The Shop, Kensal Green
The scene: Capping Kensal Rise’s meteoric rise from rough around the edges to actually quite trendy, The Shop is a new arrival on the north-west drinking scene, combining the laidback vibe of your corner store with the upscale commitment ?to quality that might otherwise lure you further afield.
The grub: Still a work in progress but the British tapas is a great start, with a full menu to come. Like the rest of the place, it promises to deliver on the staples while adding its own twist.
Behind the bar: The owners clearly enjoy a drop, such is the loving attention they’ve paid to assembling a top-notch drinks list. You can build your own Bloody Mary – an idea so brilliant it’s a wonder no one else has done it before – or work your way through the custom-made cocktails served innovatively in recycled jams jars. ?It’s that kind of joint. Kitsch with class.
Bill please: It depends how much you drink, but cocktails start at £3.50 and beers are all reasonably priced. So settle in to take advantage of central London style served at local watering hole prices.
Verdict: Once you’re fed and watered, take a moment to appreciate the super-smooth furnishings, which, in case you’re wondering, are all for sale. The tunes are also fantastically eclectic, suggesting the regular music nights are worth a look. An overdue addition to one of London’s up-and-coming corners.
75 Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3ND
Tube: Kensal Green
– Tom Sturrock