Kensington Place & “The Great Chase” pop up bar

Kensington Place is in the fabric of Notting Hill’s culinary heritage. When you discover that this British Brasserie was The Times’ “Bargain Restaurant of the Year” in 1988, you feel the early 90’s London chic oozing back into the room. Kensington Place has such a relaxed vibe that it apes perfectly the sort of establishment Richard Curtis characters lounge around in with their large group of metro friends. 

With this in mind, when I discovered that they were linking up with the Chase Distillery to organise a pop-up bar residency, my ears and appetite pricked up.

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Potted Brown Shrimp / Copyright Kensington Place

For those who perhaps drink too responsibly and may not be in the know, Chase Distillery was the first Vodka and Gin distillery in the UK in over 250 years. Will Chase, the farmer and owner, famously set upon the world of British spirit producers after making a huge success of his first business: Tyrrells crisps. Now his Herefordshire farm take pride in being one of the few soil to cup producers of spirits in the UK.

“The Great Chase” pop up bar in the private dining rooms of Kensington Place is a more than obvious nod to both institutions’ landmark Britishness. Decked out in as many union flags as you could shake a from a Brexit campaign bus, the bar itself brings “a taste of the great British countryside to west London.” As Chris Watson, Chase’s Brand Manager tells me, the Notting Hill residency is intended to show Londoners who are passionate about supporting authentically

As Chris Watson, Chase’s Brand Manager tells me, the Notting Hill residency is intended to show Londoners who are passionate about supporting authentically british brands exactly what it means to be produce British Vodka and Gin.

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During the first in a series of Masterclasses running until 15th September, I was treated to a spectacular tasting session of all the finest Chase Vodkas and Williams Gins (also a part of the Chase distillery). As far as masterclasses go this one was perfect for the location. You sit, you pour, you drink, you drink, you spill, you laugh, and you pour again. Its as relaxed as if you were helping a friend see off parts of his wine collection.

Moreover, Kensington Place really comes into its own as the host and supporting act in the Chase pop up. Providing bar snacks and nibbles for the bar, Kensington Place’s immediately recognisable nibble “pots” are simply sublime. The potted brown shrimp, potted devon crab, and prawns with marie rose, are each some of the best snack menu items I’ve ever devoured. Better yet, they are all made using ingredients from Kensington Place’s adjoing fish shop, replenished each morning with the fresh catches of Billingsgate Market.

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Full range of bar nibbles on “The Great Chase” pop-up menu / copyright Kensington Place

Cocktails will set you back between £9-£9.50, as will the bar snacks, so this is not quite Bargain pop up of the Year 2016. Nevertheless, you can at least walk out of the bar announcing proudly: “Well, you get what you pay for.” The food and cocktails are a rare treat for London, and the care and craft which goes into the pop up’s overall design means you will want to tick this one off your list between now and 3rd September when the summer residency comes to an end.

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The signature GB&T cocktail / copyright Kensington Place

There are three more cocktail masterclasses where you can look forward to meeting the Chase team, the amazing Kensington Place staff, and if you are lucky, Bernard, the local resident who I sat next to on the first masterclass evening and who made the evening entirely unforgetable and amusing. He has said (or perhaps threatened) to attend all the other masterclasses.

The following masterclasses are:

GB&T, making the signature Williams Gin and Tonic – 18th August

Smoky Mary, for a lesson in how to make the Chase twist on a bloody mary – 4th September

Mar-TEA-ni, when you will conquer the quintessential vodka martini mix – 15th September

For more information contact adamna@danddlondon.com or visit http://www.kensingtonplace-restaurant.co.uk/whats-on-notting-hill/events/great-chase-at-kensington-place-pop-up/

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