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The Churchill Arms Kensington pub in West London (also near Notting Hill) is one of the best drinking spots in the capital.
Not only is the Churchill Arms Kensington a classic choice for craft beers and fine ales on tap but also one of the most popular and prettiest pubs in London (complete with a secret indoor Thai restaurant!)
It is London’s most colourful pub due to the exterior being festooned with thousands of flowers during the summer and a cacophony of Christmas trees in the winter months.
If you follow any London based Instagram accounts (we’d recommend following CK Travels!), you’ll likely have seen the Churchill Arms Kensington before as it is one of the most pictured pubs and Instagrammable places in London.
We’ve had many a pint here (it used to be our local work pub) so here is our guide to visiting the Churchill Arms Kensington pub in West London:
Table of Contents
The Churchill Arms Kensington History
The Churchill Arms is a historic Fuller’s pub, located on Kensington Church Street, half-way between High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate tube stations.
The Fuller’s chain of pubs are always worth a visit as they have lots of old and characterful pubs. We’d also recommend The Dove pub in Hammersmith as it has an outdoor riverside terrace overlooking the Thames and was reputedly where ‘Rule Britannia’ was composed. It is also the ‘world’s smallest bar’, as recognised by Guinness World Records!
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Guide to the best London pubs on the river >
The Churchill Arms Kensington pub dates back to 1750 and its name derives from the fact that in the 1800s, Sir Winston Churchill’s grandparents were regular drinkers here (the pub was renamed to its current title after WWII).
History aside, what also attracts drinkers in droves to the Churchill Arms pub in Notting Hill is the cosy cove-like interior with old trinkets (some quite random) and vintage signs adorning the walls (including Churchill and wartime memorabilia).
The windows at the Churchill Arms are stained glass and the ceiling beams are all quite low (watch your head if you are tall!).
Thai Restaurant at The Churchill Arms pub
And did we mention the tasty Thai food inside? Although it may sound a little odd for a Kensington pub to be serving Thai food as opposed to the traditional English food like fish and chips, it is actually quite a common thing in West London pubs.
The Churchill Arms Kensington was in fact the first London pub to serve Thai food and start this ‘Thai-riffic’ London food trend.
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The Secret Thai Garden inside the Churchill Arms Pub
The restaurant at the back of the Churchill Arms pub (actually more of a secret garden), but in a good way) is full of ferns and flowers and the food is divine – just make sure you book a table in advance.
We think the Churchill Arms Kensington has some of the best pub Thai food in London, although for our money, we think Latymers, another Fuller’s pub just down the road in Hammersmith is still the best Thai pub grub in London.
The Most Colourful Pub in London
Other than its tasty Thai food and traditional tavern interiors, the main reason why so many locals and tourists visit the Churchill Arms Kensington year after year is the colorful floral and festive displays on the outside of the pub.
Every summer, hundreds of hanging baskets and flowers are put on the outside of the Churchill Arms – it really is a blooming marvellous sight to behold, like a mini Columbia Road Flower Market.
And in the winter months in the run up to Christmas, dozens of lit up Christmas trees are hung on the outside of the Churchill Arms; tree-mendous stuff (although the electricity bill must be huge!).
YOU MIGHT LIKE: The best pubs and bars in Notting Hill >
Visiting the Churchill Arms Kensington
Now the Churchill Arms is one of the best pubs in Kensington and is regularly visited by so many Londoners and tourists alike.
The only downside to all this is that as the Churchill Arms has become so busy, this classic British pub can get pretty rammed and chock full of people very quickly.
We used to work on High Street Kensington for several years so the Churchill Arms was kind of a ‘local’ pub for us and it was often hard to get a table or not have your pint partially spilled by someone.
If you are visiting from overseas, you might be best to visit the Churchill Arms in Kensington during the daytime if you want to guarantee yourself a seat and not have to queue at the bar.
And if you can’t get a table at the Thai restaurant in the Churchill Arms, you can always try the new Medz Corner food court in Kensington, just over a 5 minute walk down Kensington Church Street.
Cheers to the Churchill Arms
Overall, the Churchill Arms Kensington is a flowery Fuller’s pub that feels like stepping back in time when you first enter (literally, as it is so snug inside).
The eclectic mix of traditional lagers and ales (try a London Pride!) combined with a taste of Thai food delights make this a classic London pub visit.
Fuller’s Brewery Tours
If you are visiting London for a few days, the Fullers brewery tour in Chiswick, west London is worth checking out.
Fullers Brewery in Chiswick, West London is one of London’s best breweries and most historic breweries, with brewing starting on the site from 1654.
Known around the world for their iconic ‘London Pride’ beer (also available in the Churchill Arms on tap), the Fuller’s Brewery Tour is a unique way to go behind the scenes of the Griffin Brewery and understand more about the brewing process as well as see vast quantities of brewing vats old and new.
Better still, the Fuller’s Brewery Tours culminate in a visit to their very own brewery bar, a treasure trove of Fuller’s own beers and ales to try, as well as from other breweries.
We’ve done this London brewery tour at Fullers twice already – read about our own Fullers brewery tour visits here >
Fullers Brewery tour lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes, and prices start from £25pp including 30 minutes free pour (as at April 2023).
Address: Fullers Brewery Shop, Chiswick Lane S, London W4 2QB
Other London blog posts you might like
- Things to do in Notting Hill, west London
- Best walks in London – South Bank riverside walk (with map)
- The best brewery taprooms in London
- Best pubs & bars in Shepherd’s Bush
- The ultimate guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- Borough Market guide – London’s most famous food market
- Guide to Maltby Street Market in London
- Columbia Road Flower Market, London – a complete guide
- Top things to do in King’s Cross
- Things to do in London Bridge
- Old Spitalfields Market in East London – travel guide
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