Boasting one of the largest and best beer gardens in London, this Latimer Road institution is ideal for weekend gatherings and private functions.
The Garden Bar and Grill can be found on Bramley Road, directly opposite Latimer Road tube station. A great getaway resort in an otherwise unremarkable neighbourhood, the bar looks fairly scruffy from the street, but on the inside the main room is all dim lighting and sleek black furniture, including a series of semi-circular leather booths facing the colourfully lit bar. A viewable kitchen lines the right-hand wall, while to the left a raised level sees black leather sofas flanking a pebble-dashed fireplace and wrought iron clock. It's visually impressive, but the interior is almost eclipsed by the immense beer garden outside. Comprising several levels, an array of gazebos and permanent shelters, huge patios and wooden tables, enough seating for hundreds of guests and a bewildering plant life, the garden is an idyllic oasis of calm in the shadow of the Hammersmith & City train line. It more than justifies its top billing in the venue’s title. Projectors, sofas, fairy lights, murals and spot-heaters ensure comfort and warmth all year round, and a standalone barbecue area means food is never too far away.
The atmosphere at the Bar and Grill is noticeably friendly and laid-back, with a healthy mix of locals and tourists filling up the garden on sunny days, particularly at weekends. Wedding receptions and private parties are common, and a natural fit for the picturesque surroundings. Elsewhere, semi-regular comedy nights and televised sporting events ensure a packed capacity, and of course the venue really comes into its own during the nearby Notting Hill Festival.
Adopting a loosely Mediterranean theme, the portions at the Bar and Grill are light yet bursting with flavour, from the mezze platter (£7.50 for one, £12 for two) to the free range chicken Caesar salad (£11). For pub food purists, burgers (£11) and steaks (£15) also figure regularly on the list of daily specials (and BBQ buffets can be commissioned at £15-20 a head), but for an unusual treat, try the lamb kebabs with pitta, feta and pesto garnishing for £14. A great selection of desserts (£4.50-6), including an espresso, Amaretto and vanilla ice cream affogato, is very much the icing on the cake.
Although a tad pricey, the drinks menu is comprehensive, with Staropramen, Becks and ales on tap, and a reasonable selection of red and white wines - glasses start at around £4.50, as do flutes of prosecco, while bottles cost between £17-30, or £45 for Jacques Cartier Brut champagne. A well-rounded assortment of mixers, spirits and hot drinks caps an impressive spread at the bar.
The Last Word
As well as an excellent menu, the Garden Bar and Grill is blessed with a unique beer garden, that can truly be dubbed a “hidden treasure” in the depths of west London.