Hoxley & Porter

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
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Barnsbury
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Who are Hoxley & Porter? You won’t find them pulling pints, but a squint at the website suggests a back story about one of them being a Victorian explorer. For this is another theme bar on Upper Street. Not mock Mexican, cod Cuban or faux-Oirish this time, but one that hangs on to the petticoats of the 19th-century colonial explorer look.

So there are potted palms, uniformed staff, patterned wallpaper, vintage lighting. A long restaurant area at the front is intended to evoke an upper-class dining carriage, which serves the period dishes such as devilled liver on toast as well as the more modern-sounding barley and mushroom risotto with pecorino, or chocolate crème brûlée with popping candy.

What makes H & P worth a trip back to the age of steam, however, are the cocktails, which look to the West Indies for inspiration. Many preparations, liqueurs and bitters are made in-house – try the Regal Roberts, made with earl grey-infused gin, vanilla sugar and lemon; Our Grog, a Caribbean mixture of rums with falernum syrup and bitters, will have you drooling in the right way. All are served in striking cut glasses, all are strong, suave and precise.

After years as an arid desert with few oases for discerning drinkers, this bit of Islington is beginning to see some more interesting bars worthy of exploration – there’s Taproom, John Salt, House of Wolf and Smokehouse over on Canonbury Road. Even if the vague Victoriana at H&P isn’t worth crossing continents for, it’s good to see another bit of the atlas coloured empire-pink.

Reviewed by Euan Ferguson

Venue name: Hoxley & Porter
Contact:
Address: 152 Upper Street
London
N1 1RA
Opening hours: Open noon-midnight Mon-Wed, Sun; noon-1.30am Tur; noon-2.30am Fri, Sat. Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm daily.
Transport: Tube: Angel tube or Highbury & Islington tube/rail

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|6
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Natalie W

This cocktail gem in Islington could be easily missed if you weren't aware it existed in-between the range of restaurants and bars that now line Upper Street. Unfortunate if you walk past, as it's a great find. Fantastic cocktails complimented by elaborate décor, you feel as though you've stepped out of London for the night and into secret hideaway. The Espresso Martinis slipped down nicely, as well as their Old Fashioned which is a timeless classic. Great for dates, a night out with friends, celebrations or even a cheeky drink on a Monday night! 

Natalie W

This cocktail gem in Islington could be easily missed if you weren't aware it existed in-between the range of restaurants and bars that now line Upper Street. Unfortunate if you walk past, as it's a great find. Fantastic cocktails complimented by elaborate décor, you feel as though you've stepped out of London for the night and into secret hideaway. The Espresso Martinis slipped down nicely, as well as their Old Fashioned which is a timeless classic. Great for dates, a night out with friends, celebrations or even a cheeky drink on a Monday night! 

Simon

Never really write reviews but had such a nice night here I thought I would. Everything about it was great, the food, the cocktails, the venue. And it was so refreshing to have staff that actually cared and were really friendly from the moment we walked in to when we left. Already recommended it to several of my friends and I'd definitely go back.

Rosie

Lovely evening spent in Islington last night. The entrance to Hoxley and Porter is lovely. Walking down a long mirrored hallway we were greeted by a well groomed waitress who seated us. Water was poured without even asking (always a plus) but then we chose our drinks. I ordered the house creation 'SwizzleKicks' which was good for the eight or nine pound pound but wasn't astoudning. It didn't tingle my taste buds. My boyfriend eventually received his Chablis which was very drinkable and very cheap. Lots of staff, not many customers, not great service.

Latiful Bari

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AG

Probably the most enjoyable and classiest combination of cocktails, surroundings and food I've come across in my 12 years in London.