What once used to be the local Portobello pub Gold, the newest edition continues to carry on the legendary name to become a sophisticated, contemporary and cosmopolitan restaurant and late-night bar. Serving modern European creations, the chefs behind this new local gem place all emphasis on minimal intervention cooking that is served to be shared.
The interiors, designed by local architect and design duo Felix and Valerie von Bechstolsheim, exudes a modern bohemian feel and takes inspiration from Portobello’s once-thriving industrial past, and moreover, the area’s incredibly unique cultural mix of individuals ranging from artists and musicians, to designers and all-round creatives. There is a stripped back aesthetic and raw feel throughout, such as choosing to keep the original exterior shell of the building whilst exhibiting industrial-luxe details inside.
Set over three fantastic floors, guests are welcome to hang around the open-plan bar and kitchen area or take a seat in the lush garden room where a retractable roof and mature landscaped trees offer the ideal tranquil escape from Portobello’s bustling streets.
A team of chefs who have come from front-runners in the gastronomy industry such as Soho House, Pizza East and the River Café storm the kitchen of this west London gem. Additionally, the menu includes delicacies such as charcuterie and cheese, salads, vegetables and plates to share. Using predominantly seasonal ingredients, techniques including live-fire cooking, wood roasting, charring and slow cooking ‘keep the spirit of our menu relaxed and timeless’. Pair it with one of the many fantastic homemade cocktails or choose from what seems to be an endless wine list results in the perfect late-night casual dinner.
Set in the heart of Portobello, the restaurant drew attention even before it opened to become one of the neighbourhood’s newest hotspots. A plethora of cultures meet artistic eclecticism to become this sensational eatery.
We even had the chance to sit down with the sibling duo and ask everything and anything about their newest studio, their first project and what's next in store.
Being siblings, was there always a sense that you two wanted to open an architecture and design studio together?
Yes, we have been speaking about it for a long time and when the opportunity to work on the design of Gold, Notting Hill arose, we went for it. We set up Bechtolsheim last summer and now we are lucky enough to have several new projects in London and Berlin in the residential and hospitality sector. As a team goes we have over 30 years of combined experience working in architecture, design and art. Collaborating and working together was an absolute no brainer and long overdue. The brother and sister combination provides us with a strong foundation of trust and understanding.
What are both of your backgrounds in architecture/interior?
Felix is a fully fledged, design-led architect with over 20 years of experience working on projects in and around London that range in both size and typology. He has been an Associate director at ColladoCollins Architects working on large scale developments for the past 10 years. Bechtolsheim offers him the opportunity to work with end users and on far more personal scale and projects.
Valerie is a designer and for the past 13 years worked as Design Director in the multi-disciplinary studio of artist and designer Rolf Sachs on projects ranging from architecture, interiors and set design, through to sculpture, light and installations.
Our combined skill set allows for an unconventional and holistic approach that pushes the boundaries of design and aims to create spaces that balance architectural and conceptual design with functionality, aesthetics and attention to detail.
Is there a specific aesthetic found throughout your work? If so, what is it?
Our multi-disciplinary approach draws inspiration from our respective, diverse backgrounds of working in the arts, architecture and design. We aim to create spaces that are bespoke to the environment and our client, which generate unique soul and character. People should feel comfortable and stimulated and every space should sensitively reflect the artistic and cultural influences of the local environment.
You designed the newly-opened Gold Notting Hill restaurant and bar on Portobello Road – what was your favourite part during the project?
The whole (challenging) journey!
It goes from developing the concept closely with the client, reviewing what the building reveals after strip out, countless creative sessions at the studio, close collaborative work with the makers and the contractor, sourcing furniture pieces, meeting the chef and team to understand operational requirements through to the finer details such as the choice of tableware and branding and very importantly, the lighting.
It feels like the creation of a “set”, where all elements need to be considered and come together to create the overall mood and atmosphere that appeals to a varied audience.
Is there a specific interior designer or architect you look up to?
We both love the work of Thomas Heatherwick. He seems to effortlessly dive into multiple disciplines and his work showcases great diversity, creativity, innovation and consideration for sustainability and social impact with people taking centre stage. Like Heatherwick our own end game is not to be typecast into similar projects that repeat and build on the last, but to bring our novel approach to help enhance interior and exterior spaces of all shapes and sizes.
What’s your best-kept Notting Hill secret? Restaurant, bar, activity etc. – that you’re willing to share, of course!
Sharing is caring! We are working on a secret attic room and roof garden which will be spectacular once completed.
Location: 95-97 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2QB