I know what you're thinking… yet another spot in Notting Hill to add to the already buzzing community. But The Elgin isn't new at all. It is one of the area's most recognisable pubs; a local favourite.
The Elgin has just relaunched following a refurbishment to the Grade II listed pub – welcoming bar, grand dining room and dedicated gin bar to boot. The building and interior both ooze old-school elegance.
In part, a grand dining room. But also part-ale house, part-gin lover's dream. The Elgin has a little bit of everything, a mish mash of on-trend decor and unexpected statement pieces. Exposed brickwork, dark hues on the walls, handsome mirrors and stain-glassed windows – as soon as you walk in it's an immediately creative scene. The Elgin is also home to the 'El Gin Bar'. With a selection of over 40 gins from large distilleries, boutique brands and the locally distilled Portobello Road.
And this is the backdrop to the seasonal menu of classic pub food on offer at The Elgin. Striking chandeliers, upholstered seating and contemporary artwork elevate a simple pub dinner to something quite different to what we expected.
On a Wednesday evening The Elgin was simmering with groups of young professionals, both drinking and dining, and the swells of chatter filled the beautiful and high-ceilinged space of the 'Market Room' dining hall. The chatter was loud and people were sheltering from the August rain.
The kitchen is led by Head Chef Regi di Campos, who serves up a seasonally-changing menu which showcases hearty British classics.
With the rain pounding on the stain-glassed windows outside, we opted for two summery starters; the Smoked Duck Breast with watermelon, crumble Yorkshire fettle and toasted hazelnuts (£9) and the Spinach tart with herb crème fresh (£8.50).
Watermelon is one of my favourite summer fruits. The year I lived in Italy I would wake up, go to the frutteria and buy a quarter of a watermelon every day, slowly working my way through the shop's supply. Last summer in Italy we celebrated International Watermelon Day. During our trip to Sri Lanka (read more about it here) we were greeted in hotels with fresh watermelon juice every day. So when I say favourite, I don't say it lightly 🍉 Best quotation from Dirty Dancing?
"I carried a watermelon"
Back to The Elgin.
The smoked duck salad lived up to expectations – watermelon, feta and mint is an unbeatable summer combination. The crumble Yorkshire fettle is slightly less tangy than a feta, creating a smoother, lighter salad overall. The spinach tart was very more-ish, to the point where we considered ordering another one to share: the pastry wasn't overbearing at all, nor was there too much of it.
For the second course, we let the food gods decide our fate.
We were lucky to have an extremely attentive waitress (she is from the south of France if you happen to visit!) and we asked her to take the lead for our choices.
Because… what else.
96 Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 1PY
020 7229 5663