- Pub review: The William – Kensal Rise, London - 30 December, 2023
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Expanding the LOCI family of neighbourhood pubs in north west London, The William in Kensal Rise is the most recent addition. We at Vada popped in for a festive mid-week dinner and catch-up.
The William (or more specifically William IV) pub has recently come under new management from LOCI – a management group focussed on neighbourhood pubs. Combining a public house, a guest house, and an eating house, The William offers a comfortable and spacious environment, with the potential to be a community hub. The refresh at The William has retained original features, in an overall mossy and dark green palate, with leather sofas and oak tables.
The William garden will fully launch in Spring 2024 following extensive redesign, perfect timing as the weather warms up again. For larger groups and events, there is the Clarence room, a self-contained space with its own bar that can host 40 people seated (or 80 standing). The guest house element of The William will offer fifteen bedrooms upstairs offering bed and breakfast, expected to be available from early 2024.
The menu offers a selection of good pub food, and we noted a few seasonal twists. We started with the Pork belly and Doreen’s black pudding scotch egg with burnt apple sauce (£8.50) – perfectly well cooked with the yolks just starting to set. The stone bass crudo starter is salt baked served with pickled kohlrabi, nasturtium and a festive clementine touch (£12) – very refreshing, light, and well balanced.
From the main courses, we selected the a vegan option of Tika cauliflower with mango chutney, lime pickle, raita, puffed wild rice (£16), which was rich in flavour and very generous portion, alongside a festive twist on a traditional: perfectly crisp Turkey schnitzel with fried egg, pigs in blanket, cranberry sauce, chips and gravy (£23) – exactly what we needed to get us in the festive mood.
By the time we got to dessert, we were unsurprisingly stuffed, so could only manage a sorbet (£2.50 per scoop). Next time we may go back for one of their more traditional offerings of sticky toffee or gooey chocolate pudding.
The William provides Belu water – unlimited either still or sparkling for £1.50 per table, with all profits going to Water Aid. London-based craft breweries are on tap, and we were impressed to even find a Portuguese vinho verde (£8.20 per glass) on the wine list.
For a Tuesday evening, The William was not too busy, and we were greeted as soon as we entered the pub and shown to a table in the restaurant section. Staff were quick to serve us and there was no waiting around, friendly and keen to showcase the newly refreshed environment.
There is something intrinsically comforting about a local pub, so on a cold evening, the warming welcome at The William was exactly what we needed. Great pub grub, with a festive twist that put a smile on our faces, a comfortable environment, and good company – it’s hard to want more in the moment. Our meal including drinks (but not service) would cost about £41 per person.
Located about 10 minutes walk down the hill from Kensal Rise station, The William is located at 786 Harrow Rd, London, NW10 5JX.
For more information, visit thewilliamnw10.com.