Ladbroke Hall is an absolutely magnificent space, which is weird, considering that it was originally a car factory.
But this was the first ever purpose-built car factory in the country (back in 1903) so they clearly wanted to make a good impression, building a soaring structure with swooping, vaulted ceilings and stoic, Greek-style pillars holding it all aloft.
And now, over a century later, it has a restaurant.
That restaurant is called Pollini, and the show runners have leaned heavily into the aesthetic of the place, embellishing the stately architecture with a quartet of huge paintings by Christopher Lebrun (president of the Royal Academy of Arts). They’re probably the first thing you’ll notice as you enter via the grandiose staircase, as well as a stunning centrepiece hanging from the ceiling made by Spanish designer/sculptor, Nacho Carbonell. All told, it makes quite an impression.
The food is all Italian, put together by chef Emanuele Pollini (who won a Gambero Rosso award, which is apparently big in Italy). Here, he’s created some fairly inventive dishes & tasty, ranging from a deconstructed version of his mother’s lasagne, to some simple handmade tortellini with buffalo mozzarella, spinach, butter, and sage. Afterwards there’s vanilla bean gelato freshly made for the table.
That pairs particularly nicely with their Coffee at Cherry Groves cocktail (their version of an espresso martini), although their house special is called the ‘Crystallised Mary’, and it’s basically a Bloody Mary that’s been totally clarified thanks to tomato-infused vodka.
The atmosphere isn’t exactly intimate, given the vast ceilings looming over you, but they manage to salvage something with a little live jazz every Friday evening.
Which ought to get the motor running.
NOTE: Pollini is open now, Monday to Saturday. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Pollini | 79 Barlby Rd, London W10 6AZ
Want to meet the neighbours? Here’s a quick guide to Notting Hill…