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Pergola Olympia is a new rooftop bar located near to the Kensington Olympia Exhibition centre, and a welcome addition to the West London dining scene. You wouldn’t usually expect such a salubrious establishment to sit atop the fifth floor of a murky and unassuming multi-story car-park.
The venue is very different in nature to the usual car-park pop-up affair (a world away from the red plastic seats and cardboard bars of say Frank’s in Peckham). This looks the real deal and offers a warm welcome – the wall paintings in the lift stairwell are a particularly nice touch.
From the same team Incipio Group that created Paddington at Pergola and The Prince near Earl’s Court, this newly opened dining concept boasts a well stocked and neon lit bar, along with three food establishments – burger legends Patty & Bun, kings of crab Claw and pizza masters Passio.
The entrance can be found just across from the Olympia overground station entrance (you can take the lift up or walk five flights of stairs). On the night we visited a lot of groups were coming to Pergola Olympia direct from the Restaurant Show expo that had taken place in the exhibition hall below (this might also explain how we found ourselves sitting across from TV chef Brian Turner). Most of the tables were already reserved so you may want to book ahead if your visit coincides with a big show.
We visited just after 5pm on a Wednesday evening during the first week of it’s official opening so it was still relatively quiet. The weather also played ball and there was a gorgeous, autumnal red sunset over West London, with warm light pouring through into the bar.
Although we were expecting this to be more pop-up in nature, this seems a semi-permanent set-up that will handle all types of unpredictable London weather, with sturdy walls and fixtures, adorned with lush green foliage draping from the ceiling. We particularly loved the bold and pretty wallpaper pattern designs and the gorgeous decorative tiling used in the seating booths.
We tried the cajun fries from Claw (delicious but so salty – you probably couldn’t manage more than one portion), and an Ari Gold burger from Patty & Bun (one of the best meat patties we’ve ever tasted, but ruined by drowning it in too much sauce). The night we visited, Passo was closed due to maitenance work so we didn’t get to try their fare. Also make sure you bring both cash and card, as some of the venues (Claw was one) only take card payments.
Given the recent closures of several other west London food-hall concepts like The Old Laundry Yard and Feast Canteen (the latter also owned by the same group, Incipio), I think this new venture will do well – given the ‘captive’ Olympia audiences and lack of good bars and restaurants nearby (with the possible exception of the Fullers pub, Hand and Flower). It should benefit from a good foot-fall and we plan to return once all three of the current food outlets are open.
Pergola Olympia Address: Level Five Rooftop, Olympia Car Park, Olympia Way, Kensington, W14 8UX
Pergola Olympia Opening hours:
Further reading: London
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- The best things to do in King’s Cross, London
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Blog post and photography by Neil Hassall and Caroline Keyzor. Please do not use without permission.
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