Notting Hill’s high-flying, toot-fooluting Lonsdale

LOST IN LONDON | The Lonsdale, of Notting Hill, is like the mullet of English pubs. It’s all business out the front, party on the inside.



THE Lonsdale, of Notting Hill, is like the mullet of English pubs. It’s all business out the front, party on the inside.

From the outside, it looks like your traditional teacake variety London pub. Housed in a white brick building, you can actually see the warm muted lights of the apartments upstairs. You think walking through the door, you’ll be confronted with the ubiquitous wood paneling, stiff tables and perhaps an English bobby serving a tray of tea poured in a porcelain cup. Instead, it’s all low ceilings, red crocodile skinned swivel chairs and mirrors. Oh the mirrors. Walking in, it’s kind of like getting slapped in the face by a high class hooker (the kind that services politicians and rockstars).

Now don’t get me wrong – I liked it a lot. And the steaks were fantastic. It’s just… I’m still relatively fresh to the UK pub scene – still one of the few that finds tartan furnishings a welcome novelty – so these sort of places tend to leave me feeling… inadequate.

In fact, when I attempted to go to the bathroom, so confused was I by the maze of mirrors, I ended up walking into myself. Then I was thwarted by the confangling gadgetry that is the ‘no button/no levered tap’ (why this modern phenomenon took off I’ll never know). Basically – I couldn’t work it out. After 10 minutes of waving my hands upwards, downwards, sideways, crisscrossing, in the sink, by the sink, under the sink in the vain hope of somehow alerting the hidden sensor to my germ ridden hands, I eventually gave up, turned around, and walked into myself again on the way out.

Yes that’s right. I went to the bathroom in the Lonsdale and I didn’t wash my hands. I guess I’m one client that won’t be kept on the client books of that particular establishment.