighting for the bar is not for us, which is why we moved on.
- 119 Kensington Church Street, Notting Hill, W8 7LN.
- Beers on handpull during visit:
Fullers London Pride, Fullers ESB, Fullers India Pale Ale (Fullers special for February, so we’d assume this is the seasonal ale pump). There may have been a fourth beer on but we didn’t pay enough attentioned to see.
The Earl of Lonsdale.
In London, Sam Smiths pubs tend to have a good reputation. They tend to be high quality pubs, with good food.
The Earl of Lonsdale seems to buck this trend. For starters, high up on their menu was Chicken Kiev. Sorry, but doesn’t sound that enticing.
Then there’s the fact that they had no handpulled ales, and a limited selection of Sam Smith’s bitters and ales in bottles. They did have the keg versions of Old Brewery Bitter and Soverign, but in bottles only had the Pale Ale and Nut Brown Ale. No Taddy Porter or Oatmeal Stout to be seen.
As for the pub itself – just seemed a bit like an empty cavern. No friendly atmosphere. Looked like it might be a tourist trap when the nearby Portobello Road market is on, judging by the dire sounding menu (Chicken Kiev? I ask you…) and posters for musicals on the wall, but little to really ever make you go here.
Fancyapint.com gave it three out of five pints for its rating, hence the visit. No idea where they got that rating from. We’ll go elsewhere next time we’re in the area.
277-281 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2QA
- Beers on handpull during visit:
Nothing. However Sovereign and Old Brewery Bitter were available on keg, and bottles of Nut Brown Ale and Pale Ale were on sale.