The name, ‘Paradise by the Way of Kensal Green’, stems from a poem by GK Chesterton titled ‘The Rolling English Road’. To save you looking the poem up, it ends with the line ‘Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green’. As I got off the bus at Kensal Green Cemetery, it was the first thing that came to mind.
The Paradise certainly lives up to its location and name. The high-ceilinged establishment is adorned with religious bric-a-brac, including angels and other similar images.
During the day, The Paradise is as a charming restaurant with a courtyard garden. Whilst the rest of the pub is open, those areas are pretty empty. My friend arrived an hour after I did so I took advantage of that time to enjoy some cold beer on the empty rooftop garden. Certainly advisable if the weather holds up.
The wine list was expansive but not cheap. We paid £27 for a bottle of Gavi di Gavi, which, for any friends or family, is my favourite white wine. Crisp but with slightly acidic notes, it is perfect for sipping on a hot summer’s day.
For our starter, we went for beetroot and goat’s curd with watercress and honey mustard dressing. It was devoured before any photos could be taken, which should give you a flavour for how well it went down. It tasted as fresh as if it was straight out of the ground and goat respectively. Dynamite.
This was followed up by a Pumpkin, Spinach & Garden Herb Wellington with all the trimmings, including a bowl of specially cooked (in non-goose fat) roast potatoes. I cannot fault this Wellington. It is the second time I’ve had it and both times, it has been flawless. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it was so filling that I had to stop eating, but not before I had a clean plate. Annoyingly, no room left for dessert.
If you don’t visit for a Sunday Lunch (which I can heartily recommend doing), pop in at night. The old Georgian house starts to rock to a completely different tune. It converts into a small bar/club, with the dance floor upstairs banging out everything from current chart music through to old school hip-hop. The adjoining rooms, adorned with taxidermy, become packed with London’s finest sipping on everything from glasses of wine to racks of shots.
I’ve always been disinterested by ‘super-pubs’ that offer everything from a gastronomic experience through to an all-night rave. However, I must admit that every time I’ve been to the Paradise, it has never let me down. Admittedly, prices are slightly higher than your average but it is definitely worth popping in, either for Sunday lunch or a night on the town.