Portobello House Bar & Bistro
225 Ladbroke Grove Notting Hill London W10 6HQ
We love hotels that have bars and restaurants downstairs; there's something rather quaint about them, maybe vaguely continental. The good news is that in London at least these sort of hotels seem to be on the increase, and one of the latest and most written-about is the excellent bar and restaurant of the equally good Portobello House Hotel in Notting Hill, which has been going for a year or so now and continues to impress. The bar is a nice place to just pop in for a drink - especially in the summer on the terrace – and has regular early evening cocktail nights on weekdays, where you can enjoy great cocktails at a good price and hopefully catch one of their famous Cabaret nights, which are always a hit. The food is an all-day affair, as you might expect, and is an admirably straight and undemanding picture of Brit and European classics, with simple yet delicious starters like mussels in white wine, aubergine parmigiana, beetroot salmon salad with horseradish, and Roman arancini, followed by crab spaghettini, coq au vin, with classic burgers, steak, fish and chips – and wild mushroom risotto for the veggies. It's refreshing that there's someone in Notting Hill serving up such unpretentious grub at decent prices, in somewhere so comfortable and welcoming. They also do tapas, ciabatta, bruschette and good coffee, so it's as much a place to drop in for a quick bit at lunchtime as an evening joint. A good all-rounder.