You might expect The Cow to be named after a particularly meat-heavy menu that’s very particular to pubs in London – and it’s true that The Cow’s draw first and foremost is its excellent gastropub fare. However, the name comes not from an animal, but a human – it’s how the locals used to refer to the pub’s original landlady. Now the landlord is one Tom Conran, son of uber-restaurateur Sir Terence Conran and is unlikely to be attracting such abuse: this small pub, authentically styled on old Irish pubs – scruffy cream walls, wooden pub furniture and ironic lino floors, is still attracting Notting Hill’s finest, with a smattering of celeb regulars for that extra head-turning factor. With Tom’s foodie pedigree (he has his own deli/café nearby: Tom’s Deli), there’s due praise for a menu that’s subtly Celtic in theme – think modern Irish without the ‘Oirishness’; Guinness and oysters are a favourite (it’s seafood and not steaks that is the focus here). If you can’t bear the scrum at the bar, head upstairs, although peace doesn’t come cheap. Though not a reason to hurl farmyard insults.