British chef Thomas Straker has long drawn inspiration from his Herefordshire roots, as well as his globetrotting adventures around the Mediterranean. Raised on his small family estate in Herefordshire, nature was his inspiration. Tom developed a passion for hunting and gathering in the Black Mountains and developed a respect and knowledge of agriculture, an appreciation for the farmers themselves and a recognition of the importance of supply relationships with quality, ethical and sustainable producers.
He cut his teeth working with world-class chefs such as Heston Blumenthal in some of the UK’s most exclusive restaurants – but in 2018, after 10 eventful years in fine dining, it was time for Tom to strike out on his own . Straker’s, Tom hopes, will be relaxed, stylish and friendly, serving seasonal and simple Mediterranean-inspired dishes from quality, ethical and sustainable small UK producers.
Thomas Straker’s guide to the best restaurants in Notting Hill
Having worked in the area, most recently at the Notting Hill hotspot Casa Cruz and a year-long pop-up for Tom Conran, Notting Hill has not only become a place to work but, naturally, a playground predilection for days off and after work antics. The places included in this list give you something for every moment of the day and a place for every mood you find yourself in. From the best pint of Guinness in London with the best customers in every pub in London to Tom’s go-to open-burning a Turkish restaurant after he said Guinness may have taken too strong a hold. Narrowing down the list was incredibly difficult, and also unearthed memories of restaurants and drinking establishments that may have run their course or fallen victim to the last few years of hardship – but this really is an area with so much to offer.
Here Tom tells us about his favorite places to eat in Notting Hill.
1. Flying Horse Cafe
“When we were looking for Straker’s roastery, we wanted to choose people who not only care about the product, but can also foster a strong relationship with our team through training. With their own establishment just a stone’s throw from Golborne Road, we can’t wait to see more and more smiling faces serving up their fantastic coffee.
Who comes here?