Traveling to London for a week in October, and our schedule has us in the Notting Hill neighborhood on my 57th birthday. I'd like to get recommendations for restaurants that would be good for a low-key dinner celebration. I will be traveling with my adult son, so nothing too fancy or romantic (not interested in splashing out for The Ledbury!), but definitely more upscale than a pub or cafe. We enjoy all cuisines, in fact we're quite adventurous diners, so there are no restrictions in that regard. I've already done some research on tripadvisor and Time Out, but nothing has really popped, so would love to hear from anyone with personal experience to guide me.
You might check out Sally Clarke’s on Kensington Church Street. I’ve had lunch there and it was quite good. She emphasizes seasonal ingredients, homemade breads, etc.
The Ledbury was one of my best meals ever, but boy is it ever pricey now. I went years ago when the set lunch was under 50 GBP.
Andina, The Shed, Al Waha.
For a special birthday dinner, from Notting Hill Gate, walk down Kensington Church Street (10-15 min., depending on your pace) to Ffiona's -- highly recommend for dinner (or brunch). It's a very small restaurant, so reservations are a must. Cozy and delightful, lovely personal service.
If I may share some other favorites --
Also on Kensington Church Street is The Churchill Arms pub, a Fuller's Ale pub with fantastic Thai restaurant in the back. (You would pass this on the walk to Ffiona's, and it's a treat to see the flowers outside the pub). If you can go during non-traditional meal times, try that because it is very, very busy otherwise -- or just wait in the pub while you enjoy an adult beverage!
On Notting Hill Gate, try De Amicis Italian restaurant. The food is delicious, the service welcoming -- a real neighborhood place, not a chain. I've usually been there very early for dinner, so I don't know how crowded it is later in the evening; they do accept reservations.
And -- nowhere near Notting Hill! -- is my favorite for afternoon tea, The Wolseley on Picadilly -- a 2 min. walk from the Green Park tube station. Reservations are a must. The service is brisk, but you are not rushed in the least. The afternoon tea experience can be savored -- and if you enjoy people-watching, this is the place! (I'll name drop and share that Sir Patrick Stewart held the door for me one afternoon!)
Lucky you -- Autumn is my very favorite time of year to be in London! Safe travels and Happy Birthday!
Thank you all for the recommendations, this is very helpful! I'm sure I'll be celebrating my birthday the entire week we're in London ;-) but it's always nice to have a special evening on the actual day.