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The Mitre (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Mitre in Notting Hill, London

40 Holland Park Avenue, Notting Hill, London, W11 3QY
Cuisine: Brasserie Average Price: £25
Tel: 020 7727 6332 | Email to The Mitre | | Transport: Holland Park | Write review

The Mitre Review

‘Mitre’ is one of those lesser used words. It describes splendidly crafted corners; the sort of corner Jesus’s human-form Dad would’ve known how to produce, without help from his miracle-forming prodigy. Walking, nay striding, uponst the elegantly tiled entrance ramp and in through the clever draught-murdering doors, it’s easy to discern the lengths to which superior craftsmanship has been employed in the recent refurbishment of this Holland Park hideout. Indeed, the canopied front section will be a premium vantage point for watching Porsches drive by during the summer.

On initial glances, some might say this is just a pub and they’d be perfectly within their right to say so. It certainly looks vaguely pub-like - high stools, low couches, a small, circular bar with little standing room, and pints served in old glass tankards - but if these same pub-sayers still believe it to be so after an enjoyable hour or four gnawing on The Mitre’s nosh, then they deserve to be rounded up with all the other ViewLondon readers and forced to sketch pictures of damp moss on Boris Johnson’s face, or something equally futile.

Hear this and hear this good: The Mitre is not a pub, it’s a restaurant. The pub thing is just a simple ruse to keep tourists flocking in (“Hey look, Honey. It’s a quaint English Tavern and they even have afternoon teas. Neat”). Take a closer look and you’ll see no pull pumps, no board games, no quiz nights, and certainly no Association Football. A fancy new raised section towards the rear is the first clue. It’s positively bursting with booths, thus separating the eight-to-a-table, crunched-up riff-raff on the common floor from the privacy-seeking diners on high. The decor is far too luxuriant to be a boozer, too. For a start, The Mitre gives good lamp. Shades come in a variety of ostentation - fluffy pink, tubular chandelier, burlesque red and black - and purr in unison with the black and white, floral feature wall.

It’s busy. Average age: 31. Average occupation: IT/operations/accounting. Average coat: wax Barbour. No fluoro, no layering, no skinny jean. This is Debenhams chic: your casual slack, your pullover, your tweed hat, your Christmas woolly jumper from Nan.

Although lively, there’s space enough and we’re seated immediately. Within seconds the wine list is winking at me in a heavy French accent, especially the high-end £45-£65 types. It’s good to see one solitary Brit - the Coleridge Hill Three Choirs White - to reprezen’ da Motherland (but would be nice to see more considering the menu’s British slant). I go with the Picoul de Pinet but regret its tiredness later. The Rioja is similarly muted. Thankfully, the buttery, mango-citrus finish of the Guy Allion Sauvignon Blanc is a smooth, soothing cog-turner.

The starters take a while, providing ample opportunity for observations: a romantic dinner (bloke on Blackberry, she’s not impressed); a piping hot Pie of the Day on a wooden board, almost smiling; orders being barked in the hectic kitchen; barely-audible music drowned out by the din of chat (at an agreeable level, though).

Although beautiful, the traffic light coloured, twice cooked, coastal cheddar soufflé starter is a bit shy, as are the turmeric scallops. But disregard the starters, it’s all about the mains. Those busy chefs know their meat. And their jus. And their bubble and squeak.

The roast rump of Blackface lamb is a crispy, salty, tribute to Awesomeness. Flanked by humongous peas, crunchy sweetbreads, bacon-y lardons, and creamy potatoes, the words “possibly the best lamb I’ve ever had” are uttered. A truism that bothers me only because I didn’t choose it. I was happily enjoying my delicious partridge, savouring the way the damson jelly danced with the flight-exercised flesh. But suddenly a morsel of lamb is thrust my way and once it passes my lips, I’m undone. All the hard work put in by my poor partridge, which is doing everything in its power to look plump and alluring, doesn’t compete. The lesson learned? Eat alone and never be forced to play the ‘all in the name of diversity’ card when Guest A chooses the exact dish you were eying up.

The other lesson learned? The general rule of thumb is don’t bother with sides, bread or starters, two courses are enough, and always, always go for plum crumble or bread & butter pudding with marmalade and custard. Oh yes!

Since reopening in October 09, The Mitre’s tourist trap image has been replaced by a strong local following. This is mainly thanks to it’s frankly gargantuan menu with separate seafood section and a snazzy aesthetic update (weekend brunches should work well with the skylight). Just remember, it’s not a pub, it’s a flippin’ great restaurant where you can buy pints. Got it?
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Customer Reviews for The Mitre

Average (based on 9 votes): 9 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Mitre.

“Had a fab time the other night - the outside area had a great soho feel to it. a gem in west london!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
julie, london (8 years 4 months ago)

“This place should be renamed the meat market. Sooo many hot gay men to check out. I love it! xx”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Matt, London (8 years 4 months ago)

“It's well cool in there, especially if you can get a table outside. Only the coolest dudes can manage it though. What is!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
The F, London (8 years 4 months ago)

Show all user reviews for The Mitre

“The review above is dead right. It's more a restaurant than a pub. The food here is amazing and easily puts anything in the West End to shame. It might seems expensive when you look at the menu (which is HUGE) but then you are buying into high class. Beautifully decorated too. Only a 30 seconds from Holland park station so no excuse for not giving it a go.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Leigh, Tooting (8 years 8 months 9 days ago)

“Friendly and knowledeable staff, fantastic winter main courses and two of my favourite foods combined in a dessert - marmalade and custard in the bread and butter pudding. And the lamb! Is it because they are so cute that they taste so good or is it the genius of the chef, combining flavours of lard, bacon, peas and jus to baste the succulent lamb in?”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Bronwen Stephens, London (8 years 8 months 20 days ago)

“My boyfriend and I visited The Mitre for a delicious Sunday brunch. We ended up opting for the full English and were sat near the kitchen so could see what was going on! All ingredients were absolutely first class and the service was friendly and quite chirpy considering it was Sunday morning! The tables had space for spreading the Sunday papers out and while there was a nice level of chit chat, it wasn't intrusive. A very nice bolt hole for excellent food for the residents of Holland Park.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Sophie Templer, London (8 years 9 months ago)

“What a transformation! Quality from the moment you walk through the door, quite a step up from your average 'gastro pub' (though it bills itself as a British Brasserie). Great food, well kept ales and an interesting wine list. Not cheap but certainly not rip off expensive. Very impressed.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Monquette, London (8 years 9 months 20 days ago)

“I know for a fact they serve, packet food in the restaurant. Straight off the supermarket shelf!!!! I witnessed a curry in a satchet come out of the microwave and served. What talented "chefs" they have working there. You could get the same quality for a fraction of the price from your local supermarket!!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
S. Market, London (9 years 4 months 14 days ago)

“A smart gastro pub, the emphasis is definitely on food, wine and quality ales. The £10 2-course lunch menu is good value for money and the food is excellent. One of the key “USPs” of the Mitre is it’s wine list, they have a large selection by the glass and some interesting choices: a chenin from India sticks in my mind. You do seem to pay for the privilege of having so much choice however, some of the wines are very expensive by the glass (although they are good quality!) and one Aussie number was much cheaper in the Prince Albert down the road.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
annab, London (12 years 6 months 13 days ago)

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Food

Menus have been produced by Head Chef Pat Lynch. Having trained at Scott of Mayfair and Le Pont de La Tour, he joined Stephen Bulls Restaurants working in his flagship restaurant in Blandford Street, then Stephen Bull Bistro in Smithfield before moving to Stephen Bull Fulham Road, which gained a Michelin star under Richard Corrigan.

Updated 01/12/2009

Drinks

Ales include Always 3 cask conditioned ales @£3.40, Cornish Knocker, Timothy Taylors, Old Hooky, as well as Sam Brookes Wandle Ale and Meantime Pale Ale – both London brewed beers. An extensive selection of wine starts at £14.50 with 12 whites and 12 reds by the 375 ml carafe. Terra Barossa Eden Valley Riesling will be available at £25.50, Coleridge Hill white wine from Three Choirs vineyard in Gloucestershire at £22.50, along with Felton Road Pinot Noir at £51.

Updated 01/12/2009

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