E&O, Notting Hill Gate

E&O Notting Hill
We'll just go for one...

The Vibe

As Milan Kundera put it ‘ happiness is the longing for repetition’. The early dating stages are all about desperately seeking out novel things to do in order to impress upon your date that you’ve got that sense of adventure that they cringingly mentioned on their profile or in passing. However, in the later dating stages, once the connection has been firmly established and you’ve gotten past the third round interview, there’s nothing more soothing to the romantic soul than picking a place and returning to it ad infinitum. For a handful of Notting Hillbillies this place is E&O. A shiny and slick pan-Asian bar and restaurant, this black box rests on the corner of a charming road, spilling drinkers and diners onto its outside tables and benches, and luring others inside with the promise of fancy cocktails, light bites and dark bar furnishings. While you can enjoy a  meal in the white-tabled dining room, infinitely preferable is to grab a little black table in the bar and feed from the shortened menu. Despite not being all that cheap, this place is a nice contrast from the super smart joints in the area. The clientele are couples, twentysomething locals, PR girls catching up over cocktails and a diverse array of Portobello locals, from super rahs to sketchy-looking DJ/entrepreneurs.

The Order

It’s just about finding a couple of the small plates you fancy and always sticking to  the same ones. A personal recommendation would be the crispy calamari and a tuna sushi plate. Keep it light and feast off the booze. If it’s light outside, go for a fizzy cocktail. If the sun has set, red wine. Edamame is a great prop throughout.

The Game

Darling, let’s not venture far tonight,  E&O?’. There are a couple of corner tables in the bar that make for damn cosy dating; make sure you claim them as your regular spot. The barmen seem to be fond of couples who return to these tables time and time again so are likely to add lovely date touches such as welcoming you on your return or attempting to predict what you’re going to order. Wear something you feel comfortable in but do make a nod to the shiny West London crowd when you get dressed, this isn’t quite the local pub. Get here early in the evening or, even better, late in the day. Establish a pattern of orders (a drink, a small plate, a drink, a small plate) and engage in the sort of indulgent chatter new couples seem so fond of (‘I didn’t even realise you’d noticed me that night, Henry’, ‘ How could I not, Amanda?’.) Lock hands and legs, gaze sleepily at each other as the food and wine levels rise, then return home when you’re almost horizontal – and stay that way.

The Faults

While the restaurant crowd is dependably classy, the bar can sometimes be let down by Tacky Tinas.

Sex Factor

2. It’s likely it will happen but this may be because it’s happened 10 times already and is thus more of an inevitability than an E&O-catalysed event.


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