Like the curios and antiques that define this stretch of the Portobello Road, the Star might be shabby but it has the hallmark of quality – even if the unfussy interiors and brown-leather tones can seem a tad depressing and desolate in daylight. The lengthy cocktail list has been designed to look like a 19th-century pamphlet, and it’s chock-full of innovative tipples with historical footnotes: try the Earl Grey marteani – tea-infused gin with lemon juice, sugar and egg white. Elsewhere, grasshopper no. 2 (dry chocolate spirit and cream liqueur) reinvigorates a 1970s’ classic, while a very old fashioned swaps whiskey for three aged rums. Upstairs, the excellent Ginstitute mini-museum allows wannabe distillers to produce their own bottle of mother’s ruin. Ginger Pig pork pies stand out on the limited menu.
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