Labour’s Emma Dent Coad is protecting a majority of just 20, in what is the country’s most marginal seat, with a challenge this time round not just from the Tories’ Felicity Buchan, but also Tory-turned-Lib Dem Sam Gyimah. Kensington is also the most stratified constituency in the whole of the U.K., with large sections of social housing sitting side-by-side with some of the country’s most valuable properties. The large area stretches from the Ladbroke Grove in the north, down through Notting Hill, and under the Westway, to Holland Park and further still to South Kensington. The area includes a great many eating options for all times of the day. Here’s the pick.Read More
Where to Eat When Campaigning in Kensington
Brilliant sandwiches, black dal, cardamom buns, pizza, sherry, pints of Guinness, oysters — and more
1. Golborne Road Market
London W10 5NR, UK
Local legend Golborne Road Market is open at the weekend, but hours can differ during the week. Hassan Morocco Fish is there more often than not, a great option for an excellent value lunch of grilled fish, chips, and salad. He’s joined by a second Moroccan van with no name serving soups, stews, merguez sausage, and grilled fish; Trini Flava which does Trinbagonian street food, including roti wraps; and a burger van called Big Burger Break.
2. Sporting Clube de Londres
Insiders know that London’s Portuguese community of Notting Hill has frequented this bar, restaurant, and sports club for many years. A churrascaria (barbecue) is fired up — for chicken, sardines, and other generously seasoned hunks of protein. Inside, there’s no shortage of cold beer. Loads of flat screen TVs show English and European football and is particularly suitable for big parties, post-canvassing.
3. The Cow Pub & Dining Rooms
Blurring constituency boundaries a little, but this place serves one of London’s most reliable pints of Guinness, so it makes no sense to leave it off the list. This pub — which is notable for its unusually excellent service — also serves very good oysters and shellfish. Canvassers might find an opportunity to lobby Cow regulars Ed Sheeran and David Beckham, too.
4. Makan Cafe
Delicious char kway teow noodles, roti canai and lentil curry, nasi lemak, and a full English breakfast are available at this Malaysian cafe on Portobello Road. Ideal and affordable option for breakfast or lunch.
5. Fabrique Bakery
Excellent Scandinavian-French bakery that’s the perfect place to either start the day or take a mid-afternoon pit stop: cinnamon or cardamom buns, a cheese, ham, and mustard croissant, and cup of strong black filter coffee will suitably fortify or refuel canvassers in Notting Hill.
Also Featured in:
6. Fez Mangal
Meze as far as the eye can see. This old Ladbroke Grove favourite can get busy, so be prepared to wait a little. Reasons to join the queue: Very good Turkish kebabs, salad, and bread. And it’s BYO.
7. Electric Diner
Safely one of the better restaurants in the international Soho House group which serves one of west London’s better burgers. The smashed patty (go double) is charred properly before the assembled sandwich does a little time under the cloche to fuse its cheese. A little mayo-ketchup compound and a pickle is all else this burger needs.
8. Hereford Road Restaurant
Alumnus of St. John Bread and Wine Tom Pemberton has been in charge of one of Notting Hill’s best restaurants for 12 years. A good place to book ahead for dinner after a day on the doorstep. A plate of duck livers, green beans, and tarragon followed by roast lamb, swede, and sprout tops, and a scoop of brown bread ice cream sounds like a good way to round off a productive day — in one of west London’s nicer dining rooms.
9. Da Maria
Rated across the generations, this nearly 40-year-old Neapolitan neighbourhood restaurant in Notting Hill Gate narrowly avoided closure two years ago thanks to the efforts of a local petition and some high-profile advocates. It’s somewhere in the middle of the constituency and therefore a handy option at lunch for pizzas, pastas, and other hearty Italian meat and vegetable dishes.
Also Featured in:
10. Sam Sandwiches
London W12 8DE, UK
Exemplary Algerian sandwiches. It’s worth popping just outside of the constituency borders for one of Samir Ladoul’s, one of Jonathan Nunn’s west London best-value picks. Choose two of marinated chicken, lamb’s liver, kofte patties, or merguez sausage to be accompanied, in pliable fried white bread, with egg, chips, olives, harissa and mayonnaise. Boss.
11. Dishoom Kensington
The Bombay cafe-inspired group’s site off Kensgington High Street is a good place for a cup of chai and a bacon naan in the morning, a chicken ruby murray or black dal at lunch, or for a group meal with a few beers at the end of a long day pounding the streets.
12. Fernandez & Wells
One of three remaining Fernandez and Wells outposts and a good place to start if setting off with a hangover. Order a bottle of Vichy Catalan to clear the mind, a black Americano to focus the mind, and a ham, cheddar, and piccalilli toasted sandwich to fortify the soul. Good for tea and cakes in the mid-afternoon break, too.
13. Beirut Express
Reliable and reliably good, this fast-service Lebanese restaurant is an institution famous for its shawarma wraps, batata harra, mezze, and grilled kebabs. Open til half past midnight.
14. Capote Y Toros
Yearning for something a little stronger than a Thermos of tea? Celebrate a day canvassing southern European style with a glass of sherry (there are 125 to choose from) at this Andalusian bar on Old Brompton Road. It’s the kind of place to settle in for a few hours — tapas of jamon, croquettas, patatas bravas, padron peppers, gambas, and pulpo — to the backdrop of live flamenco music.