Inside The Princess Royal, a pub with rooms in the most desirable corner of Notting Hill

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Head under the cheery striped awning outside, and the vast horseshoe bar makes it clear that this Princess knows how to have a good time, while the lobsters and other shellfish piled on beds of ice behind show that food is taken extremely seriously.

But you’ll find yourself drawn to the conservatory and garden beyond, coated with sink-into cushions and deep-dive chairs, plants and the promise of a sunny experience even on a cloudy day. Locals were already beginning to take tables when I arrived early.

Over the past 100 years, this building has transformed from boozer to boutique hotel. At the heart of the most desirable corner of Notting Hill, it is surrounded by white stucco mansions in Hereford Road and the restaurants and boutiques on Westbourne Grove. 

Good time girl: Sarah Turner checked into The Princess Royal. 'This Princess knows how to have a good time,' she writes

Good time girl: Sarah Turner checked into The Princess Royal. ‘This Princess knows how to have a good time,’ she writes 

Above is the Margaret room - one of four guest rooms at the hotel. The hotel's decor 'feels like a charming evocation of the countryside'

Above is the Margaret room – one of four guest rooms at the hotel. The hotel’s decor ‘feels like a charming evocation of the countryside’ 

Sarah stayed in the Diana room (above), describing the bed as 'bucket-deep' and the walk-in shower 'glorious'

Sarah stayed in the Diana room (above), describing the bed as ‘bucket-deep’ and the walk-in shower ‘glorious’

By opening it, the small Cubitt group now has a family of delightful food-orientated pubs in covetable enclaves of London, including Belgravia, Marylebone and Knightsbridge. 

Not all of them have bedrooms but this one does, and they aren’t afterthoughts.

The decor here, as in the bar and restaurant, comes from owner Georgie Pearman, who runs the Cubitt group with her husband, and in a leafy part of London my room feels like a charming evocation of the countryside. 

The bedrooms are accessed by going past the ‘Loos’ sign in the pub. Pictured is the Lilibet room

The bedrooms are accessed by going past the ‘Loos’ sign in the pub. Pictured is the Lilibet room 

The Alexandra room. The decor in the property comes from owner Georgie Pearman and her husband

The Alexandra room. The decor in the property comes from owner Georgie Pearman and her husband 

A freestanding tub in one of the guest rooms

A freestanding tub in one of the guest rooms 

There’s a ticking-striped padded headboard, moss-coloured reading lights and rural-without-the-chintz Soane’s Osmunda Silhouette wallpaper and a smattering of antique furniture. 

The beds are bucket-deep with properly-sized bedside tables.

At the end of the bed there’s a freestanding bath, but there’s also a glorious walk-in shower.

The four bedrooms here are accessed by going past the ‘Loos’ sign and as I came out of mine, there was a woman in the corridor. ‘I can’t get into Margaret,’ she explained, fiddling with her key. 

I was in Diana, the others are called Lilibet and Alexandra. I do wonder why Anne didn’t make the cut.

Above is the 'vast' horseshoe bar. 'Chef Ben Tish’s food is a very serious draw,' says Sarah

Above is the ‘vast’ horseshoe bar. ‘Chef Ben Tish’s food is a very serious draw,’ says Sarah 

The conservatory and garden (above) are 'coated with sink-into cushions and deep-dive chairs, plants and the promise of a sunny experience even on a cloudy day'

The conservatory and garden (above) are ‘coated with sink-into cushions and deep-dive chairs, plants and the promise of a sunny experience even on a cloudy day’

Sarah dined on a starter of British burrata partnered with radicchio and blood oranges, followed by an Old Spot pork chop with beets and walnuts

Sarah dined on a starter of British burrata partnered with radicchio and blood oranges, followed by an Old Spot pork chop with beets and walnuts

A Princess Royal serving of oysters piled on beds of ice

The bathroom in the Alexandra room

A Princess Royal serving of oysters piled on beds of ice (left). Pictured on the right is the bathroom in the Alexandra room

Chef Ben Tish’s food is a very serious draw; he’s got a long relationship with the Cubitt Group as well as overseeing the food at the Stafford in St James. In W11, it feels as if there’s a cultural exchange between the Cotswolds and Tuscany. 

My starter of British burrata, partnered with radicchio and blood oranges, had coriander seeds to add attitude and an extra layer of deliciousness. 

An Old Spot pork chop with beets and walnuts was earthy without being heavy, while an attempt to show restraint with just petit fours for pudding wilted with squares of passion fruit jellies and chocolate fudge.

Next morning, Diana has given me a superb night’s sleep; comfort levels are very 21st Century and the soundproofing is superb.

Breakfast comes in both continental strength – although the pastries laid out on the bar are particularly louche and large – and a full English. 

Modishly modern additions of almond milk porridge with rhubarb, dates and molasses and green tomato juice complete the feeling that the Princess Royal knows how to tackle mornings, and everything else, with aplomb.



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