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101 Westbourne Park Villas
During the afternoon lull, this Victorian boozer looks like your standard gastropub – all stripped wood, leather sofas and chalkboards. Yet hang around until early evening and the place transforms,
as hordes of young media types flock to their drinking venue of choice. While the standing-room-only vibe is much of the appeal (especially when the weather's good enough to mingle out front), the
kitchen also does a solid turn in Mediterranean-influenced Brit grub – perhaps Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffle oil followed by grilled sea bream with roast fennel and tapenade or onglet steak
with chips and béarnaise sauce. For afters, sticky toffee pudding vies with ‘pressed' chocolate cake. International bottled beers go down well with the locals and daily wines are chalked up on the
board, with a handful available by the glass for under a fiver.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
101 Westbourne Park Villas
Royal Oak Tube Station 413m
Westbourne Park Tube Station 440m
Westbourne Gardens 390m
U.C.I. Whiteleys 8 Cinema 724m
Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
Over the last few years, I’ve ended up at the Westbourne, and always wondered why afterwards. I’m usually drawn there for a bit of sun outside on the terrace, which is great for relaxing with a drink when it’s calm and sunny.
The service, though, has always been ropey. Waiting and bar staff who seem annoyed to be working, or even have a basic idea of what they are meant to be doing (providing friendly, efficient customer service – if you were wondering what the answer was…), really let this place down. Yesterday, I experienced the worst service and attitude imaginable.
Simple things like not bring meals out at the same time, not thinking that people might need cutlery to eat, that glasses would be useful with water. Not uncommon errors perhaps, being told that your waitress ‘doesn’t do drinks – go to the bar’ when you’re sitting down to a meal seems incredible. So too does being charged for bread, and not being told that you can’t order a side of fries, when fires comes on several of the other dishes. It just demonstrated a completed lack of understanding about what customers might want or indeed expect. That coupled with the unhelpful attitude made the whole operation comedically bad.
Though, the worst was to come. Deciding to stand-up for my consumer rights (not something I would normally worry about), I asked the waiter to remove the service charge from final bill, as service was something my table of five certainly did not receive, giving him an explanation. Not surprisingly perhaps, his response was not a helpful apologetic one. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to run a tab in the future if I wasn’t willing to the pay service charge, which really had nothing to do with my complaint. Even worse, the manager then came over, also with a shirty attitude to explain that I was, “being unfair to the waiting staff who don’t get paid much and rely on tips to get a decent wage”…
In effect, I was being blamed for the Westbourne not paying their staff properly, and being told that service charge had nothing to do with the level of service that we had received. We were all dumbfounded to be honest. Perhaps if the staff were really in such a dire need of the £16 to share between how many of them, they might actually smile, be polite, and try to maintain a basic level of service so that they would get a tip; incredible…
The will certainly be my last time to the Westbourne, which is a shame because the food, as it happens, was very nice. Isn’t it a shame for the kitchen staff that their hard work is ruined by front of house? Next time on over in W11, I’ll be spending my money at the Cow (as I should have in the first place). Being trendy doesn’t mean you’re allowed to have low standards. This is London, there are too many good places to go to deal with treatment like this.
If the standard of service lived up to the quality of the food, the Westbourne would indeed be worth heading off the beaten track to dine. Unfortunately another gastropub lets itself down by employing staff, whose standard of service has fallen by such a considerable degree, one is left with the impression they truly dislike the role they are employed to do, and as such I have no wish to ever head back there.
The food would have been delicious had I been able to enjoy it hot. Where are the managment / owners. Other reviews seem to draw on this diabolical service.
Food + drink: 5
Myself and two friends went to the Westbourne over the sunny weekend – it's a very funky, quaint looking place in an area behind Westbourne Grove, the kind of place you'd stumble over and slightly off the beaten track. It was initially quite quiet around 12ish but there was an array of waitresses and waiters/bar staff there to happily ignore us, which is why im giving it such a poor service score. When i finally got someone's attention (i had already booked a table), they seated us but didnt say anything about how to order etc and didnt ask about drinks etc. We then realised it was all order at the bar, which is fine, but we should have really been told this at the start. Service then got much better in the sense the food was outstanding, in my opinion. I had fillet of lamb with spiced cous couse and raitha, cooked to perfection, whilst friends had skate and poussin respectively, both of which they devoured! Pudding choice was limited but delicious – but i had chocolate mousse cake with creme fraiche which was similarly delicious and i pigged out again. Overall the bill came to approx £70 excluding drinks (2 courses each for three people). Id definitely recommend The Westbourne because of the excellent food, the lovely terrace which gets packed in the sun, and the quaint decor, very trendy and relaxed. I would say the service leaves much to be desired, they need to have at least one professional member to bring it all together rather than all these seemingly zombie/surfer dude sorts who dont know seem to know what they are doing. I dont think this will detract from the popularity though as it was heaving when we left around 4, but could make it all the more perfect.
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