21-22 Maiden Lane
0207 836 9931
Open all day
The Porterhouse looks like any block of flats in London with a pub underneath, but the plain facade belies what lies within. Enter and you go into a world of shining copper and low ceilings.
Opened in 2000, you get the 21st century take on what a 'plastic paddy' pub in Dublin might look like if it were done by the Irish themselves. There are three floors - lifts for the disabled - with two mezzanines for staring at other people trying to get served below. These acquaint to the nooks and crannies you can find in older pubs. Seating has been placed wherever there is space and there are some nice two-seater tables, though they can often be in gangways.
The whole ambiance of the pub is good and friendly - we met some Dutch people over for the 'experience'.
The bar area has tiled floors and a ceramic surround - to mop up all the beer the staff seem to slop over it. Pictures are banned on the inside! So no one steals their style - as if photos are the only way to do that!
Anyway, the large working mechanical clock is a sight to behold and when it's quiet you can hear it working. Naturally you'd expect prices to be a bit steep (£2.80/pint for Plain Porter 4.3%) and they were, more so than the other pubs in the area. However, the choice was good, and they did a large selection of bottled foreign beers too, which were on a price par with Paris in 2002.
Food is served from 5-9pm Mon-Fri, Sat 12-9pm, Sun 12-5 with a roast. Prices for food were about normal (only steak was £10-£12), but portion sizes weren't checked on this occasion.
A couple of choices for vegetarians - Thai Noodle Salad, Spinach Pasta and a Mushroom Burger for £6.50. Worth a stop off if in London.
None as yet
up to 7 ales.
Hotel Strand Continental
Westminster, WC2R 1JA
From S:£4038, D:£60