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Earl of Portobello

© Tricia de Courcy Ling
Westbourne Park

When pubs fall on hard times in less affluent areas of the city, the subsequent changes of ownership rarely result in anything that instils civic pride. This classically proportioned Victorian corner site was originally a local known as the Earl of Warwick; like a disgraced peer it was stripped of its title, becoming the Golborne Grove, which then shut too. But it’s now reopened again as the Earl of Portobello (laird of a fictitious fiefdom).

The huge windows make the place feel open and bright, and we should be grateful this pub is still extant and serving booze – but more imaginative design would be welcome. It’s had the usual gastropub makeover – fancy lightshades, a wall of patterned wallpaper, a chandelier, a few leather couches. Hang on, where’s the ironic taxidermy? Phew, there it is, above the bare-brick fireplace.

Queen Victoria has been blown up and rudely mounted. It’s clearly the same depiction of the old dear found on the Bombay Sapphire bottle, so perhaps the reason she’s frowning so hard is that our gin and tonic came, for no apparent reason, with crushed rather than cubed ice.

Gastropubs should have great beer, but there was only the unremarkable Spitfire on offer beside a few lagers. The spirit shelves are well stocked, though, and there’s a big section of party cocktails.

Food is available, but the fairly standard pub fare (burger, lamb chops, bangers and mash) was let down by a heavy hand in the kitchen.

There are quiz and film nights for variation, but on our visit the entertainment was provided by a Jackie Wright lookalike at the bar with a little dog sat permanently across his shoulders. Every time he raised his pint, his animate stole tried to steal a slurp.

Venue name: Earl of Portobello
Address: 36 Golborne Grove
W10 5PR
Opening hours: Open Noon-midnight daily
Transport: Tube: Westbourne Park tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £50

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

I went to this pub for a snow boarding event on a Friday 2 weeks ago. I was not expecting much as it was smashing it down with rain and I was really not in the mood but I know a hot pr girl from Nike snow boarding team so I thought I would go. It was amazing !! the crowd was really cool portobello types and the atmosphere was fun and just like a pub should be. The drinks where great and not to expensive which is a rare treat in this part of town, a hot blond was managing the place was very nice and the staff where lots of fun. The stock on the bar was really this best part, as a lover of jack daniels the fact they have 10 rare styles in stock is incredible. I loved it. This is what a pub should be


just a warning if you have to deal with Jason Shearsby the (incompetent) manager there...i booked the function room upstairs for a birthday party months in advance but the guy repeatedly (prob 4 times over 1.5/2 months) ignored requests (each time said 'sorry, i 'll send it straight away') to send thru booking details/confirmation. So finally decided to go in and speak face to face where he went to get his diary and then pointed out that someone had already booked that nite?! (why had he not bothered to say at the time or let me know when realised?)...against my better judgement, i called back later to check and he said that yes the following saturday night was available...so booked that and once again the same pattern but this time he was saying 'i'll send but don't worry, all sorted its yours' Surprise surprise - i get a call from him 2 days!! before party saying so sorry but double booking has happened again! Really unbelievable - either the guy has got a scam going or is really really incompetent. Also found out from a friend later that the same guy had promised them decks for their party and then on the night said 'sorry need them downstairs'...he also refused to give deposit back as he said bar spend wasn't sufficient, even though they they were sure it was over (they didn't seem to take into account that people had been going downstairs to main bar as the 1 barperson upstairs was swamped). BE CAREFUL IF DEALING WITH THIS JOKER!


Mixture of good and random decor. Pretty dead on a Sunday but can imagine its good on a fri or sat. Sells aspalls so can't complain!

daniel bondes

was greeted by smart helpfull staff and made to feel very comfortable, the mix of locals and new comers and food and drink makes a wonderfull cocktail of which the earl is also very good at making need i say any more thanks for the great time the people of the earl.