As London’s answer to heaven on earth, with its sea of white houses and enchanting private gardens, Notting Hill is a prime location for sips in the sun. We entered through the pearly gates (AKA Notting Hill Gate station) and walked just one minute to The Laslett Hotel which sits on the postcode's prettiest street.
The establishment is one of six central London sites by Living Room Hotel group; the idea behind the brand is to combine the service of a hotel with the homely apartment feel, admittedly one completely out of your price range, but an apartment all the same. The Laslett is set within five Victorian townhouses, blending in with the rest of the street and making it the perfect place to live out your fantasy of residing in Zone 1. You can play house in the modern and quintessentially British rooms, ranging from the ‘master bedroom suite’ to a ‘single spare room’, all just as beautiful as the rest and designed with comfort in mind. There’s also a library and chic dining room-inspired restaurant and bar, so the daydream of owning the place can continue even after leaving your room (as long as you’re able to overlook the strangers seated next to you).
Don’t have a room booked? That doesn’t mean you can’t pay a visit to its restaurant, and that’s exactly what we did. After a sneak peek inside, we took a seat out front in their adorable terrace area; think comfy, covered seating complete with heaters and twinkly lights for when the sun goes down. It’s a lovely spot if you’re looking for somewhere quiet; with just four booths, each party gets plenty of space to themselves and doesn't have to suffer from long wait times, unlike the city’s many overcrowded terrace bars.
We went straight for the cocktail menu and picked two of the hotel’s signature sips. I’m always one to go for the fruity option and my friend’s more partial to the hard stuff, so between us we were able to give the menu a fair and thorough review. I chose the Strawberry Fields (£15), a spritzy mix of vodka, sparkling wine, lemon juice, sugar syrup and strawberries. Much like a bellini, it was light, refreshing and summery…what more could you ask for. My friend opted for the Sofia Mendez (£14), made up of mezcal, Aperol, Chartreuse, sugar syrup and lime juice. This drink was stiff to say the least, so if you’re not keen on cocktails that actually taste of alcohol, this is one to avoid.
We also tried two tipples from the classic cocktail menu, where each drink listed is a spin on the original recipe. Mine was a rum punch (£14) which contained two types of rum (including Kraken, a favourite of many), coconut liqueur, triple sec, lime and pineapple juice and grenadine. Unlike a typical rum punch, this didn’t just taste of spiked juice, it was more complex and had depth as well as being fun and tropical. My friend was drawn to a paloma (£13), another heady tequila blend flavoured with lime juice, agave syrup and grapefruit soda. Deviating only slightly from the classic recipe with the inclusion of the syrup, it was a welcomed hit of sweetness to counteract the sour.
We were also treated to a charcuterie board (£20) donning three different sliced meats, toasted sourdough, a pot of mini gherkins and pickled onions. I thought the platter was very generous for the price, as split between two would come to just £10 per person and there was more than enough to go around. My favourite of the meats was the fennel and garlic salami, and I also appreciated how thick all of the meats were cut so you could get a hearty bite when paired with the sourdough. The pickled offerings were nice and crunchy with a sharp flavour. There was also a British cheese sharing board for non meat-eaters which also looked like a winner.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If alfresco cocktails are on your agenda this summer, I’d suggest skipping the rowdy rooftop bars for a day and settling in for more civilised sips at The Laslett. This little oasis provides a peaceful setting for boozy catch-ups with a backdrop of some of London’s most beautiful townhouses. It’s not often you get the opportunity to drink and dine on a residential street, which is a novelty I can appreciate as pretty houses make up my favourite views. It also aligned with what the boutique hotel stands for: the embrace of local culture and British style.
You can tell that quality is key when it comes to both the drinks and food; the cocktails were made up of spirits and mixers from premium brands and the charcuterie board featured cold cuts that would give your local butcher a run for its money. The experience was faultless all around and definitely made me want to book in for brunch - which you can also enjoy out on the terrace alongside live music on Sundays.
💰 The damage: Around £76 for cocktails and a charcuterie board.
📍 The location: 8 Pembridge Gardens, London W2 4DU.
👌 Perfect for: Alfresco drinks with friends.
⭐ Need to know: The hotel also offers a sweet treat - ask for the East to West Sundae.