Summer has finally got the memo and decided to grace us with its presence and I don’t know about you, but the moment the temperature reaches anything close to the twenties, my brain instantly switches into holiday mode. Now, as much as I would love to spend 100% of my time on holiday, my bank balance (and my bosses) aren’t quite so on board so instead, I need to find some London-based hotspots that give me all those holiday feels without actually having to leave the capital city.
Luckily for me, nestled underneath a railway arch in Flat Iron Square is the ever-so-charming Bar Douro. If you want to feel like you’ve just stepped off the lively streets of Lisbon, look no further. We’re talking traditional azulejo tiles adorning the walls, a magnificent marble-topped counter overlooking an open kitchen, and most importantly: some of the best Portuguese food you’ll find in London.
Owner of Bar Douro, Max, spent his childhood in Portugal and couldn’t understand why Portuguese food was so poorly represented in the UK (it turns out that Nando’s isn’t the best representation of what Portugal has to offer – who’d have thought it?). We all know that if you want something done, you should do it yourself and boy oh boy, Max did it well – so well, in fact, that a sister venue has opened up by Liverpool Street.
Produce is paramount at Bar Douro with each and every ingredient being locally-sourced or imported directly from an artisanal Portuguese producer. The menu has everything you’d want from a Portuguese restaurant (and more), from sausage croquetes and salt cod fritters to garlic punched potatoes and (of course) pastel de natas. The fact that everything comes in tapas form makes it the perfect place for a date night or for a catch up with your pals. As long as my dining companion doesn’t mind me ordering one of everything from the menu, we’re good to go – after all, that’s what small plates are for, right?
Wash down all of that scrummy food with an offering from the largest selection of Portuguese wines in the UK and you’ll well and truly be on cloud wine (okay, that one was terrible – I apologise).
This gorgeous restaurant really is a love letter to Portugal and you’ll be transported straight there with the deliciously authentic food, wine and atmosphere. Oh, and did we mention that we just love the tiles?