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Dinner Date: The Princess Royal review, a delightful gem in Notting Hill

A perfect match of Mediterranean dishes meeting an idyllic English setting, The Princess Royal serves a deliciously memorable meal on a gloomy summer evening

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When perusing a date night jaunt in Notting Hill we couldn’t help but take notice of the buzz around the charming Princess Royal, which puts a whole new meaning on the ‘pub with rooms’ category.

Yes, it may give the vibe of a posh pub, but don’t be fooled; this is a seriously impressive restaurant with a crowd-pleasing menu to match. Said menu is devised by the skilful chef director Ben Tish, renowned for his work at Norma in Fitzrovia. Tish has crafted a menu that combines Mediterranean favourites with some darn good British produce, all served in a charming restaurant which feels like it should be somewhere nestled in the countryside.  

Though there may be doom and gloom from the skies above, thankfully our menu brings Sicily to West London.

The Victorian era building, painted in British racing green with a pretty striped awning, jumps out at you as your taxi turns into Hereford Road. We dart from the car to our dinner destination for the evening, just avoiding a complete drenching from that not-so-charming British summer downpour. Luckily the team at The Princess Royal beam with a warm welcome and soon see us through the busy bar and on to our table within a plant pot filled conservatory. Brick walls, cosy seating and tiled floors sit underneath a slanted glass roof, which I can imagine allows sunshine to pour in when the weather decides to play nice.

Though there may be doom and gloom from the skies above, thankfully our menu brings Sicily to West London, and at a glance there seems to be too much potential to narrow it down to just a starter, main and dessert. So we ask for recommendations and decide on plates we think will be shared easily.

The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal

Date night calls for a cocktail, so we start with two half salt rimmed margaritas which do not disappoint and soon our small plates arrive: outrageously delicious confit beef shin croquettes and a generous serving of burrata with a stone fruit ketchup. Soon polished off, it took every ounce of will-power not to order another portion of croquettes. Up next, we took a steer to the menu’s ‘From the Raw Bar’ section with hand dived scallop crudo, which had the perfect little kick of Jalapeño, and an Angus Tartare which I doused in Horseradish. So far so perfectly Mediterranean.

When it came to the mains, our waiter claimed the Chicken Milanese was popular with the regulars, so I assumed I was onto a winner. It came with wild rocket, Datterino tomatoes, shavings of Parmesan and salsa verde on the side. No surprises, and I wasn’t disappointed. My date went for the not-so-Mediterranean, but no less impressive, Angus beef burger – I had to try a few bites and it was perfectly juicy with plenty of pickles. Tonight was not a night to think about the calories, so yes we ordered a parmigiana to share on the side. Do we regret it? Absolutely not. We also ordered some veggies, so that balances it out, right?

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Dark chocolate salted caramel tart at The Princess Royal
Dark chocolate salted caramel tart at The Princess Royal

As we make our way through the meal, I imagine the pretty garden area, that I can see from our table, as the perfect little spot to sip rosé on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with the dog relaxing by my feet. In lieu of actually having a dog, I will have to settle for just the rosé.

You feel like you are in your favourite country pub, but with a level of sophistication which seems appropriate for the Notting Hill locals.

Anyway back to the food, starting to feel on the edge of completely stuffed, I just can’t bring myself to say no to dessert. We decide to split the dark chocolate salted caramel tart with crème fraiche – do I need to even tell you how delicious it was? How silky and perfectly indulgent it was? Needless to say, the slice lasted all of about three seconds on the plate. Seriously good.  

As we slip into a nightcap Negroni, the rain continues to hammer down outside, which only adds to the utter cosiness of The Princess Royal. It’s a spot that makes you feel like you are in your favourite country pub, but with a level of sophistication which seems appropriate for the Notting Hill locals who, one would imagine, would have high expectations.

Address: 47 Hereford Rd, London W2 5AH
Website: cubitthouse.com

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