You know that feeling when you wake up after a big night out only to be bombarded by hazy, hungover flashbacks of being at a really great after party at someone’s flat but you’re not quite sure if you dreamed it or not? Well that pretty much sums up the feeling you experience when you pay a visit to ‘The Little Yellow Door’ in Notting Hill. It’s a somewhat surreal experience from start to finish.
After pacing up and down the same street in the rain I finally spotted a man standing outside a narrow yellow door dressed eccentrically in a suit with a bowler hat and a yellow dickie bow tie. I beckoned to Ginnie who, after observing my stress levels soaring in my bid to find the place, had rather wisely taken refuge under a shop doorway.
Thankfully we were soon peeling off our wet layers and making our way up a narrow staircase, more than a little intrigued as to what lay hidden upstairs.
We were greeted by James, the owner, who immediately made us feel welcome. Dressed in a bohemian hippie attire with flowing dark hair he explained that the concept of the bar is based around the idea of a flat share. Indeed the moment you enter you feel as though you’ve stumbled into a quirky flat or an upmarket student lodging, it being filled with retro furniture and crazy artistic displays.
Our eyes were quickly drawn to a snug little area in the corner that James revealed is called The Treehouse. It’s basically a cosy cubbyhole filled with cushions, games, books and other curiosities with a mirrored wall on one side, the perfect spot for a small private party or a group of friends to lounge in and chill over some food and cocktails. Just remember to book in advance if you want to reserve as it’s popular.
Which leads me to the food menu. I’ve never laughed over a food menu before but this one is truly original. Inspired by the ‘weird and wonderful people you find at a party,’ it includes such options as ‘Mr. Overheard in Waitrose,’ an exciting deli board of meats and cheeses and ‘The corner shop bandit,’ a mix of vegetable crisps, popcorn and candied nuts amongst other more substantial choices. In the end we decided to indulge in a bowl of nachos.
It did take rather a long time for the food to arrive but luckily it was definitely worth the wait. The chef delivered the dishes personally to our table and took the time to describe how he makes everything from scratch, even sourcing the traditional Mexican tortilla dough and cutting the chips himself as well as making his own personal cheesy dipping sauce and guacamole. The nachos were truly something special! We also ordered a popcorn which was flavoured with an equally tasty curry seasoning, a great option for those seeking something other than the predictable salt or sweet variety.
Happily the cocktail menu also included some fantastically quirky concoctions. I was very close to ordering the ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ cocktail which is presented in a martini glass with a real cigarette on the side but in the end opted for a fruity cocktail with a marshmallow on top while Ginnie went for an equally scrumptious cocktail that arrived in a cup and saucer with a jammy dodger to complete the look. Apologies for forgetting the names of the cocktails, I must have been enjoying them a bit too much!
Wander over to the bar and you will find a large silver punch bowl containing a zingy citrus based cocktail inside again reflecting the house party theme… I steered clear of this however due to past experiences of house party cocktails leading to the less desirable head over toilet bowl experiences the next day.
After a couple of wonderfully relaxing hours we reluctantly we made our way back out on to the rain soaked streets feeling sleepy but pleasantly full and glowing from our visit. We can’t wait to go back and try out the rest of the food and cocktail menu, in fact, the little yellow door may just have acquired two new residents!