Glamorous dining in Notting Hill
Beach Blanket Babylon, W11’s fashionable bar and restaurant is set in the heart of Notting Hill in an elegant Georgian townhouse on Ledbury Road, right on the doorstep of Westbourne Grove’s chic shopping area.
This stylish restaurant was established back in 1990, I had the pleasure of frequenting it many years ago, so I was pleased to discover it’s still going strong.
Outside is a pretty terrace hanging with greenery, with wicker chairs and bistro styles tables set with white table cloths, covered with a striped awning. The eclectic interior is quite a contrast, behind its refined façade is decadent emporium, buzzing with a young Notting Hill set, low lighting, a central Rococo-styled bar and vaulted Modern European cellar, roaring open fires, large gilt mirrors, glass chandeliers, marble flooring and horseshoe velvet banquettes all add to its quirky opulence.
The service was friendly and efficient, tables were set safely apart and the staff all wearing masks. The doors were closing at 10 pm in keeping with present government guidelines for COVID19.
Tempted by their signature cocktail menu, we kicked off the evening with a perfect tipple. I couldn’t resist a trip down memory lane and chose a classic 80’s Pina Colada made with a delicious creamy mix of rum, coconut milk, pineapple and lime. My friend’s Semiramos was a super refreshing take on an orange gin fizz made with a combination of gin and blood orange triple sec with a dash of lime which gave it a hint of astringency.
The menu offers a selection of small plates, tempting starters and some classic mains and brunch favourites including eggs benedict with Parma ham, salmon or Ricotta & spinach, smashed avocado, HG Walter ribeye, Babylon burger or chilli Linguine with prawns.
We accompanied our meal with a bottle of Chablis, 2018, Domaine Michaut Frères. Crisp and lemony with hints of grapefruit and melon which paired beautifully with our prettily presented starters…
A generous portion of fresh crab meat on a bed of avocado with crisp salad of frisée and radish which was given a hint of sweetness from the coriander oil.
A soft crumpet topped with lashings of good quality salmon, cream cheese and dill was made all the more scrumptious by fine long strips of pickled crunchy cucumber, which cut through the soft and creamy textures.
Vegetarian options include burrata, sun-dried tomato, sourdough crouton, basil dressing, Sumac spiced aubergine, pomegranate, vegan cheese, mint, tahini sauce or truffled mushroom on sourdough.
For mains, the smoked cod was perfectly cooked, perched on a bed of crushed peas, grilled lettuce with a tangy mustardy dressing.
My tender chicken Milanese was coated in a light crisp breadcrumb with a fried egg on perched on top, and some juicy artichokes, accompanied by a rocket and parmesan salad and delicious truffled mayo.
On the side…some luxurious crisp fries with truffle and parmesan and a well-dressed bitterleaf mixed salad.
Time was running out with the 10 pm curfew in place but we still managed to indulge in a suitably wobbly coconut pannacotta, covered by a deliciously sweet tropical fruit coulis and a velvety vanilla and raspberry crême brûlée with a lovely sweet crunchy topping. The perfect end to an enjoyable dinner.
Beach Blanket Babylon certainly adds a little glamour to an evening, it’s ideal for creating a sense of occasion for celebration or a romantic dinner. The terrace offers alfresco dining and also boasts a magnificent Baroque style private dining ballroom for larger groups.
Beach Blanket Babylon
45 Ledbury Rd
London W11 2AA
020 7229 2907
We were guests of Beach Blanket Babylon but this review is editorially given.
Looking for somewhere to stay in the area? Check out our review of The Portobello Hotel