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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
21-22 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 20 7836 9931
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Reviews by taez555:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Checked out the Porterhouse for lunch after a long morning at the Tower of London. Its actually only a short walk from several different tube stops, although its closest to Covent Garden.
The interior is quite large with countless levels that seem to morph into one another. Lots of seats all over the place. The main bar is U shaped then on one end theres an extension with some seats. When I went downstairs to the bathroom I noticed there was even another level with another bar.
The beer selection was one of the best I saw in London. Its a brew pub and beer bar at the same time. So they have their own brewpub beers on tap as well a bottle menu with nearly 200 bottles from all around the world. The menu was very neatly organized with small little descriptions about beers as well. The brewpub beers were quite tasty and they even offered them in a nice sampler. 3 stouts, 3 ales, or 3 lagers. I just did the trio of full pints.
The food was also surprisingly good. The bar had oyster bar written all over it, so I had to try out a half dozen. Coming from Boston Im used to some of the best oysters up and down the coast, so they were good, but not great. The rest of the menu was very tasty though. A nice selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads and other main entrees. Definitely not your typical London Pub Grub, but a nice break. The cranberry and Brie sandwich was outstanding.
Simply put, this is not your typical London pub at all. The food is great; the beer selection is outstanding. It makes a nice little breather if you need a break from the cask beers and bangers and mash. Well worth checking out.
08-31-2004 08:34:55 |
More by taez555
More User Reviews:
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I am shocked I have not reviewed this place before. I have been here many times and met up with my old college roomate here the other day. A very cool looking place with copper piping almost everywhere, I once heard there was £2M worth of copper in the place but who knows. . . that sounds like a lot to me. The pub is separated into different floors and rooms which I am finding difficult to explain but can give it a very cozy feel if you find the right nook or a more social feel when you are in a more open area. It can get very packed on the weekends so I don't go then. The beers are all kept rather well and being that they have mostly their own beers on tap they do a good job of making sure they are tip top, No cask here though which would be nice as I believe some of their beers would be GREAT on Cask. Service is pretty average, you always have to wait even if the place is empty and the staff are adequate enough. I have definitely had to ask for correct glassware on occasion though. Food is better than average but not by much. I don't think I ever will go there again to just get food, but a snack with beer is nice enough. the value for the area is fine. This is the kind of place I find myself going with non beer geeks who are visiting and they all seem to like it.
01-05-2012 14:23:06 |
More by thepeter
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
This 3 level Dublin-based pub is one of the largest boozers, area-wise, that I’ve had the pleasure to visit during my on-going London Pub Crawl series. It was awarded the CAMRA/English Heritage award for conversion to pub use in 2002.
Neatly tucked away on narrow Maiden Lane, you first come upon a large garden patio (smokers paradise) preceding the fancy pants double-door entrance. The doors lead to a dramatically vast interior anchored by an immense wooden L bar. It’s sort of like stepping inside a massive old wooden ship that a band of flamboyant, beer-loving pirates invaded, and then decorated.
The stairway down to the left leads to the basement level where the restrooms (more on them later), TVs and an entertainment stage are the focus. To the left of the bar, a wide stairway leads to a quite foyer nook halfway up the stairs. The top level provides you a more spacious seating area. Extensive (and expensive) wood and brass-trimmed brewery-related piping and plating run throughout. Even the hanging light fixtures are brass-trimmed. A very cool brass clock hangs over the upstairs balcony and can be viewed from most any place in the top floors. The wall nooks and windows are lined with Porterhouse beer bottles and knick knacks. It must be a bitch to keep clean!
It’s a bit cluttered. I’m trying to spy the tap handles, but all the little doodads and bric-a-brac catch my eyes, forcing me once again to concentrate on the task at hand…deciding which beer to try next.
The seating choices are varied enough to suite any individual or group needs. Hang out near the bar on simple wooden stools, or relax upon cushioned leather armchairs and/or coach-style benches, or just stand around gawking, beer in hand. Choice is yours. Enjoy your surroundings early in the day, before the after work crowd arrives…unless you enjoy mob scenes. In that case, arrive at 7pm (1900) on a Friday night.
The on tap selections are brewed mostly by Porterhouse and poured under pressure. There are always a couple of “Real” ales and guest beers (Erdinger on this day) available. I can highly recommend the Plain Porter and the Turner’s Sticklebract Bitter on cask. Lovely stuff! There are plenty of bottled selections from the wonderful world of Beerdom plus a solid selection of wines and mixed drinks for the folks not very interested this review.
The food menu is fairly extensive. A mix of pizza, burgers, fish & chips, standard Irish and gastro-pub food is available. The best option might be the fresh Rock Oysters. ½ dozen for 7 pounds is a very fair deal by London standards.
Now to the restrooms as promised; My wife felt a little uncomfortable going to the lady’s room because a group of guys were hanging out by the door. We’re sure they meant no harm, but creating a little separation between the restrooms and the lounge area would be smart.
All-in-all, an interesting pub with a bounty of very good beers to try.
Place Porterhouse on your ‘Should’ visit London Pub list.
11-11-2011 20:12:28 |
More by BeerResearcher
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
OK now this is a bit pricey just like every where in London but still you get quality/value for money and one of London's best selections of beers.
There is Doppelbock, Weizenbock and some Belgian Triples. There is also Califormian steam beer, Samichlaus and many others. I go there just for the selection since the food does not look that great and neither does the clientele.
It also tends to get packed quickly and very noisy. Location is good since it is right next to covent Garden and you can get everywhere from there. Nonetheless well worth a visit!
10-16-2009 21:58:27 |
More by DerBayer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This is the London arm of the Porterhouse Brewing Co. - supposedly Ireland's biggest independent brewer. It has the full range of Porterhouse's own brews comprising three stouts, three lagers and a handful of others including the monster Brainblasta and the Porterhouse Red.
If there isn't enough to choose from in their own range there is also an extensive menu of bottled beers from around the world with many of the finest examples of various styles to be found.
I've visited the Porterhouse both in London and Dublin and I have to say, I found the beer in Dublin far better - I believe they brew it all in Ireland and ship it over to the London pub so maybe the travelling doesn't do it too much good. Nevertheless, the beers are still good and a better selection than most pubs - and there are usually good guest ales on tap as well.
The menu consists of good pub grub and the atmosphere is good - almost constantly busy and the layout is something out of an Escher painting.
Always worth a visit when you're in London.
02-27-2009 19:47:40 |
More by BarryNL
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
The Porterhouse didn't look like much from the photograph in my copy of CAMRA's London Pub Walks. But it is really, really unique - the interior is like no pub I've ever seen, split between five or six floors and semi-floors, with all sorts of nooks and crannies bound up in a labyrinthine interior design or brass, steel, and wood. Reminiscent of Erector sets, the whole place has a pleasingly twisted layout and aesthetic, like an M. C. Escher drawing or a setpiece from a Jules Verne story. The reason it only gets a 4 from me for atmosphere is because it gets really, really crowded and loud - no doubt an inevitable symptom of its singular awesomeness and its proximity to Covent Garden and Charing Cross. Get there early and get out early.
Service is a tad surly, but that's understandable in light of the crowds. Though they have a remarkably interesting lineup of house-brewed beers as well as an extensive bottle selection, don't expect to talk beer with the barmen - they're busy. But the beers are very nice; there is only one real ale, the TSB, but you're sure to enjoy the other brews on offer, ranging from the brewpub's own excellent oyster stout to unexpected offerings from America and Belgium such as Goose Island IPA and La Chouffe.
Definitely worth a visit - and repeat visits after that. Easy to find near Charing Cross.
10-27-2008 16:22:17 |
More by soulgrowl
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$
My first impression of the place was good: nice interior, good beer selection, alright atmosphere. However by the end of the evening I was wishing I had gone somewhere else.
The layout is complex with mezzanine and sub-mezzanine levels spiraling above the ground floor area. There are small bars serving each little area but each one has a very limited selection compared to the main bar downstairs. If the nearest bar doesn't have what you want you have to find your way through the maze of stairs and levels to the main bar, which can be near impossible when crowded.
The beer selection does look impressive on first glance. However a large bulk of the selection is cheap lagers made to look fancy because they're from a foreign country. San Miguel from Spain, Kronenbourg from France, Stella from Belgium etc. And the beers that did look interesting where hard to get because they didn't have half of them in stock. House beers were standard - not bad but nothing exceptional. And it was a shame they only serve one, the TSB, on cask.
Service was awful. We were there when it was very busy - during an England match - but even so trying to get someone's attention whilst they're chewing their fingernails staring into space was hard.
11-30-2006 05:18:44 |
More by jro4200
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
The only Irish pub I'll use in London.
A; It varies greatly from day to day and also at what time you get there, normally full of a good mix of Londoners and tourists enjoying themselves. Modern in design, but not plastic or cheap in any way.
Q; All the beers I tried were fine, not great, but better than most for Covent Garden.
S; They have trouble when it is really full, which is often. Otherwise no problems.
S; Good selection, their own brews of course, but others also, plenty of variety in styles and nationalities.
Covent Garden is not a cheap place to drink, this is a little bit more though. I don't go out of my way to come here, but if in the area, I'll pop in and have a couple, you should too!
08-16-2006 14:46:52 |
More by BlackHaddock
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
The Porterhouse was pretty close by our previous stop, The Harp, so it wasnt too long before RichLightWeight and I had another beer in our hands.
The Porterhouse runs high on the Irish brewpub theme, but it is tastefully done and thankfully devoid of little plastic leprechauns and shamrocks so often seen in the faux efforts, though the PH is the real deal. The design of the interior is first class, high quality materials have been utilized all over in the creation of a sprawling multi-level interior that is festooned with thick woods, copper, antiques, steel fittings and a lot of by-gone bric-a-brac including glass encased empty beer bottles from all over the World that form one whole wall. Intriguing décor is one that I could have walked around all day such was the interest level that it invokes.
The service is the look at me arent I pretty sort of affair. LOTS of identically dressed robotic servers, yet the service seemed a little slow, this is all the more annoying when you see groups if inactive chatting servers huddled together in gaggles like women do outside toilets. Still when they get around to serving the mere mortals it is quick, albeit without much conversation or even a smile.
Beer range is the highlight here and the whole reason for heading into the darkened warren past the bouncers outside. Serves a super varied range of Stouts, Porters, Lagers and other brews such as Pale Ale and Wheat beer, sadly most of them seem to be served on Nitro dispense. I didnt notice any Cask beer or even a Handpump, but RichLightWeight informed me that the Porterhouse definitely had both. The Oyster Stout which I ordered was very good, no doubts about that. In fact, all the beers are imported from the Porterhouse in Dublin, Ireland (hence the Beer Bar designation) and are of the best quality ingredients, but then they should be, because Brendan Dobbin was involved with most of them. I first came across his excellent beers at the equally legendary West Coast Brewing Co. in the very early 90s. West Coast Brewing had an inspiring California sunshine & beach inducing name, so did their beers like the infamous Yakima Grande Pale Ale, but it was actually situated in a shite-bombed barb-wired Pub called the Kings Arms in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester; it all resembled a US military compound in Iraq, but Brendan Dobbin is certainly a very talented brewer and it is nice to see that he is heavily involved with the creation of the Porterhouse beers. A range of interesting bottled beers support the drafts, though the range is good, it is very expensive, far out of my thin wallet range.
Well, what to say about the Porterhouse overall? A nice enough place and a decent range of true to style beers, but honestly, there is just something missing here for me. *Soul*. Given the excellent high quality well-designed interior and the superb range of well kept beer I should love this place - but I really didnt take to this place at all. It was crowded and full of people who want to be seen rather than drink good beer, and thats fine, the Porterhouse is not just there for boring old farts like me to drink beer. From the penguins on the door, right down to the nightclub feel inside, it exudes image over content, which may be a little unfair, but that is how it feels to me, but as I say, perhaps Im just an old git. That said, and my personal foibles aside, the Porterhouse definitely has great house beer, but it Nitro, and over-priced and I just cannot put up with all the posing around to get it, especially at the prices.
Worth a visit at least once, definitely for the beers, or even if youre on the pull - but I will not be in a hurry to get back here.
Last Visit: Saturday 24th June, 2006.
07-05-2006 05:25:01 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$$
A young and "colouful" Irish pub in the Covent Garden area, serving really decent stuffs... four stous/porters, four lagers, three ales and one hefe-weizen, plus recently added Kolsch they have around 12 house beers on tap, almost all are really decent and tasty, esp. the XXXX Stout, Plain Porter and Oyster Stout, way above the quality of lacklustre Guiness IMO. Hefe-weizen and Kolsch are both very nice too, beating quite a few German authentic stuffs I've had. Also on tap regularly are Fruli strawberry and Anchor Steambeer. They have a wide selection of world beers, too, though in my opinion the beer list is not good at all, with lots of commercial and macro stuffs and very little really hard to find else where, and all at rediculously high price. I'm never there for bottled foreign beers for that reason, only for fresh house nectars.
The place, which I've visited frequently since moving to London 15 months ago, is a hit and miss atmosphere-wise. In the afternoon up until, say 6pm during weekdays it can be really pleasant and relaxing drinking in there, with no loud music, large but interestingly arranged sitting plans, decoration of lots of beer bottles on the wall display shelves and many other stuffs, making it a lovable place really... But at night, esp. on the weekend evenings, the place becomes a totally different place, crowded, smoky, with incredibly loud music shouting from the speakers right behind the main bar, it's not accessible and rather like a dancing club, if only lighting was dimmer and all people were standing. Sometimes on early Sunday evenings there's live Irish music performance in a "traditional way", with performers themselves occupying a square table drinking and playing almost like for themselves. I like it, much better than overly loud club music later on at night.
An ultimate place for decent (non-macro) Irish brews in central London, but nothing is cheap there~~ And I'd rather use it more like a local pub (i.e. drinking in the afternoon). Recommended.
11-03-2005 07:17:25 |
More by wl0307
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Porterhouse, The in London, United Kingdom (England)