Perched just off busy Ladbroke Grove and a short walk from Portobello market sits the ever-charming gastropub, the Ladbroke Arms. Sunny and lively in the summer, warm and cosy in the winter, the Ladbroke Arms is a delight to visit in all seasons. The food is classy – upmarket traditional – and the drinks have enough variety to interest both ale and wine connoisseurs alike… and hey, one thing you won’t be disappointed by is their award winning array of flora!
Yes, it all seems rather nice but what singles this place out from the many [and I mean many!] other pubs in London? Well, it has a profound wine list [for a pub its pretty special], but how many people are gonna get excited by that? Not many I reckon. An impressive selection of ales too, to continue in that vein. However, it’s not the drinks, nor is it the food which makes this place so special. Though I must add that the food here is spectacular; whether it’s a Friday night dinner or a Sunday Roast you’re after, their cooks will not fail to serve up a classy and not to forget, delicious, meal – check out their menu on their website.
Nor does the Ladbroke Arms have the vibrant décor of some of the other spots around London such as the Scooter Caffé. The interior is a homely cream whilst the walls are decorated with the odd painting or vintage poster, complimenting the traditional wooden furniture and flooring. The layout is such that there are the more open spots at the front of the pub, which are bound to be filled with some form of local chatter, whilst around the back are more private rooms that accommodate, at the less busy times [that’s not Sunday lunchtime], for those after a pint and a few chapters of their favourite P. G. Wodehouse.
The Ladbroke Arms has an irresistible charm. That’s it. When you’re there, it feels like you’re home. It may sound anticlimactic on a computer screen but ask the locals and they’ll tell you there’s nowhere they’d rather spend a family lunch or have a few drinks with their fellow employees than at the Ladbroke Arms. The staff are ever friendly, the food is great and the atmosphere is warm and inviting… it’s just so homely! Look at the flowery wallpaper and kitchen cupboards! No need to hold your breath ‘cos the toilet is clean! What’s more, there’s no mum ordering you to clean up your dirty dishes… just a smiley bartender offering you another pint of Sharp’s Doom Bar!
Oh, but it’s in the summer that the Ladbroke Arms really hits its stride – there’s a reason why it suddenly becomes alot harder to find a seat. With the sun shining on a Sunday afternoon, some light jazz music playing, there is not a nicer terrace to enjoy a cold pint and summer conversation than at this pub. When they get going, the flower baskets are stunning [and this is coming from a guy]. Yes, there may be the odd bee flying about but I can vouch that that is definitely not an issue, and I’ve been stung twice on the same day once [quite a funny story actually].
So go give it a visit, even if flowers aren’t your thing. And if you accidentally call the barmaid “Mum”… I told you so.
Location: 54 Ladbroke Road, W11 3NW [Holland Park, Notting Hill Gate]
Suitable For: Chatting with Friends, Dining, Drinks with Mates, Quiet Read [at select times]
Dining: Pub Grub
Price: Happily Affordable
Tips: Reserve if you’re after a meal, or you may find yourself tucking into a Big Mac meal instead
Wow Factor: Feels like a home [without the nagging].