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Disappointment of the week with hondo on the Pub Forum

The Portland Arms, SE25

152 Portland Road
SE25
SE25 4PT

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about The Portland Arms

Originally the Prince of Denmark, this place last traded as a rather garish bar called Oceans Apart, specialising in cocktails, DJ nights and Thai food before becoming one of South Norwood's many pub closure victims when it shut up shop in 2009. Having been boarded up for over seven years, it therefore came as a great surprise to hear that the place was to reopen in time for Christmas 2016, this time as the Portland Arms. The place has been given a full makeover and presents a considerably more restrained appearance than its predecessor, albeit one that feels like it still needs to bed in a little. The pub is reached by a short flight of steps from street level, which takes you up to a front patio with several picnic benches. A large red framed porch leads you into the main room which has bare floorboards throughout and a servery along the right hand wall with an open kitchen at the far end. Either side of the entrance porch, there are chunky, rustic fixed benches including a rather nice curved bench to the left which is partly hidden by the porch itself. The room is broken up by several wide, wood-clad pillars to which tables have been attached whilst elsewhere there is a good mix of tables and chairs plus some sofas and other such comfy options to the rear. Walls have been decorated with some nice postcard-style images of various South London neighbourhoods and the bar back is dominated by a large sign promoting Ted's Burger Shack, who operate out of the aforementioned open kitchen. A TV on one of the pillars was showing muted Sky Sports News, allowing a decent soundtrack to play over the top. We grabbed a bite to eat here and thought the burgers were pretty good quality, with a big portion of fries on the side.
There were four ales on the bar - Brick Kinsale Bitter, Brixton Windrush Stout, Bexley Redhouse and London Beer Factory Beyond the Pale. Keg options were a bit of a mixed bag, but I noted some beers from the local Canopy Brewery among the mainstream dross. A very friendly, helpful barman poured me a fantastic pint of the Windrush Stout, which I hope is a sign of things to come on the beer quality front.
This, along with the new Antic pub up the road, is a most welcome addition to the rather decimated South Norwood pub scene and goes some way to redress the pub loss epidemic that has blighted the area in recent years. I thought this was a good pub that should appeal to a wide range of local customers and if the beer quality can be maintained, I'm sure I'll be popping in here more often.

On 7th February 2017 - rating: 7
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