I’ve got this on my list to check out the next time I’m in London. If only to get a glimpse of the decor – clubhouse fabulous. It sounds like a dining establishment that might be found on a corner of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, but West Thirty Six is actually one of the newest restaurants to crop up in London’s Notting Hill. The British-style bistro features four distinct levels serving up a stylish mix of old and new.
A lower-level terrace called the Tool Shed combines a decidedly urban feel—it overlooks local train tracks—with a farmyard-chic aesthetic: Shovels, rakes, and other rural paraphernalia line the walls, while a fire pit in the middle of the space makes a cozy centerpiece.
“The restaurant has a very real inner-London feel, where you’re in a special environment but you can practically touch the trains as they pass by,” says owner Robert Newmark, the seasoned London restaurateur who’s also behind the Beach Blanket Babylon bars. “I think there’s something quite fascinating about watching 100 tons rolling down the tracks while you’re casually sipping a martini.”
The ground-floor dining space and bar reveals a rustic charm with an array of industrial lighting fixtures, a wood-plank ceiling repurposed from the former Chelsea Barracks, and plenty of details crafted in copper, stainless steel, and reclaimed timber.
Upstairs, the mood changes as a secondary, lounge-style dining area features lush, low seating in rich velour, intended to create the intimacy of a members’-only club without the hassle. On the top floor, five rooms have been connected via rounded arches to form a comfortable cocktail lounge, where artworks by the likes of Gilbert & George, Tracy Emin, and Damien Hirst punctuate the very British aesthetic, with Chesterfield-style sofas, dark walls, and exposed brickwork. The furnishings throughout the restaurant were sourced by Newmark, who traveled the UK looking for a mix of vintage and new.
“I’m not a designer by trade, but I’ve been in this business a long time, so I like to think I know by now what works,” says Newmark. “I had the freedom here to see out what I wanted to create, and I really followed my instinct to achieve something both comfortable and intriguing.”
West Thirty Six, 36 Golborne Road, North Kensington, London; w36.co.uk