A tedious mid-week evening can be turned into an unexpected gothic thrill when dining at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. Paradise is located in London’s Kensal Green, where the destination restaurant draws the residents of neighboring Hampstead and Notting Hill. Acclaimed to be a one-stop boozer, restaurant and dance floor, Paradise is a wonder every night of the week.
The name of the vintage-style establishment derives from the poem ‘The Rolling English Road’ by G. K Chesterton, where the poet talks of opposing the prohibition of alcohol; the drunken roads taken to Paradise by way of Kensal Green cemetery.
On arrival at Paradise, the service was refreshing, with staff displaying expressive personalities through their non-uniform policy. The spin to Paradise is its front of house pub-cum-unpredictable marvel of a restaurant. The restaurant’s enchanting interior is fit for royalty – you almost expect a king to be seated on his throne being fed grapes.
The owners have managed to keep Paradise as you would have found it over 100 years ago. The edgy and eclectic decor of stuffed animals, velvet drapes, graveyard signs and chandeliers allow Paradise to remain true to its roots. Throughout the two functional floors (with current demand, there is prospect of opening the third floor next year) the explosion of salon-styled rooms feel periodic yet fashionable.
The new seasonal menu, prepared by head chef Cat Ashton (formerly of Petersham Nurseries) far surpasses ‘gastro pub’ status. An honest menu with no need to show off, the British cuisine with European flavours speaks for itself. Fresh and locally sourced ingredients make up a grand selection – think green asparagus, bottarga and hollandaise, beef carpaccio with truffle mustard aioli, rocket and parmesan, pan-fried sea bream with wild rice and tomato salad, confit of fennel and kale and a 48-day aged rib eye with chorizo butter.
Don’t fix what’s not broken is a certified belief at Paradise; they don’t wish to aim for a Michelin star in fear that it would diminish their current personable memento which works so seamlessly. Paradise is a West London institution which dazzles those who pay it a visit. Every city in the world should be envious of this unspoiled Victorian gem.
Cat Ashton previously held the position of head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Richmond and brings experience from her native Australia. Her repertoire includes stints at Momo at Atomica Cafe in Melbourne as well as The Kitchen, Edinburgh and Portside Parlour, Hackney.
British cuisine with a twist of European flavours. Thoughtfully sourced fresh ingredients and a personal touch by Cat Ashton make up the evolving menu.
Ideally located in Queens Park, a stone’s throw from many creative West London neighbourhoods – Notting Hill, Bayswater and Kensington.
Paradise offers a mixed price scale with a varied menu; from bar food to a la carte to Sunday lunch. There is a dish for all regardless of your budget. Bar food plates range from £5 to £9 while a la carte mains start at £13 and go up to £22. Sunday lunch with all the trimmings is in the region of £16 to £18.
Pan-fried sea bream with wild rice and tomato salad, confit of fennel and kale.
A day or night of adventure; whether that be a romantic meal for two, mid-week tomfoolery or a Sunday brunch and Bloody Mary session.
Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, 19 Kilburn Lane, London, UK +44 (0)20 8969 0098