Following a quiet launch back in June, the family-run Portobello House Hotel has gone fully public with the opening of its bistro. Pitched on the ground floor of the building (once a Victorian boozer), the open-plan lounge, resplendent mahogany-topped bar and dining room have retained many original features – corniced ceilings, baroque mirrors, antique chandeliers, stained oak floors. The cooking mixes British and European flavours, so expect anything from smoked ham hock terrine with pickled cucumber or steak with triple-cooked chips to vegetable fritto misto or loin of lamb with aubergine purée and olives, with puds offering the likes of plum crumble or tarte Tatin. The venue is also handy for daytime coffee and cake, light bites or some bopping to live music in the evening. Regular film nights are planned, and there’s a terrace for alfresco socialising.
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