Over the years, Portobello Road and around has lost quite a few of its pubs which have become restaurants, apartments or offices. But despair not if you’re looking for a relaxing drink and perhaps a bite to eat while you’re bargain hunting in the market. There’s still a good choice of pubs and bars, and here is a selection of five of them.
This is the pub that President Bill Clinton chose to pop into for a pint back in 2000, and left without paying the bill, although owner Michael Bell says there are no hard feelings. Enjoy a pint of real ale or a glass of fine wine and check out the jungle-like conservatory at the back of the pub. There’s also an all-day menu with tempting dishes like kiln smoked salmon with crayfish and caper pâté, and beer battered plaice and chips.
95-97 Portobello Road, W11 2QB
EARL OF LONSDALE
The Lonsdale is a handsome Victorian pub on the corner of Portobello Road featuring no less than four bars with different ambiences to suit your mood. For sunny Portobello days, there’s also a large beer garden shaded by mature trees. The beer here is from the Yorkshire brewery, Samuel Smith, which has been brewing fine ales since the 18th century. Traditional pub food is available.
Earl of Lonsdale
277-281 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA
Small but perfectly formed, the Portobello Star specialises in carefully chosen wines and exotic cocktails, as well as their own gin. They also do an extensive range of teas and coffees if you’re not in the mood for alcohol. Food comes in the shape of snacks, sharing boards and large plates. Try some potted Gressingham duck with thyme or North Yorkshire mutton meatballs with Moroccan spices.
171 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
DUKE OF WELLINGTON
The Duke of Wellington is set on the corner of Portobello Road and Elgin Crescent and the pavement tables outside the pub are one of the best places on Portobello for people-watching. This is a Young’s pub, the London brewer that’s been quenching the thirst of Londoners since 1831. The pub serves food with steaks, homemade pie of the day and fish and chips all on the menu.
Duke of Wellington
179 Portobello Road, W11 2ED
On the corner of Portobello Road and Westbourne Park Road, the Castle is another Victorian pub, although the interior has been modernised. Even so, it has a great atmosphere, and there are a few pavement tables that are good spots for watching the hustle and bustle of the market. The pub offers a good selection of real ales and craft beers, and a collection of specialist spirits from artisan distilleries. Food includes tempting dishes like braised brisket cubes with buffalo sauce, and Devon crab cakes with coconut yoghurt dressing.
225 Portobello Road, W11 1LU