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I was expecting a nicely renovated gastro pub with lots of wood and traditional touches, so I was surprised to see an interior full of expensive-looking chandeliers and mirrored walls. It looked more like an upmarket casino.
The bar was packed with uber-trendy twenty-somethings who looked as though they worked in fashion and had spent the whole day getting ready.
But despite the smart décor and cool crowd, there was a relaxed atmosphere: staff were friendly and it was the kind of place where you ended up talking to people at neighbouring tables (as we did, to a middle-aged American couple who were visiting their son in London).
For dinner, we shared a tomato and goats cheese galette, then I chose the only veggie option: a deliciously fresh risotto with peas, tomato and asparagus. Steak is The Lonsdale’s speciality, and Jenny, my dining companion, enjoyed her sirloin with béarnaise sauce.
The Lonsdale is tucked away in a side street just off Westbourne Grove. Next time you’re in the area, I’d recommend seeking it out and joining the Notting Hill set for drinks or dinner.