The Cow is a Notting Hill institution and helped fashion the original and best format of the gastropub movement, while the landlord, Tom Conran, is the evergreen local champion.
Downstairs is a great boozer, or saloon bar, with proper ales, bottles British and continental beers, and much more. The short-order kitchen on the ground floor is perfect for lunch. The menu includes fish stew, and sausages braised in beer and onions; or maybe a pint of prawns or a plate of oysters will hit the spot. It’s all good grub at reasonable prices.
Upstairs, the small dining room serves some of the best food in Notting Hill. That doesn’t mean that it is striving to chase stars, it simply has an attentive planned menu and first-rate cooks in the kitchen, while the ingredients are highly seasonal and come from the finest sources – Tom is passionate about provenance, good animal husbandry and artisan producers. The menu is proudly British, but with a few detours to the Continent.
Tom Conran: Owner of The Cow
I would much rather shop in a specialist food store than a supermarket, although you may have a broader choice in the biggest shops the actual experience can leave you cold. There are a number of local shops that I love, the Athenian Grocer on Moscow Road for Greek provisions and fresh vegetables and salads imported direct from Cyprus. Tawana on Chepstow Road for eastern ingredients (it’s a bit scruff but always has what you need at the right price). I like the Lisboa Deli on Golbourne Road for Portugese cheeses, wine and charcuterie and their patisserie over the road for orgasmic custard tarts. But if I had to choose one shop as an all time favourite it would have to be Garcia’s on Portobello Road.
89 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QH, Tel. + 020 7221 0021
Opinion – Foodsessed on The Cow restaurant in Notting Hill:
Push past the crowds of hip Notting Hillers at this cultish pub to find a small upstairs dining room serving well-prepared Modern British fare. The cow changes daily depending on what fresh meats are available, (everything from steak to squirrel to pigeon); some feel that the food may be an afterthought downstairs, so they fill up via the great beer section.