Gold, a new neighbourhood modern European restaurant and late night bar has opened on the site of the renowned Portobello Gold public house in the heart of Portobello, Notting Hill. Inspired by the area’s unique cultural mix of artists, designers and musicians, Gold’s approach to dining reflects the discerning, cosmopolitan spirit of contemporary west London.
The modern, relaxed interiors, designed by local architect and designer duo Felix and Valerie von Bechtolsheim, draw on Portobello’s artistic and cultural background to create a restaurant and bar that is both informal and open. The stripped back aesthetic exposes the original shell of the building for a raw look, while the contrasting industrial-luxe details, contemporary furniture, aged metals and vast indoor trees soften the space creating a warm, welcoming environment.
Speaking to PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE about the project, Felix von Bechtolsheim said: “We aim to create spaces that are bespoke to their environment and our client to generate unique soul and character. Every space has to sensitively reflect the artistic and cultural influences of the local environment and, in this instance, Portobello Road. Our approach at Gold sought to strip the former pub back to its superstructure, thereby opening up what was a series of small cellular spaces to make larger well-lit spaces that are injected with timeless and minimal furnishings and finishes.”
Set over four floors, guests are greeted on the ground floor by a bar and open-kitchen area, leading out into a lush garden room. With a retractable roof and landscaped with mature trees, the garden room offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Portobello Road. The first floor houses a further lounge and dining area and the second floor is taken up by a private party room.
Valerie added: “The end game was to generate a wonderful and varied combination of spaces that you engage with as you travel through the building. We created a dark and cosy bar area with a monolithic steel bar, which includes the open kitchen and intersects with the lush, green garden room where we introduced a glazed retractable roof and planted trees to grow from within the foundations in order to facilitate a unique all weather ‘outdoor’ dining experience. There is a light and airy dining room at first and private dining and event rooms on the floors above; the idea being that the dining experience becomes more and more discreet as you go up the building and there are spaces to cater for every mood.”
The restaurants diverse space can cater for events of all sizes, from intimate private dining bookings to large receptions and garden takeovers. Guests are offered a range of set menus for both seated and standing events or the restaurant is able to create a bespoke menu and wine pairing.
Acknowledging Notting Hill’s long and illustrious reputation as a haven for artists such as David Hockney and Lucien Freud, internationally renowned Portuguese artist Vhils was commissioned to create a series of show-stopping works, including one across the exterior of the building. The spectacular pavement-to-roof assignment is the first time that the critically acclaimed artist has made a work – in situ – in London.
Felix said: “Our design approach is architectural, non-decorative and minimal, using textures, materials and colours to enhance the building’s new purpose as a bar and restaurant and sit in contrast with the rough, almost industrial aesthetic created through exposing the brick walls, timber and steel joists.
“The original panelised ceiling on the ground floor is in itself a piece of art that shows the traces of life of the space from the past years– blotchy, patchy and crumbling, set in juxtaposition with the new, slick fixtures and fittings below to create textured contrasts. It also spoke to the exterior façade artwork by Vhils, which was chiselled out of the render, adding to the narrative.”
At Gold, the restaurant is spearheaded by a team of local industry all-stars including Head Chef Theo Hill (The River Café) and Front of House team Alex Ghalleb (Pizza East) and Arez Akgundogdu (Soho House). The menu exudes colour, taste and modern freshness and focuses on produce-led sharing plates and minimal-process cooking in wood ovens or over open flame.
Gold’s unique cocktail offering has been carefully curated by Weapons and Toys, from industry stalwarts Matt Whiley and Rich Woods of Hackney’s acclaimed Scout and like the food and wine menus, focuses on simplicity, seasonality and minimal intervention.
Gold is open Monday to Thursday from 12pm until 00:30am, Friday from 12pm until 01:00am, Saturday from 11am until 01:00am and Sunday from 11am until 11pm.
“This is our first joint enterprise under the name Bechtolsheim as a sibling architect and design duo,” said Valerie. “It’s been a challenging and truly unique project. We worked closely with our client and contractor and the various makers and suppliers, resulting in a great collaborative effort, which I think we are all proud of.”
Felix added: “It really has come together brilliantly. It’s definitely been an adventure for us, with a lot of hard work along the way, but ultimately it’s been incredibly rewarding.”
For further information and bookings please visit: www.goldnottinghill.com
PUSCA Ltd specialises in bespoke joinery and furniture for the shop fitting and leisure trades. Founded a little over a year ago by James Baker and Dumitru Tuns, PUSCA has already developed a portfolio of enviable projects from their well-equipped 8000m2 of workshops.
Clients include the Inception Group, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Cirque Le Soir, Mr Fogg’s, Society of Exploration, Mahiki, and the newly refurbished Brook House in Fulham.
Recently, the company provided joinery and fitting services to brand new restaurant Gold. This included work to the venue’s bars, windows and cabinetry.
As a company, PUSCA takes pride in providing clients with a very fast turnaround and very high-quality product, at a very competitive price.
WFC was appointed onto this challenging project as main contractor, converting an old pub into a new restaurant/bar.
The finished project consisted of a new basement kitchen, ground and 1st floor restaurants with private dining and customer W.C’s on the second floor. There is also a rooftop terrace looking out over Notting hill.
WFC undertook extensive structural works on the ground floor to remove the rear wall of the building and form a garden room with a new retractable glass roof, and a very extensive and elaborate planting scheme.
WFC is an interior fit-out contractor specialising in the leisure industry. Established in 1976, the business completes fit-out projects for operators of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, theatres and health and fitness and gaming venues. To find out more, please visit www.wfccontractors.com.