Only a 20 minute walk from the city centre and a stone’s throw away from Sharrow Vale Road, Portland House is the brand new micropub by Welbeck Abbey Brewery.
On first impressions, it’s a petite space, but it’s warmly lit and has been beautifully designed. From a specially commissioned shoe tree coat rack to the wonderfully wooden bar top and as many a punter has already commented on, ‘the loveliest toilet in town’ (you really could swing a cat in there). The aesthetics of Portland House are top notch. The ethos on the other hand is to keep it simple. Quality ingredients, a good selection – but importantly, not an overwhelming one – and a space that would be just as suited to friends working on their laptops and drinking coffees on a rainy afternoon, to a post-work crowd on a Friday night enjoying a few pints of lovingly brewed ale.
Booze-wise, the bar has six hand pulls, two of which are dedicated to two Welbeck Brewery house ales, the easy drinking Henrietta Golden Ale at 3.6% and the maltier Red Feather Amber Ale at 3.9%. The other hand pulls are rotated regularly with guest brews from Welbeck themselves, as well as Yorkshire based breweries Magic Rock and Saltaire and the Bristol based Arbor to name but a few. As well as this, there’s also Welbeck’s house lager Pivo at 4.8% plus and a guest keg spot which, at the time of writing, is occupied by Wild Beer Co.’s Fresh.
But if beer isn’t your thing, don’t fear my friend, there’s a small but selected range of quality spirits provided by StarmoreBoss on Sharrowvale Road and wine from Le Bon Vin, a family run Sheffield wine merchants who have been in the business for over 30 years. And, as well as the strong stuff, there’s also cake and coffee from independent roasters Sundlaug, tea from Sheffield based Birdhouse Tea, along with breads, cheeses and porkpies – most of which are prepared at the Farm Shop and bakery on the Abbey grounds. Not bad, eh?
All in all, there’s something quite refreshing about the beautiful simplicity of the place. It’s a small but diverse space which has taken a step back from the high percentage, all-too-often-over hopped ‘craft beer race’ and committed itself to ‘serving great products, really well’. In short, I know where I’ll be this Friday night.
Words: Danielle Mustarde.
Images courtesy of Portland House.