Let’s drink to adding a gastropub that serves up fantastic grub to Portico Places! Theatrical with a vintage allure, The Rocket exudes a Moulin Rouge grandeur while retaining a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. I took a seat – avoiding the chaise longue – and chatted to owner and manager Filip about customers, cuisine and community…
Standing proud on the corner of Churchfield Road, it’s hard to imagine there was anything here before The Rocket. Vintage lampposts, bottle green paintwork and a terrace area dotted with wooden chairs and tables - the outside of the pub is distinctly vintage in style, and I notice glimmers of a chandelier the closer I walk toward the door. I still wasn’t prepared for what greeted me on the inside, though: blood red theatre curtains, a beautiful clash of old and new furniture, ornate gold mirrors and a bar stretching the length of the room.
It’s certainly different - lavish even - but I immediately feel at home. And surprisingly, Filip - dressed casually in a polo shirt and shorts - doesn’t at all look out of place leaning against the dark wooden bookcase. I prop myself up on a bar stool and surprise myself by my sudden outburst: “Where did you find all this amazing furniture?!”
A smile stretches the width of Filip’s face as he says he’s not sure it should all fit together this beautifully. He’s been running and managing the pub for the last seven years, and he tells that most of the furniture is second hand from eBay or vintage furniture shops. He call it the “living room” and you can certainly see why. Though it’s unsurprisingly quiet this Monday morning, I can picture groups of friends lazing on the sofas, sipping drinks and playing Scrabble. I’ve heard the Portico Acton lot are actually becoming part of the furniture…
Filip’s certainly made it his own, and as we chat it seems he’s also made some big changes in the food department. I can tell he’s passionate about good food as I scan the menu - this isn’t just any old pub grub! That’s not to say there aren’t dishes hearty enough to line the stomach though; the rib eye steak sandwich in ciabatta bread with aioli, tomato salsa and chips is a hit with hungry locals, though Filip tells me the grilled fillet of sea bass with butter beans, chorizo, cherry tomatoes, spinach and pesto is just as popular. At the back of the pub there’s even a large, separate dining room which can be booked for private dinners or parties. Of course the room is a spectacle - think big open fireplaces and grand dining tables.
Acton has such a strong community spirit - especially on Churchfield Road - and Filip tells me there are always familiar faces chatting and enjoying a drink at the bar. It’s not just a local hangout though, and the Rocket’s string of special nights attract party goers from far and wide. There’s live music on Fridays, usually DJs or local bands, and Filip seems really keen to promote local talent. He also tells me they host a cinema club twice a month, where club members bring in a bunch of DVDs, choose one, and then watch it on the pub’s big screen with drinks and snacks. Before he even mentions snacks I’ve put the date in the diary with a reminder to myself to dig out Titanic - I think i'll be becoming part of the furniture here, too!
Enjoy 10% off food at The Rocket with Portico Places.
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