Notting Hill Gate first opened on 1st October 1868 as part of the Metropolitan Railway. It gained its deep level tube connection in 1900 when the Central London Railway(now Central Line) opened their platforms here. These were originally in separate station buildings until they were integrated in a modernisation programme at the end of the 1950s.
The same modernisation programme means there is little of note above ground level but the District and Circle Line platforms are covered by an impressive arched roof, akin to the one we saw earlier at Paddington.
Notting Hill as an area is best known for its colourful caribbean carnival during the August bank holiday weekend. The area is also synonymous with gentrification. Right up until the 1980s, the area was considered by many run down and undesirable, with squats and student houses in the grand old Victorian terraces. That seems almost impossible to imagine now with its trendy image and sky high rents.
The Pub: The Prince Albert, 11 Pembridge Road, W11 3HQ
The Prince Albert is a short distance from Notting Hill Gate station, requiring a short walk down Pembridge Road, a few minutes before you reach Portobello Road Market. Right by the pub is a ubiquitous London letting agent, but with a difference. Just what is on their roof?!
This pub that clearly reflects the upwardly mobile character of the area and very well maintained throughout. There are plenty of living plants(unlike The Phoenix in Bayswater) and each table was bathed in candle light. The Prince Albert clearly does good trade on the basis of its food offering, on our visit a large proportion of the punters were tucking in. It isn’t cheap fare but from the look of the burgers, you do get the bang for your buck. The Ale selection was also commendable, I went for a pint of Lion, Pride of the Cotswolds. Others available including Titanic Cappuccino Beer(an ill fated voyage perhaps?) and Roosters Astro, which sounded more like a brand of kids sweets to me.
In addition to the main bar, there is a back room given over predominantly to diners. There is also a fair sized beer garden with its own array of impression illuminations. The Prince Albert is a very enjoyable place to have a pint if you find yourself in this part of town.