Notting Hill

12/05/2012 at 19:29 | Posted in Crawls | 1 Comment
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It was Artie’s turn to lead us again at the start of May, and we headed west to Notting Hill, and it was great for me to revisit an old stomping ground of mine, having worked there for several years. Fortunately, as usual, there was some new pub territory for me mixed in with some old favourites.

The meeting point was the Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street, a great little pub chock full of knick-knacks, and indeed of punters too, a short stroll from Notting Hill Gate station. This is a very popular Fuller’s pub, with a Thai restaurant at the back.

Once we were all assembled, we made the very short walk  to the Hillgate (although far enough for three of our number to lose us en route). This place brings back happy memories for me of many a Friday team lunch here, although things have somewhat changed since then. Not only has our team dispersed and moved on, so has the pub, with the old landlord long gone, and the pub moving upmarket in the meantime. The old internal walls, carpet and furniture have all gone, and it’s all large bare wood tables now in place of the cosier feel of the place a few years ago. A couple of people opted for the Sambrooks Junction but found it was off, though the barman happily replaced the pints with the Wandle.

From we made the very short walk through the pastel “Hillgate Village” to the Uxbridge Arms. Unlike the Hillgate, this one hasn’t changed a bit, and still serves a great pint (and stocks the London Drinker).

From here we headed uphill to the Windsor Castle, a classic pub with both a lovely interior and large garden, where we were fortunate to bag a large table. This must be one of the largest beer gardens in zone 1, and is highly sought after in the summer months.

The longest walk of the night followed this, taking us north to the Cock & Bottle, where everyone else promptly disappeared ito the gents after an increasingly uncomfortable walk, as the three preceding pints began to work their way through the plumbing! This is a lovely traditional late Victorian pub, with beautiful etched windows, as can be seen in the slightly Hopper-esque view on the left. In here Rich whipped out a cryptic tube station quiz for us, which we all enjoyed despite one or two dubious answers! (I’m looking at you, Finchley Central)

The Prince Edward was the next port of call, another late Victorian pub in a quiet corner of Bayswater, this one a bit larger and busier, and part of the Hall & Woodhouse estate.

Back toward Notting Hill now and the Champion, which is quite a lively and modern pub with good draft beers. I had some lovely Sumerland Gold from Moor and others went for the Copper Dragon Black Gold, both well kept.

From here it’s just a short stroll back to Notting Hill Gate tube for the last trains (beware, the Champion is open later than the tube!)

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