A west London staple, the Portobello Star is perfect for anyone and everyone who likes a tipple and a good time. With their own homebrand gin, it’s no surprise the chaps here really know how to make a solid drink.
Peckish? Good. Thirsty? Great. To eat, grab a sharing board with meat from the much-loved Ginger Pig butcher. Or maybe try one of Portobello’s homemade pies — beef cheek and real ale with proper gravy? Don’t mind if we do. To drink, you have to try The Slutty Mermaid (there’s a great story behind this drink, so ask the bartender). It’s a delicious mix of smoky Vida mezcal, Manzanilla sherry, lemon and egg white with a splash of seawater and garnished with a mermaid, of course. Most importantly, you can’t leave without having a Portobello Road Martini with their very own gin, Lillet Blanc, Gammel Dansk bitter Danish digestif, Bob’s Abbott’s bitters that’s all stirred up and served with a grapefruit twist. Simply EPIC.
Jake Burger is the brains behind this operation, and is responsible for some of our favourite haunts (aka Jake’s Bar and Still Room, Neon Cactus, Oporto and Cielo Blanco — need we go on?). This place is ready for a party any time, so if you swing by for a quiet cocktail … well, there’s always the chance you’ll be swilling and dancing by the end of the night. Weekends see the DJ crack out spot-on tunes and the sexy-looking crowd can’t help but pile in.
Best Bars tip: If gin is still a bit of a mystery to you, then book yourself in for a session at the Ginstitute upstairs. It’s a few hours of history, drinking and even MAKING your very own gin. If you absolutely love your own concoction, you can order extra bottles any time. WIN.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips