Rarely does a well known British institution, a place to be, an icon of the 90s/2000s, the location of parties for models and royalty combined, maintain its hype for decades after opening. It-spots become not-it, cool bars get replaced by hip, young, new things and what was previously a trendy restaurant loses touch with the rollercoaster of ever-evolving trends.
An exception to such an unfortunate demise is Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill, a British institution in every manner of the expression. The floors of this unique mansion have been graced by everyone from Kate Moss to Prince Harry to Selena Gomez, and the exclusive gatherings hosted in private party rooms are ones we all wish we were a fly on the (rococo style) wall at.
Beach Blanket Babylon has not fallen under the weight of its 1990’s hot spot reputation, but has instead gone in full lockdown makeover mode, while maintaining the character of those times. The first floor ‘ballroom’ has been described as ‘part ancient Rome, part Versailles’, and has maintained its lavish integrity, working perfectly for a private restriction-abiding raucous dinner party.
The ambience in the main restaurant remains unchanged, the interiors have been refreshed with a layer of emerald velvet, a polishing of the gold candelabras, a refresh to the wonderful exterior for the occasional sunny autumn day and a neon sign put up to remind us to, in typical BBB fashion, misbehave, as if the words were whispered to us by Miss Moss herself. The revamp has simply breathed some fresh life into the place.
What is most notable, is the exciting new culinary direction, resulting in an even more sublime dining experience. Jan Pace, the Ivy Collection’s former Head Chef, has been recently appointed to BBB and has created an entire new menu. Think brasserie favourites mixed with British excellence but with a surprise at every bite. Dive into the aromatic crispy duck salad with chilli & ginger to start your meal off with a kick and treat yourself to the delectable linguine chilli with aglio olio as a main. Classics with a bang, a true reflection of the establishment itself.
The biggest relief for us however was that the most fun and unexpected parts of BBB have stayed intact. With dining areas named the Chapel, Crypt and Scullery, accessed only by walkways, tunnels, bridges and staircases, BBB remains a constant surprise even to regulars, and the labyrinths always make us feel decadently giddy yet glamorous every time we visit. The separate dining spaces work perfectly for a more secluded, secure dining experience, adhering to current safety measures. Whether you are treating yourself to a leisurely lunch turned 5pm cocktails or you are trying out the wonderful new dinner menu with a touch of Notting Hill people watching, Beach Blanket Babylon has added a dash of sparkle to our lives just when we needed it.
Beach Blanket Babylon
45 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2AA
020 7229 2907