“ 21/22 Maiden Lane, London WC2. Tel = 020 7379 7917. „
Porterhouse is one of the best pubs in central London, set on Maiden Lane, one street south of the main plaza in Covent Garden, this is a great pub. It is within 3 minutes walk of Covent Garden tube and 5 minutes walk of Charing Cross Train and Tube Station and Embankment.
Being a brewery as well as a bar it creates its own beers and ales, which are fairly varied, I like coming here as the beer menu is about 8 pages long with beers from almost every country you can imagine, its a place i've challenged myself to someday complete the beer menu, it may sell wine and spirits although you'd never know!!!
The bar is massive with a central bar and a number of raised and lowered areas, it gets so busy that you do have to simply stand still with arms by your sides, which means its busy and buzzy, but there isn't much room for movement. This place is purely about the beer, its not cool, its old fashioned but the choice is exceptional, prices aren't cheap but they aren't extortionate either.
There is an Oktoberfest festival between 8-23 October which should be a great laugh, with some amazing beers on tap. There is also occasional live music, but i've never caught it.
Food is actually pretty good with a nice selection of foods, it has a kind of Irish American theme being an Irish bar. You can have burgers, pizza or salad, all for under £10 but also Rock Oysters or Beef and Stout Pie or Salt Beef sandwich, the food is tasty and comes in decent portions, its best to eat at lunch as the place is rammed in the evening and you may have to eat standing up.
Overall, this place is huge does decent food, but it is all about the beer, the selection is for me the best in London, it has a good vibe, it is just too damn popular and it can be a pain finding a space to lift your arm and drink your beer.
A word of warning about the Porterhouse on Maiden Lane: do not arrange to meet your friends here. You have no chance. The pub has, I think I read somewhere, eleven different levels - umpteen mezzanines, basement, and ground level bars, plus a small courtyard in summer. At weekends it can get very busy later on, and is often the same after work during the week, so the chances of you finding your mate are remote. That's the bad bit out of the way. Meet your friend outside because this pub is well worth a visit. The excellent opinion I've just read gives details of the beers far more thoroughly than I could manage, but I would add my recommendation of the Oyster Stout, Chiller lager and Porterhouse Red. They also do a kind of shot glass sampling tray, where you can taste about half a dozen of their more unusual beers. Unfortunately the Porterhouse is not a cheap night out: a pint of Chiller will set you back £2.80 plus. The food I have tried, and can thoroughly recommend. Just as a P&P is one step up from normal pub food, so this is one step up from the P&P - unusual and very nice food for around £8-£10. The decor is all brass pipes and glass cabinets filled with beer bottles, with wooden floors and low ceilings. At weekends there is often a live band in the basement, and a large screen TV at the top shows football and rugby matches in relative comfort. On the whole, have a look. It won't be to everyone's taste, but then that's the point isn't it?
The Porterhouse Pub in Covent Garden was opened about a year ago, following the success of the Dublin-based Porterhouse Brewing Company's first outlet, in Dublin itself. It has a modern look, with its dark wood interior and brass fittings, but is traditional in its beer offerings. There are 9 (I think) beers on draught here, and as the name suggests, Porter is a speciality, as is its close relative, stout. For the uninitiated, Porter is similar to Stout (e.g. Guinness), but is usually a somewhat lighter drink. The Plain Porter at the Porterhouse is excellent, with a slightly sweet taste. I would also recommend the Porterhouse Red, a hoppy Red Ale. Also of note is the Oyster Stout, which is brewed with fresh oysters. Not one for the vegetarians, as one friend belatedly realised as he drained the last of his pint! For the lager louts amongst you, there is also a choice of lagers on tap. These include Chiller, which is an American style lager, but in a good way (i.e. it has flavour) and An Brainblasta, which is as foul as its 7% alcohol content might suggest! For those who just can't decide, you can order a sampler of all the draught beers. And there's more... Plenty more, in fact. As well as the draught beers, the Porterhouse offers a vast range of bottled beers from around the world, all summarised in its beer menu, which also details the draught beers. For the conservative drinker, the bottled beers include the likes of Becks and Kronenbourg. For the more adventurous, these include a few from the excellent Suffolk brewery, St.Peter's, a fine range of Belgian beers, and others from such places as Brazil and Ukraine. For the complete headcases, there's the French beer 'Belthebub', which has an alcohol content of 15% and a corresponding taste. Even the non-beer drinker is well catered for, with a good selection of wines, cocktails, and shooters. One word of warning - the bottled beers are not cheap at around £3.00 - £3.50 a
bottle. The Porterhouse also does food, including the likes of fresh oysters, fish, shrimp and scallop pie, oyster stout sausages and mushroom burgers. I've yet to sample any of the food, but when I do, I'll update this opinion. The Porterhouse is a cavernous venue, occupying three floors with a bar on each. There is plenty of seating, and on a Saturday night 10 of us were easily able to get a table in there, although it probably helped that we were there at 6.00. I've been a few times in the week, and it can be very busy with after-work drinkers, though it tends to quieten down around 9.00ish. The acoustics seem to be good as well, with there being a good atmosphere in there, but without it being too loud to hear yourself speak (a particular bugbear of mine). So whether you are looking for a good place for a night's drinking in West London, or you are a true beer anorak, or both, as in my case, the Porterhouse is a fine choice of venue.