A few days ago, I came across a tweet from luvfoodluvdrink highly recommending the drinks at the newly-reopened Lonsdale in Notting Hill. Curious, (as always) I did a bit more research on the Lonsdale and was subsequently contacted by a member of their PR team, who offered to book a table for me. Last Wednesday night, a friend and I popped up to nearby Notting Hill to sample a few of the Lonsdale’s cocktails.
For a cocktail bar, (it is also a restaurant as well, but the bar area dominates the space) it is certainly oddly situated – you’ll find the Lonsdale on a quiet residential street just off Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. Its low-lit, lounge-like interior dominated by red-leather seating doesn’t exactly mirror the serenity of the pastel-colored neighborhood. Despite it feeling a bit out of place, it is nonetheless a great space to enjoy a few of their exciting cocktails after dinner.
Sadly, my guest and I had an earlier dinner commitment and were not able to sample the food menu, (but this will shortly be remedied!) so we moved right on to drinks. On first glance, we were overwhelmed by the 15-page cocktail menu, and it took a considerable amount of time for our indecisive minds to choose drinks. The cocktail menu is presented in a historical context, (similar to the Connaught Bar) focusing on the classic cocktails of London from past centuries, as well as a few global classics and drinks “From Bartenders to Bartenders” – what you’ll find bartenders drinking after hours.
After perusing the menu, I opted to start with The Avenue Cocktail, (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Henry Querville Calvados, shaken with passion fruit puree and home-made pomegranate syrup and a few dashes of blossom orange water) and my guest chose the Depth Bomb, (Hennessy Fine de Cognac and Henry Querville Calvados shaken with freshly squeezed lemon juice and homemade pomegranate syrup). Both were served icy cold in champagne saucers, and I loved the light orange notes that shone through in contrast to the sweet passion fruit infusion in my drink. We also enjoyed the Depth Bomb, (a bit of a twist on the classic Sidecar) with the tart pomegranate syrup providing a deep, ruby red color and tartness to the drink.
For our last drink, I chose the very delicious Black Bison, (Bison grass Vodka shaken with fresh blackberries, lime and Chambord, created by Henry Besant & Danny Smith at 57 Jermyn Street in 1999). The manager told us this drink was one of the most popular on the menu, and with its classic pairing of sweet blackberry and tart lime, it certainly went down a treat on the hot summer evening. My guest opted for the Jersey Sangaree made with Tanqueray 47.3% Gin, Yellow Chartreuse and Suze floated with Noilly Prat Amber. As I’m not the biggest fan of the strong herbal notes of Yellow Chartreuse, I’ll have to trust my guest’s positive judgment of the drink – he found the citrus and cinnamon notes of the Noilly Prat Amber matched well with the slightly bitter taste of Suze and successfully disguised the potency of the drink – needless to say one of these was enough to leave him quite tipsy!
I’m looking forward to heading back to the Lonsdale and sampling their food menu and a few more of their delectable liquid creations – including the infamous Notting Hillbilly. Cocktails were given to us on the house, but it is important to note that they are all offered at affordable price points, starting at £6.50 – bargain! It’s a great find for cocktails in Notting Hill – it’s so nice be able to stay in west London for some after-dinner drinks and avoid the often overpriced and cramped bars of central London.
Drinks were of great quality and most definitely executed with skill, and are some of the best I’ve had in London. Go and enjoy – cheers!
48 Lonsdale Road, Notting Hill
London W11 2DE