The Portman Marylebone

51 Upper Berkeley Street , London, W1H 7QW

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SquareMeal Review of The Portman Marylebone

Part of a small group that also includes Mayfair’s Only Running Footman, this elegant gastropub’s name reflects its location in the heart of the Portman Estate. Once used for law enforcement – the cells in the basement now hold cases of wine – The Portman is a foursquare, solid pub with an island bar downstairs & smarter dining room above (used mainly for functions). On sunny days, Sagres, Murphy’s & Amstel are drunk at the outside tables, while the menu loosely follows the seasons: expect curiosities such as spelt tagliatelle with confit rabbit, braised leeks & chanterelles, as well as standard breakfasts, Aberdeen Angus burgers & some lively fish dishes (perhaps sea bass with saffron potatoes, spinach & sauce vierge). The crowd is affluent, & it’s open 365 days a year.

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6.8

Food & Drink: 7.1

Service: 7.3

Atmosphere: 6.8

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Tony P. 09 October 2017

Food was really good and on a surprisingly sunny day in October we were able to eat outside at lunchtime. The setting and the pub interior are great, but the pub is small and so it would be prudent to book in advance. The wine list is extensive, but surprisingly expensive, there are only a few 'value' light wines suitable for lunchtime. The staff were friendly and attentive. All in all a very good dining experience.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 15 December 2015

What London really doesn’t need is yet another generic high-end pub posing as a restaurant. The Portman, in its former incarnation as the Mason’s Arms, used to be a traditional London boozer with lovely wood panelling and a decent atmosphere. ‘Reinvented’, the walls are now whitewashed, multiple TVs show rolling BBC news from almost every seating location and the lights are turned up to an excessively high level of brightness. Atmosphere? Forget it. This is not a recipe for success. The suits and their corporate credit cards now dominate. I had dropped in for the odd beer since I live in the area, but recently came here to eat for the first time, a friend having suggested the location. Breakfast may not show a kitchen at its best, or certainly it is not the meal where chefs would typically most excel, but our experience here was frankly depressing. At 8.30am, beyond our table, just one other was occupied. Our server seemed broadly unenthused about being there (and who wouldn’t be?) and the main activity seemed to be suppliers arriving with food for use later in the day. The coffee was lukewarm and a curiously disquieting muddy brown. My smoked salmon and scrambled eggs was unpleasantly salty and I really did not expect it to be served with just one piece of unbuttered flabby white bread – especially not when I was paying over £10 for said choice. My comrade’s Eggs Benedict looked similarly uninspiring, plonked on the plate with zero love or attention to detail. Based on our breakfast experience and with so much other, better, choice nearby, I have no desire to return to see the Portman’s attempts at either lunch or dinner.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Shane S. 28 February 2014

This pub has a lot going on at the bar and a beautiful dining room which is something you would not expect to find in a pub. The food was out of this world and we had to compliment the chef when leaving. The service was very prompt and the staff friendly. A good stopping place for a quick one or a lunch/dinner. £££

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Shane S. 28 February 2014

This pub has a lot going on at the bar however the dining room was much quieter although looked very intriguing and nothing you would expect in a pub. The food was out of this world and we had to compliment the chef when leaving. The service was very prompt and the staff friendly. A good stopping place for a quick one or a lunch/dinner. £££

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Daisy N. 15 April 2013

The food arrived in less than 5minutes. Our fish&chips had terrible soggy batter. The beef burger was dry. Hasty waitress dint provide any drinks menu and the house wine cost £6 each diluted in lemonade! Terrible

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Rees E. 03 December 2012

Unbelievably, about 50% of menu choices were unavailable on this Sunday evening, so we chose the only remaining options chicken and sea bass, then they told us the spinach (also one of the few vegetable choices still available) was also ‘off the menu’. When complaining to the manager, who was pretty indifferent to the appaling catering, making no apology, he did say he would find some. Amazingly, our dishes were served literally 5 minutes later… Draw your own conclusions from that! I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

raig M. 14 May 2012

Had a great dining experience at The Portman. Had only ever been for a drink in the pub beforehand, but enjoyed a meal in the Upstairs Restaurant with work collegues. Would 100% go back with friends for a drink and food to experience it in a less formal circumstance.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

RD 07 October 2010

Portman is a decent gastropub. It's a bit confused as to whether it wants to be a proper pub or a restaurant (linen table cloths in the bar, for example, with ketchup and HP sauce bottles). Fish and Chips was OK, although chips were powdery and clearly not twice cooked; mushy peas was only a teaspoonful. Steak was reasonable. Beers are limited: standard real ales (Pride, Adnams, Black Sheep sometimes). Beer lovers should go to the Carpenters' Arms down the road, where the choice and quality are wider and higher. Prices not too bad; locals get a discount with the Portman card.

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Upstairs at The Portman can seat 45 guests (50 standing) and works well for corporate and social events including business lunches, product launches, canapé receptions, private dinners and weddings. Free Wi-Fi is available in the private room. The whole pub is also available to hire for private events.

Room for 45 people
Capacity: 45

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