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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with Thuck Phat on the Pub Forum

KPH, W11

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
139 Ladbroke Grove
W11 1PN

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about KPH

Built in the so-called Kensington Italianate style in the mid-19th century, this is very much a local North Kensington institution on the border with Notting Hill which, closed for several years, came perilously close to being converted but reopened earlier this year.
This was a former Irish pub which in earlier years had been a focal point for the Notting Hill race riots of 1958 but earlier still, it was the local boozer for Timothy Evans and John Reginal Christie, of 10 Rillington Place infamy, the street being just a couple of hundred yards from here. Other past drinkers included Oswald Mosley and as a music venue, it has hosted the likes of Tom Jones, The Clash, Thin Lizzy and The Jam.
It had in recent years been gentrified, but the reopening has seen even greater change. Out front, where once the windows were reinforced with wire, are now large clear picture windows, topped with smaller panes retaining their etching. Gone is the Cannon Brewery logo to the corner splay along with the Taylor Walker plaques and lanterns; the Double Diamond logo to the entrance has also gone.
Inside, and it’s a typical traditional meets modern madeover London pub. Large, with a new boarded floor with tiled apron to the bar which appears to be new, the illuminated Double Diamond and Skol wording gone, but visible above the top of the bar parapet along with the name of Ind Coope. The overall colour scheme is dark green with a white punctuated ceiling and some Anaglypta to where the walls feature dado rails. Otherwise, there’s oxblood studded vinyl banquettes to the periphery below the windows. Some tall round tables and matching stools occupy the centre, along with a couple of round tables clasping the central columns. Further tables to the rear are low, square and modern with traditional chairs. Lighting is tasteful but minimal along with oil burning lamps on tables; two rather unattractive aircon units are fixed to the ceiling. There’s a dining room upstairs with new lavatories downstairs with a cubicle featuring almost clear glass panes to the door, which is something of an invasion of privacy, but is probably intended to be a deterrent to naughtiness. Jazz funk music played at really too loud a level for comfort and customers were a pleasing mix of pretty young things as well as some older more local geezers, though overall it wasn’t that busy for a Thursday, especially given how many had filled the Elgin across the road.
Service was immediate, with three ales being available in the form of a reversed clip, Landlord and Sussex Best on great form but at a painful £4.90 pint.
The KPH is certainly worth a visit if in the area though not a detour, but you’ll probably end up here prior to admiring the Elgin’s beautiful interior.

On 2nd August 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1316 recommendations about 1295 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about KPH

Quite an old-fashioned pub, with a huge three-letter sign above the corner entrance. Mixed furniture and decor. Greene King IPA and Harvey's (£4.00) available from two of three hand pumps on the front of the square bar counter (featuring some old Ind Coope signage), with a reversed Abbot clip noted and two more disused pumps at the back. Theatre Room for hire upstairs (not visited). Menu appears to just be breakfast and pizzas. Live music a feature, with a jazz quartet setting up when I stopped by.

On 3rd May 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6620 recommendations about 6620 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Kensington Park

The last time I was in this pub early seventies it was a riotous place full of Paddy,s and Jocks hammering the Guinness,Lot different now.Has been spruced up with food on the menu but no real ale .Still do a decent pint of Guinness.

On 25th January 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Mick O'Neill left this review about The Kensington Park

This is a down to earth old-school pub, which, although dated in terms of decor, is actually quite friendly and in no way threatening.

Contrary to the review below, I have been in here scores of times and have never felt intimidated or threatened, witnessed anyone else being threatened or witnessed any trouble full-stop. This is simply a working class boozer, and probably the last one in the Notting Hill/North Kensington area which has not been gentrified into something resembling a restaurant.

Also, I have to take issue with the comments from the reviewer below about "wire-reinforced glass" windows. From my memory, there is no such glass in any of the windows - there is a metal grill at the front of the pub, but this is where the toilets are located, and is some sort of vent.

Yes, the pub looks run-down and is a quite tatty, but it is spotlessly clean, not at all rough and the beer is very cheap for this part of London. For example, in June 2011, London Pride was £3.20 a pint, compared to around £3.60-£3.90 for a pint of real ale in other nearby pubs, such as the Elgin 50 metres further along Ladbroke Grove and the Castle on Portobello Road, less than 5 minutes away.

There are sometimes people smoking outside the doorway but none of them has ever said anything to me and I have seen people refused service in here if the staff think they have had too much to drink.

So, all-in-all, an old-school London pub, a throwback really to the 1970s and early 80s.

Give it a try, you might even be surprised.

On 3rd June 2011 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]