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Oyster & Porter House

Oysters and beer? Some might find it rebellious and disrespectful, but it's not even a new idea. The tradition of pairing dark beer and oysters comes from 18th century, when oysters were a cheap and popular snack in taverns, mainly eaten by the working class. In the early 20th century, most of oyster beds were destroyed. The scarsity increased prices and oysters became an expensive delicacy, served with a glass of champagne instead of a pint of beer.

London’s Oyster & Porter House serves both oysters and beer. It is situated right next to the Borough Market, so the culinary competition is enormous. It’s a proper oyster bar, with a selection from France and Ireland, as well as Spain, Japan and New Orleans. The food menu changes daily, depending on availability of fresh fish and seafood. You can try Cornish crab, shell-on Atlantic prawns or a delicious beef, Guinness and oyster pie. The traditionalists, who only pair oysters with bubbles, shouldn't be disappointed - there's a wine and champagne list available.

I can now officially confirm that dark beer and oysters are a match made in heaven, especially if it’s an oyster stout we’re talking about. Some modern oyster stouts are simply beers that go well with oysters, but some breweries remain faithful to the tradition and actually add a handful of oysters to the barrel.

A half dozen of oysters and a glass of stout always make a perfect lunch.

Oyster & Porter House, The Wright Brothers

11 Stoney Street, Borough Market

London

rhubarb syrup

It’s one of the best ways to capture the taste of summer in a glass bottle. Rhubarb syrup is extremely easy to make and can be used in multiple refreshing ways. You can add it to homemade iced tea or simply serve with sparkling water and plenty of ice cubes. I highly recommend a cocktail made of rhubarb syrup and wheat beer, with a hint of lemon and fresh mint. If you plan a summer evening on a terrace, make a spritzer with crisp white wine and sparkling water or pleasantly chilled prosecco.

Recipe: Rhubarb syrup

Makes about 400 ml of syrup
Ingredients
  • 1 kg of rhubarb, chopped
  • one cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • juice of one lemon
Method
  • Combine rhubarb, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan.
  • Bring to boil and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool and sieve to separate the liquid from the rhubarb (you can use it to make a cake).
  • Transfer the syrup to a bottle.