West London: Top Recommendations for Kensington W8

West London: Top Recommendations for  Kensington W8

Kensington is among the most beautiful areas in London – definitely worth exploring!

Read my top recommendations for Kensington W8 postcode

Brick building on Hornton street
A beautiful brick building on Hornton Street and Observatory Gardens W8


London, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom is as diverse in architecture and character as its population. London is a fascinating city. I would describe it as beautiful, multicultural, open-minded, and yet traditional.

West London is my favourite area of the city. There are many beautiful parks, private gardens, mews, wonderful architecture, colourful flowers that decorate streets, buildings and houses, as well as a variety of businesses that make life even more enjoyable. 

W8 postcode

W8 street sign

W8 is a postcode in west London that belongs to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It’s a residential area with a busy high street, great shops, restaurants and more.

Shops in High street kensington
Busy Kensington High Street

I’ve been exploring W8 on foot for years, and I want to share with you the recommendations of places to shop, eat, drink, people-watch, buy takeout, photograph, stroll and much more.

Food indulgence

I love to cook with the best ingredients that I can find.

Recommendations for my favourite places to stock up on the best food

More than a supermarket

Whole Foods Market on Kensington High Street is the flagship shop in London. It’s big, beautiful, with a great selection of organic food, superfoods and much more. I particularly like the mochi bar and the self-service bulk section, where I get quinoa, oats, peanuts, among other great things.

The best croissants

Find perfectly flaky and soft chocolate or regular croissant, right out of the oven at Café Montparnasse Kensington. The tables outside are perfect to people-watch because even though it’s located on a residential street, local residents often pass by. 

Beautiful cakes, breakfast and bread

Orée bakery on Kensington High Street is a great place for breakfast and to buy interesting kinds of bread such as quinoa baguettes.

Danish bakery

Ole & Steen bakery on Kensington High Street is my go-to shop for sliced rye bread with chia seed. It’s healthy, soft, beautifully dark and delicious.

The best dark chocolate brownies

When I have a craving for chocolate, the dark chocolate brownie at Sally Clarke’s shop hits the spot. It’s not too sweet and the texture is divine.

Great deli with nice desserts

Menoo Eclectic Foods deli, in the corner of Church street and Holland street, is a Greek deli with surprisingly good bread, olive oil and desserts. You can sit down and enjoy a meal or get food to go. If Panos, the charismatic owner is around the experience is even better.

Fine halal organic meat

Miller of Kensington is my favourite place to buy halal organic meat, quail eggs, the best Greek pistachios I’ve ever tasted, and freshly made barbecue skewers, sausages and marinated chicken. Mohamed is the knowledgeable owner who is always willing to suggest how to cook the meat you buy.

The best fruit in the area

The Garden Basket on Stratford street is a great place to buy fresh produce. I love their selection and quality of fruit. This is where I first bought and tasted the Indian Alphonso mango – an explosion of sweet and aromatic flavour.

Beautiful experiences

A good barbershop with extra love

For guys, if you fancy a good and decently priced haircut in a retro decorated barbershop, with great music and a fridge full of Moretti beer, wine, water and a good coffee machine, Old School Barbers on Kensington Church Street is the place to go.

Nice technological facials

For a good facial, I go to EF Medispa on Kensington Church street. They have the best technology, a variety of treatments, products and most importantly experienced professionals.

Great massage

I like to pamper myself with a good massage every now and then. I go to the spa at Equinox Kensington where you don’t need to be a member to book an amazing treatment.

Excellent place to buy plants

Need to buy plants or flowers and relax in an oasis of greenery at the same time? Go to Rassells of Kensington nursery. You’ll leave relaxed and with everything you need to decorate your place and even some tips on how to take care of your new plants.

plants and flowers on display
The outdoor shop at Rassells of Kensington nursery

A cool museum with a cafe, shop and more

Do you need a dose of culture and beautiful design? Don’t miss the Design Museum on Kensington High Street, right next to Holland Park. It’s free to enter the museum, only the temporary exhibitions require to buy a ticket.

Inside the Design Museum
Inside the Design Museum

My favourite local restaurants

The best Japanese food

The most authentic Japanese restaurant I’ve found in the area is Eat Tokyo. They have opened several in London which shows how good it is. The Uni (sea urchin) temaki and nigiri are to die for.

Uni temaki and nigiri at Eat Tokyo
Uni temaki and nigiri at Eat Tokyo

Great Japanese food without soy sauce but with all the flavour

Yashin Sushi is a cosy two-storey Japanese restaurant with a sushi bar, high tables and a cosy area downstairs with regular tables. The food is good and beautifully presented. They don’t serve soy sauce unless you request it. The soy sauce and wasabi are already in the food with extra sauces and details that make you forget about adding extras. At lunch, they have great lunch menus and reasonably priced.

An elegant Indian restaurant

Zaika of Kensington, in front of the Kensington Gardens, is an Indian food favourite of mine. The long bar where friendly experienced bartenders make delicious cocktails is beautiful. Sometimes, I decide to eat at the bar. The décor with high ceilings dimmed lights and greenery set the mood to an elegant yet tropical experience. The food is delightful just like the service.

A vibrant Indian restaurant

If you are in the mood for Indian food but prefer art deco, high ceilings, and sometimes live music, Dishoom Kensington is a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I personally love their award-winning breakfast and brunch.

A cosy and intimate Italian restaurant

A cosy, intimate and great Italian restaurant is Locanda Ottoemezzo. Their café next door is also amazing. They have the same kitchen but in the Café, you can order pizza.


Pubs are public places where local residents and people who work in the area get together and socialize over simple food and drinks. The Pub culture in the UK is one of my favourite aspects of British culture. It is quite informal, people can sit on tables, stand by the bar, drink in designated areas outside on the street, or enjoy the terrace (when available) on sunny days.

W8 Kensington has many wonderful pubs decorated with flowers and dark wood. Many are unexpectedly located in quiet residential streets.

My favourite pubs in W8

  • My local pub, where I’ve met great people and made good friends is The Elephant & Castle on Holland street. The terrace becomes lively on sunny days, especially in summer. Food-wise, I like their fried calamari and the hummus.
The Elephant & Castle on a sunny day
The Elephant & Castle on a sunny summer day
  • The Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street might be one of the most photographed pubs in London due to the colourful flower decoration outside. Inside, it’s cosy, busy, and in the back, there is an excellent and authentic Thai restaurant under a ceiling of hanging flowers.
The flowery Churchill Arms
The flowery Churchill Arms
  • The Scarsdale Tavern is a beautiful pub with an open fire inside, a colourful flowery terrace outside and an amazing Sunday roast.
The Scarsdale Tavern
The Scarsdale Tavern in the summer
  • The Builders Arms is another beautiful pub with flowers on the terrace, high ceilings inside and very good food. This pub is located on a quiet residential street and it brings colour and life to the area.
The Builders Arms on a quiet day
The Builders Arms on a quiet day
  • The Hillgate is a traditional pub located in a strategic quiet corner close to Notting Hill Gate. It has tables outside which are perfect to enjoy the pastel-coloured houses on Hillgate Place and the many photographers and models who use these beautiful houses as the backdrop of their photos.
The Hillgate in the corner
The Hillgate in autumn
  • The Windsor Castle is panelled in dark wood which makes a cosy atmosphere inside, with tables in different rooms, and a great beer garden outside.
The Windsor Castle with autumn colours
The Windsor Castle with autumn colours

Beautiful streets to go for a stroll & photograph

Where my local pub is located

Holland Street is a short and narrow street with nice houses, cute shops, access to a cul-de-sac, access to a mews, a pub and more.

My walk to Holland Park

Duchess of Bedford Walk is a beautiful residential street that ends in one of the entrances to Holland Park.

Duchess of Bedford walk
Duchess of Bedford walk

Lovely pastel-coloured houses

Hillgate Place is known for the pastel colourful houses, like in Notting Hill.

My favourite street in W8

Kensington Church Place is a beautiful narrow semi-pedestrian street that starts in Holland street and ends in Kensington High street. It has unique small shops worth a visit, houses, a wall with art, Saint Mary Abbots Church, gardens and more.

I could walk around this square every day

Kensington Square, just a block away from busy Kensington High street is an oasis of peace and beauty. It has a private garden in the middle, restaurants, a pub and more surprises around.

Kensington Square
Residential yet lively Kensington Square

A walk among the wonderful red brick buildings

Kensington Court is another beautiful and quiet street with beautiful red brick buildings and a garden in the middle.

My favourite mews in the area

Kynance Mews belong to SW7 but is in the frontier between W8 and SW7. This mews is decorated with plants, flowers, arches and must be visited if you are in the area. 

Elegant and green

Cornwall Gardens and Lexham Gardens are worth walking around because of the beautiful houses, mews, and private gardens that add vegetation and aesthetics. 

Beautiful dead-end street with pastel-coloured houses

Blithfield Street is a beautiful cul-de-sac with houses painted in pastel colours. In the spring, when the cherry blossom trees bloom, the dead-end street becomes pink. 

Blithfield street in the spring
Blithfield Street in the spring

If you are in London for a visit or if you are moving to London, walk around the W8 postcode and enjoy the recommendations on this post that suit your taste.

If you have more recommendations in W8 Kensington that are not mentioned in this post, include them in the comment section below. I’m sure many people will be grateful.

Read travel tips from around the world with top recommendations here

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