A new era dawns for a well-known and loved pub in Ladbroke Grove
Previously known as The KPH, this 157-year-old imposing Victorian pub gracing the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Lancaster Road, has played host to an illustrious line up of musical acts from Tom Jones, who played his fist gig here in 1960, to The Clash, Phil Lynott and Paul Weller to name a few. A renaming of the venue to The Knight of Notting Hill marks a new beginning for the future of this much-loved local establishment following a decade of change and insecurity under a series of different owners. Local residents will miss the old KPH but are at the same time relieved the pub is, well, still a pub, and that there are plans to keep the music alive. Wishing to honour the venue’s rich heritage which was declared an ‘asset of community value’ by Kensington & Chelsea Council in 2014, the venue will rekindle the pub’s tradition as a live music venue with events featuring rappers, singers and DJs while making the most of the late-night license until 1am.
It’s not just the music that will bring locals and visitors to the pub in droves though. The cosy interiors, excellent food, cocktails, craft beers and well-curated wine list will definitely help! As a local resident, I’m intrigued to find out if this new kid on the block is a worthy successor of The KPH, and considering how busy it is when we visit on a cold Thursday night, I’d say things are looking positive already.
The Knight of Notting Hill serves an eclectic menu of dishes designed to appeal to the mix of locals and tourists. It includes the likes of Garlic Madagascan Prawn with sourdough, pork belly tacos with piquillo pepper and homemade ketchup, Old Delhi Butter Chicken with Butter Paratha and Pappardelle with Blue Cheese and Crispy Sage, as well as classic British puds like spotted dick and custard. Ticking the boxes of several international cuisines, it should certainly help to keep everyone happy if you’re eating out in a big group. We try some delicious Beetroot Hummus and Pitta Bread and a huge portion of Tempura White Bait with Date and Tamarind Chutney to start with, and move on to the Pork Belly Tacos. They have just the right amount of spice and the pork is tender and tasty in equal measure. We also tuck into a Keema Pav, lamb mince cooked with a blend of aromatic spices, and it’s on the hot side for our weak palates! We ask for some yoghurt to go with it and it’s the perfect accompaniment to tone down the heat. A chilled bottle of Chablis also helps with that and goes down all too easily.
The pub is buzzy but not too noisy and the interiors are a well thought out balance of the venue’s original Victorian features like stained wood, tiled floors around the bar and etched glass windows, paired with comfortable new furnishings including banquette seating, marble-topped tables and modern chandeliers offering warm lighting. First impressions are good and I look forward to going back to check out the promised live music, and to see if their Sunday roasts can live up to the cosy and comfortable vibe.