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Porterhouse, Covent Garden

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user reviews of the Porterhouse, Covent Garden

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Odd place, very much not a typical pub, some of the beers are wicked expensive (but in fairness the barman did warn me). Labyrinthine and above all dark. Too dark for me.
rainlight - 9 Apr 2016 09:19
AVOID AT ALL COSTS! Just had my work Xmas drinks there and had an awful experience from start to end. Tried to reserve an area a few days and go and was told 'we don't take bookings in the Xmas period'. By then I should have known and picked another place but no...decided to give it a go anyway. We arrived early and picked a quiet area next to one of the bars, asked whether they were going to be serving drinks from that bar and got told 'maybe, we'll see'. During the course of the evening the bar staff was either rude or incompetent and sometime both...we got served several gin and tonics without ice and one time without 7pm the place was pretty packed and we decided to leave. At that time I discovered that my brand new £300 karen millen coat had disappeared. Apart from one lady who took my number in case the coat turns up, the staff couldn't care less...
The Porterhouse is a typical tourist trap in a very touristy area, where they get away with bad service and with a shady clientele who sits there waiting for valuables to be left unattended.
Sfoglia - 16 Dec 2014 23:54
one of my favorite pubs in central london! only problems i ever have here are the yuppy customers it attracts. my visit here today saw me enjoy one of the best stouts in london, and i do like their range of european beers, although there is nothing that stands out.
franklittlemore - 3 Apr 2014 00:01
Met an old mate here yesterday at 3pm. Not Surprisingly not as ram packed as others have said though by 7pm when we left it was busy. Nice Porter, Oyster Stout and Red. Staff efficient and friendly. Far worse pubs to converge on in central London.
GEPC - 17 Dec 2013 12:11
Gigantic craft beer pub serving a mixture of tourists and after work drinkers mainly. Good selection of bottled beers, albeit pricey, and a great place to bring a large group of people given its size. Huge smoking area/beer garden outside. Staff friendly and efficient although this is a hugely popular pub so waiting times can be long even with the 3/4 bar areas they have.
QueensParker - 7 Oct 2013 02:50
Trying hard to seem authentic old style pub and nearly pulls it off. Decent ales, ambient lighting, plenty of nooks and tables to hide away in. Worth a visit for a pint of porter.
Muzzy - 14 Aug 2013 19:49
Well, what can be said about The Porterhouse? It's basically a massive, Irish-themed superpub in Covent Garden. Always rammed at the weekends. I've experienced several Friday sessions at this pub and ... I suppose it's a bit like a Las Vegas casino really, where you don't know what time it is and you end up sucked into a vortex of craziness.

They seem to mostly have their own beers plus some guests in bottles. I've had their Red ale quite a bit, which is OK. There is also Chiller larger. So it's not a place for your regular brands. The price is pretty reasonable as well. And the staff are always a friendly bunch.

If you're in a big group, you'll have a good time. If you're not, you might get annoyed by all the people in big groups. I can't say I really like this place (my heart sinks just so slightly when it's suggested), but if you're up for a laugh and are prepared to ride the intensity of the place, then just take a deep breath and embrace it. 7
Goldings - 4 May 2013 18:06
great pub, but absolutely heaving before the bank holiday weekend
mont62y - 5 Apr 2013 16:16
Wow.... On a walk and came up the nell gwyne alley to be faced with this..... Something twigged and i rememered that it is in the camra 100 beer day out book. With all the choice, you could certainly spend a day. A monster of a pub, dont arrange to meet friends there, you'll never find them.

I will be back.....
Mappiman - 10 Feb 2013 18:16
I hadn't been here for a number of years. But we paid a return visit last Friday night. It's fairly much as I remembered it. Inside is generally busy and it can be difficult to find a table on any of the split-levels. TVs are all around, allowing people to watch the Olympics. There is also an external drinking area at the front, which also tends to be very crowded. Most of the beers are Irish keg beers. But there were also 3 cask ales - Doom Bar, Mad Goose & Wainwright. Possibly ok for a crawl. But there are better places for a session.
blue_scrumpy - 10 Aug 2012 20:55
Forced to go here on Saturday to watch the FA Cup final as the behaviour of a few moronic Chelsea fans had meant that The Lemon Tree decided not to show the game. It's a labyrinth of a place downstairs, so no good if you need 'phone reception or want to find people easily. We ended up crammed in a large area with lots of football fans, so moving around was difficult. Porterhouse Red was the choice of ale but it is overpriced at £3.95 for a pint of average beer. As soon as the match ended, we decamped to The Harp which has a better selection of beer, comfy seats upstairs and no need to shout at one another to make yourself heard. In summary, don't bother as you can find better places within a minute's walk.
DuchyBoy - 7 May 2012 11:01
You have to go here at least once just to wander round the various areas (upstairs and downstairs ) and enjoy the impressive interior. Beer range is pretty good too and if you don't want their draught beer then the fridges are crammed full of bottled beers from all over the world. Of course it gets packed solid and it can lead to a bit of push and shove to get a drink but make the effort and enjoy this "different"bar.
mcroyal - 4 Mar 2012 11:03
A big pub with a large selection of beers from all corners of the world. Expect it to be very busy at a weekend and if you get a seat you are very lucky. I generally go during the day on a weekday and have no problem getting a seat in the labyrinth of stairways and levels. The range of unique beers is unrivalled in central London - where else can you buy Vietnamese and Corsican beers under the same roof?! Worth visiting for the option of trying something different if nothing else.
packster - 16 Feb 2012 12:12
Really enjoy this place when having a quiet catch up with friends and football with a fantastic selection of beers.
However, bar staff can be occasionally huffy, and busy nights tend to be nightmarish thanks to some total morons who turn up.
One day I will have tried each beer at least once, but always come back to the Chiller, which is just a nice refreshing, quaffable beer suitable for watching footy with
Roydwin - 30 Oct 2011 18:34
Visited for the first time in ages on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised by the selection of beer on offer (so much so that there is a menu, divided into different countries' fare).

Tried the Porterhouse Original, Porterhouse Red and Hop Head (the other ale - TSB - was off). Good stuff and just over £3.50 for a pint. More than I like paying, but I guess around standard for the area.

The pub shows live sport was was pretty busy, although you're certainly not shoulder to shoulder with other punters. In fact, it's a huge pub on several different levels, so you should be able to find a seat somewhere, even on busy evenings.

The Harp is definitely my first choice for drinking in the area, but certainly wouldn't object were I to be dragged back here.
duchyjim - 30 Aug 2011 09:58
I enjoyed my Pint of Porterhouse Red here, but there is not enough seats I would like to sit down.

I shall return.
AuldJimmy - 27 Jun 2011 23:28
Actually really enjoy going to this place when out and about in Central. Definately not a real ale pub but does a good selection of spirits and a nice strawberry beer. I always found the patrons a really good crowd, always had a good time here :)
mikeyr1234 - 18 Jan 2011 00:19
Nice layout if a tad confusing & enough bottled beers that there's a menu. Great pub considering where it is.
JimmyJacksonJones - 5 Jan 2011 19:11
Had a pint of their Stickleback? which was freezing cold and tasted awful.
Dont bother going here if you like your real ale!
covman45 - 25 Oct 2010 17:20
pretty by the numbers attempt to recreate the quirky pub of the same name on Temple bar in Dublin. Mainly frequented by city types and chavs. Joy. Hasn't benefited from the smoking ban as even years later the smell of stale beer pervades. Do yourself a favour and go to 'The Harp' round the corner.
nosuchperson - 21 Oct 2010 13:40
top notch
TheGP - 22 Sep 2010 20:21
Very nice - went yesterday for first time. Reminds me of a brighter version of Waxy O Connors in Chinatown - different levels - MASSIVE beer list - nice and clean - interesting decor. Will be going back.
adamwalsh - 16 Aug 2010 07:24
Had a good time in here weekend before last.
Reasonable food an eclectic beer offer but the Thwaites Bomber was excellent My lad eventaully found a lager that he liked from their choice.
All round decent boozer next to the over-priced chains that cluster around CGarden.
downsview - 4 May 2010 15:31
Finally got round to visiting this place for the first time last week. The pub is on three levels - basement, ground floor and mezzanine - with bars on each level. The interior has a similar feel and appearance to it's sister pub in Dubin. As in Dublin the Porterhouse beers are on keg and the ones I recall being available were Templebrau, Wrasslers Stout, Oyster Stout, Plain Porter, Porterhouse Red and Brainblasta. There was a guest ale on pump but I can't remember what it was. I had a pint of the Plain Porter, which was a very drinkable stout. As they did not have the Hop Head which I had enjoyed in Dublin I followed this with a pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The beers are expensive, around £3.75 for the Plain and £4.50 for the Sierra Nevada.
I might pop in again if drinking in the area.
holbornboy - 31 Mar 2010 23:32
Visited for the first time on saturday, its got an intresting interior, i quite liked it, particularly upstairs. However i didnt enjoy the beer. The oyster stout was far to cold and had next to no flavour. I'm not likely to revist in the near future although i'm glad i had a look this time round.
Picasso09 - 29 Mar 2010 00:37
Ok, I am writing another review on this place as my previous one has generated the odd negative comment (and I accept it may not have been as balanced as it could have been).

I will always think that that chiller stuff is nasty - I enjoy lots of beers, but this tastes more like shandy.

On the upside, this place still seems to stock a lot of bottles, including some that are really hard to find elsewhere (especially Sam Adams, can't find it anywhere else in the West End). The place is often very packed, but always has a good atmosphere. The bar staff are also polite.
lennie384 - 1 Mar 2010 01:37
I've always rated this place highly since it opened - as I do the originals in Dublin and Bray. A good selection available although I tend to stick to the Plain Porter or the Red. I too have had a bad experience with The Polar in the past but haven't tried it for years now.

Food is good value - the burgers especially.

Superb service yesterday when a group of 17 of us turned up shortly after noon and camped out on the top floor. Frequent table service from a delightful lady with an amazing memory (how can you get 17 meal and beer orders right without writting anything down?) and great arms - she carred 2 trays with 17 pints up 2 flights of stairs with apparent ease!

Was filling up fast when we left about 1600 but we will return!

cheshirecat - 9 Dec 2009 09:32
The Plain Porter is now £3.35, this place is still a decent stop off on a saturday afternoon, if only to have a quiet pint after survivng Covent Garden.Beer quality is invariably excellent.
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 25 Oct 2009 11:48
the porterhouse is one of my favourite drinking spots in the west and and it's always a pleasure to have a few beers ihere - whether on a saturday afternoon retreat from the tourist hell of covent garden or a serious beer session with one's mates.

it strikes me as a modern take on the quays in galway and waxy o'connor's in chinatown.

contrary to lennie384's comments below, the in house draught beers are very good, especially the oyster stout which is smoother than guinness and just as easy to drink. mind you, i tend not to pay much attention to people who call themselves "seasoned hard drinkers". anyone who is of that ilk generally doesn't feel the need to brag about it.

the food in the porterhouse is normally very good, particularly the burgers and the bands i've seen on a saturday evening have hit the spot.

porcus_volans - 4 Oct 2009 18:21
I like this pub for the interior and like it even more when they show the sport on TV. However the best thing about this is the range of beer available. Last time I went in there I had 3 different beers and all were great including the TSB and the delish Oyster Stout. Word of warning - if you have too many the trip to the loos is more than interesting!

Will go back soon (like on a Saturday lunchtime for the footie) for a pint or 2 (or 3).
Oakman100 - 22 Sep 2009 18:34
I love the Porterhouse. The bar staff are friendly. The place is huge and goes on forever. They show live sports, they have live music and the brew their own beer in Ireland. I love the Fruli and the Chiller. They have recently refurbished it and the outdoors now has funky green chairs and tables, fake hedges and a bar all around the umbrellas so you can drink outside even in the rain. Gets very busy on a Friday night.
faithnirvana - 18 Sep 2009 12:20
I only go in here owing to the fact that they have a large menu of international beers available. However, on a recent visit the barman told me that they were going to be cutting down the menu somewhat; if they are going to be relying on their 'in-house' beers on tap, I wish them luck. They are all awful, particularly the polar bear one called 'chiller' - I am a seasoned, hard drinker and that stuff even made me feel sick !
lennie384 - 13 Sep 2009 16:59
Having been to Covent Garden regularly, 4 or 5 times a year, I was amazed that I'd never stumbled across this place!! Fantastic interior on many levels, friendly staff and a mind boogling selection of beers from around the world!!
Didn't eat there this time, interesting food menu, but will make it my first port of call when I'm next in London!!
Mothroy - 9 Aug 2009 10:13
Like the boozer, but a bit disappointed that our 8 drinks (7 beers and a short) worked out at over £33. I'll stick to drinking in the suburbs...
sonoftherock - 9 Jul 2009 09:32
Large, quite expensive, gets really busy on weekend evenings. Typical of many pubs in the area but given the layout, decor and drink selection this place it is totally different to the norm. Oyster Stout is lovely whilst I haven't heard a good word said about any of the draught lagers and the one I had (can't remember the name but I think it had an image of a polar bear or something like that on the tap) was poor. Very difficult to come to a conclusion on this place but that's not necessarily a bad thing, a bit like one of those rare films that makes you think for days after you leave the cinema. I'll be visiting again, probably on a weekend lunchtime or afternoon when it is relatively quiet,and may then come to a verdict.
nrj746 - 1 Jul 2009 09:45
Why the h*ll didn't I know about this place? I absolutely LOVE it, although it gets really busy.. A stage behind a bar is something that I highly support and enjoyed when I was there, so I'll be back.
ohsusyq - 26 Mar 2009 03:20
Excellent Oyster Stout on tap and lovely Irish rock oysters. Was getting crowded at 4:30 but then again it was St Patrick's Day. Would definitely go there for lunch again.
Greendragon00 - 15 Mar 2009 18:56
anirishbarman - 8 Feb 2009 23:05
Very nice place, when it is quiet.
Avoid the evening hours unless you like very crowded places, music is also far too loud.

When not too crowded this place is very good, excellent beer choice and tons of atmosphere.
ebenezerscrooge - 27 Jan 2009 23:31
Overcrowded and horrible toilets. Massive smoking area out front that you have to run the gauntlet through. Avoid
jaywhoopee - 15 Dec 2008 11:34
Nothing less than three sample trays, each with three beers plus a seasonal one. In addition to their own draught lagers, stouts and ales there is a quite impressive international bottle menu. Delicious food; the Porterhouse Frying Pan is highly recommendable. Decent service and cosy atmosphere. Best time for sampling beers should be in the afternoon before it gets too busy and crowded
rune - 15 Oct 2008 08:31
I wish it did more real ale. But a fantastic place none the less.
Thewoolpackinn - 9 Oct 2008 16:50
Great place during the quieter weekdays. The high percentage beers take your face off!
good_pubs_are_rare - 12 Sep 2008 22:18
Very well built with lots of open spaces and levels. Brass marble and wood decor. Similar design to Porterhouse Central and Porterhouse North in Dublin. The small Dublin based Porterhouse Brewing Company brews and supplies a wide range of stouts and beers to it's pubs in London and Dublin. The Plain Porter stout has won many awards and tastes more like Guinness did in Ireland 20 years ago than Guinness does now! The food is excellent.

Even though the premises is vast it can become very crowded and the bouncers, though maybe necessary, are a bit off-putting.

bitman - 3 Sep 2008 12:48
The only bad thing about this place is overcrowding - and that's there for good reason. It's not exactly a real ale stronghold (usually 2, sometimes 3, beers on handpumps) but it does have an excellent range of draught beers from Ireland's Porterhouse brewery plus one of the best selections of bottled beers in the country. Try to go at a quieter time of day, and you should have a great time.
rpadam - 31 Jul 2008 14:57
Absolutely love this place - great selection of beers (but not wines if you are into that), friendly staff, heaps of seating indoors, great ambience, and a nice big outdoors area. In the thick of the action but tucked away enough to not be too hectic - a great place to watch the world go by. Food is also good quality and reasonably priced. Only criticism is the small number of tables in the outdoors area, which could be much better utilised.
stuartw - 17 Jul 2008 10:02
I was left disappointed - A fair few of the beers were not available and some of the bottled stuff is very expensive. This is a great place to go if you're made of money, as one of my mates put it - hopefully i'll come back in a few years and enjoy it more!
ChrisP87 - 8 Jul 2008 14:34
This place has gone way up in my estimation after their hosting of Canada Day yesterday. First of all, they sold Sleeman's beers at a discount for the celebrations, including Sleeman's Pale Ale which I had never seen before. Secondly, they had Thwaites's Lancaster Bomber on the handpull, which is my favourite English ale.

The atmosphere there was great, and a perfect contrast to The Maple Leaf, which has screwed their Canadian customers over, and loves to fleece people on Canada Day. I still think the place draws undesirables on Friday nights, but the owners clearly care about trying to give the customers what they want.
topdog_andy - 2 Jul 2008 23:09
Interesting place this, in that it at least tries to have an extensive range of beers available, it doesn't lazily default to the usual suspects and standard line-up.
Sure not everything will always be available but the range remains impressive.
Tastefully done out and worth a visit in a stretch of Covent Garden that doesn't have bags of imagination in terms of bars.

Mind the stairs though sunbeam.
terenced - 7 Apr 2008 09:29
This place has a great look and vibe about it
My first visit, quite packed, didnt wait too long too get served, so further decisions about the place will be reserved, but ill happily return

The music is also a treat
the_original_rawnsleys - 20 Mar 2008 10:06
Half of the 'world beers' on the menu are never stocked, which is annoying. Mrs Quinno also had an issue in here with the food and a surly bar manager here a while back.

Staff quality varies - I've had some excellent service punctuated with others who seem to busy chatting to their mates the other side of the bar or serving attractive girls before everyone else.

Novelty has worn off, I'm busting down my mark for this place, sadly.

Quinno - 3 Feb 2008 20:53
I hate to admit it but I like this place, its fun wantering around the multiple levels to find a spot. The beers are great I thought, my favourite was the Oyster stout though you couldn't drink too many of them.
Teskea - 30 Jan 2008 19:38
The few occasions I have been here I have liked the character of this place and also the export lager on tap.
fletch - 11 Jan 2008 13:02
Over-hyped, over=expensive, over-packed with people who understandably do not have time to find a decent pub in London and therefore stick to a 'safe bet they got told about'. Beer is over-priced and overrrated - I have no issue with their ales which are quite nice, and similarly an Oyster stout is OK, but look at the price, and ask yourself is this really any better than a whole glut of other pubs in the nearby vicinity (Maple Leaf's miles better than that)? And does waiting 10 minutes to get served sound reasonable in this day and age?

Love the live music idea, but the quality sucks. Don't bother telling me about 'you wouldn't know good music...' because I've played in a band for years and it's still surprising what rubbish people can get away with. I'm kind of sad I've quit as I'm sure I could have made a few bob playing busker classics like 'Wish You Were Here' to the inebriated masses.

All in all, it's like the Punch and Judy but with better people and less Aussies. Don't ever think that's a bad thing, but don't believe for 5 seconds this means the Porterhouse is anything more than a money making tourist trap....

BTW _ the food is cr8p too, having had burgers there the last three times I've been.
rampantwurzel - 10 Jan 2008 14:55
I liked this pub - it can get packed on the weekend, but the amount of lager / beers on offer, you can't really go wrong. My only gripe is sometimes it takes a while to get served, but being in Covent Garden you expect that I suppose. Agree with another poster about the decor - slightly baffling, but after a few sharp ones, who really gives a toss?
easyskip - 15 Dec 2007 14:45
Extremely busy pub on 3 floors - good point is that it has lots of large tables able to seat groups of around 10. Bad point - the only bitter on tap was dreadful. If you visit, stick to bottled beer!. Beware, this place is mainly catering for the masses with an average age of 18-20.
hoppy123 - 12 Dec 2007 12:58
Confusing mish-mash of styles, floors, copper pipework, industrial. This eclectic mix doesn't work for me.

Beer reminded me of some micro-breweries in the 'States, where they went totally OTT on flavour.

Not a great place to find your friends as it is too easy to get lost.

And the bouncers once wouldn't allow me in because I was wearing shorts - and they were evil with it! It's summer, it's warm, people, including tourists, wear shorts!

Didn't check out the toilets
baggydave - 3 Oct 2007 22:29
Been in this pub a dozen or so times in the last few years and always found it to be good.A great selection of draught and bottled beers,the wrasslers 4x stout makes guinness taste like water.The food is a cut above the average pub as well
boundsgreenboy - 1 Oct 2007 07:46
Always full of people, mostly tourists. Expensive as it is in Covent Garden but the sheer choice of beer redeems it
silentbob9484 - 24 Sep 2007 11:53
I must have got lucky when I visited last week. It was my birds 18th birthday so we embarked on a crawl around Covent Garden. Got in there early evening, welcomed by the friendly bouncer, no issues at all. Got inside, and they were having an absolutely fantastic Belgian Beer Festival. McChouffe was on draught, as well as the predictable Fruhli, a long side 3 or 4 other interesting belgian brews (my memory is somewhat hazy). I sampled Timothy Taylors Landlord and it was excellent. Good atmosphere inside and on the terrace at the front, I will definitely be visiting again to investigate the rest it has to offer.
Sharp - 1 Aug 2007 20:47
Have been to this pub many times, listened to some excellent music drunk some very good beer. However I was entertaining 4 Russian friend on Sunday and though I will take them to my favourite London pub for dinner. I had my 15 year old son with me and we were so rudely refused entry to even the front terrace by someone who had no interest in his job and spoke little English that I will never go there again. There are plenty of pubs to choose from in Covent Garden, I would have though they would have liked to keep loyal customers. Not so The Porterhouse. Give it a miss, find a friendly one.
mick.wakelin - 13 Jun 2007 18:36
Bouncers on the door, which is never a good sign. It was dingy and devoid of charm.

I am not sure about these “exclusive” beers they have on. They band around the term “ale” and “stout”, yet from what I could fathom they were all keg stuff and they certainly were not cheap.

It is not quite the synthetic “Aaahh bejees tis a gran craic” faux-Irishness of O’Neills or Waxy’s, but there was nothing to persuade me to come back.
AleKing - 1 Jun 2007 11:19
quite an interesting pub, with a lot to look at. i like the pipes running through it and the different levels. unfortunately, i found the beer unbearable. tried a couple of them and both by half way down made me cringe.
testpattern - 30 May 2007 16:11
Lovely looking pub, gets a bit busy. I would avoid the draught beers, particularly the stout, think its called "Plain" - should be "Pain" because that's what you'll feel in the morning. Their lager all gave me a killer hangover.
RashersOKane - 14 Apr 2007 22:00
Its a bit of a below average pub. The door staff are your standard west-end rottweilers; rude but not thorough. We booked a table for 16 but got a table for 12. The basic lager is pale, flat and flavourless. I'm informed by one of the party that the stout was pretty good and I liked the irish red. The night we were in (Wednesday) it was quiet empty. Despite that it felt like it was understaffed. But friendly. Prices = same as anywhere else in Town.

It had that nightclub-esque feel that large pubs often have. Better then O'Neils or Waxy's but not by much.

billy_big_nutz - 6 Mar 2007 12:32
Its my understanding that the Porter house is an outlet for a micro brewery, with the beer being brewed in Ireland, now read into this what you like, they dont serve any draught branded beers, and the food here is great. Of course its not cheap, afterall you are in the westend, and yes it does get full of suits during the week, but this shouldnt be a surprise given where it is, and what is it people have against people wearing suits anyway!!.

Its worth popping in simply to sample a few of the beers but the interior is unique because it is on so many levels, all connected to one another with walk ways and small stair cases, so it is easy to get lost. oh, and in some of the lower levels you cant get phone reception, this can be a blessing, or a curse, depending on why you are in the pub in the first place.
trickydisco - 30 Jan 2007 11:17
No doubt about it, it's massive place with a huge selection of beers. The ones I tried were particularly poorly kept though. Seems to be inhabited on a Friday evening by people in suits who insist on blocking the walkways, then looking at you as though you just killed their dog when you try to get past to go for a slash. Went to the Nell Gwynne afterwards for some civility.
jemmison - 9 Jan 2007 16:19
Despite the doormen, it's a well known venue for scallies pick pockets and bag snatchers. If you hold on to your belongings the beer is quite nice.
anonymous - 4 Jan 2007 19:03
This is an excellent pub with a great choice of beer's yes it can get very crowded and some of band's are a bit iffy best to coms on a Sunday afternoon for the Irish musician's the staff are very friendly and efficient and I have never had any problem's with the door staff they always seem ok.
david737 - 4 Jan 2007 18:44
The largest pub I have ever been in and after a few too many its all too easy to get lost in there. Add to that aggressive door staff and high prices (to be expected I suppose) and it ain't that great.
On the plus side there is a huge range of drinks so good for fans of fruit beer etc and there is a good buzz out the front in the summer
atsoutar - 2 Jan 2007 16:59
Didn't like it at all. Horrible atmosphere and was told at the door to take my cap off (not a baseball cap, I might add - I don't like going around looking like a cancer victim or simpleton) which annoyed me. Jam packed with horrible suburban office types, TVs on so loud that conversation was out of the question. Interesting range of beers but that isn't enough to tempt me back.
rico166 - 2 Jan 2007 16:07
A funny type of pub, the Porterhouse looked like a touristy/All Bar one type joint from the outside. I am always suspicious of pubs that have bouncers on the door constantly - Usually this means I do not visit the pub.

Inside it is dark and cavernous but and this is the plus point, the choice of beers is extraordinary. This in itself promotes the Porterhouse from being just another touristy central London pub with gorillas on the door into somewhere I would actually contemplate spending an evening in. Therefore, worth investigation.
TheGP - 27 Dec 2006 13:46
I am just issuing a small warning regarding a lager served in this place called 'chiller'(the pump has a rather aggressive looking polar bear on it). I suspect the polar bear looks unhappy because it's urine is regularly harvested to produce this lager -it's nasty - do not drink it !

Otherwise an ok pub.
lennie384 - 27 Dec 2006 12:33
Good Irish Musicians on a Sunday afternoon.... lead by some of the best irish musicians in London
mhartes - 6 Dec 2006 16:01
Boozer near my office. Beer ranges from average to down right nasty. Intermittent service. Pretty much devoid of all things I look for in a good pub.
glue - 30 Nov 2006 17:48
Been dropping past here for 5 years since finding the original in Dublin, so much the same in appearance and beerage. Love the table service and sometimes the beer, but not always on top form. Live music can be good and it can be just the opposite, first few visits were the best. It can appear a bit dark in the summer but this means welcoming in the winter...Summing up then, one of the better options around this area.
Harlap - 9 Nov 2006 19:13
Perfect. Went there on a first date yesterday and couldn't have picked anywhere better. Staff were excellent, the polar bear lager is delicious, I loved the decor (beer bottle light shades!), a fantastic pub.
shakespeare - 9 Nov 2006 16:08
Excellent place, go and see for yourself.
DeggyT - 5 Nov 2006 13:52
Great pub with a truly stupendous list of beer. You can get a beer from pretty much any country in the world, from well known Belgian names to obscure Indonesian ones. They also brew their own - three stouts, three ales, three lagers. Oyster Stout (not suitable for vegetarians) is delicious.

The place does get very crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, gets a lot of tourists, and is very expensive; but this is Covent Garden, what do you expect? Bands can be pretty dire, but escape to the top floor where you can't hear them so much.

If you come in during the day, it is a nice spot for a quiet few drinks. Had some decent grub here too.
Crow_Valley - 30 Oct 2006 19:44
Great pub. always packed and full of people. great selection of beers. recommend the Oyster Beer.
actionman - 23 Oct 2006 09:49
I paid a visit to the Porter House last Saturday night (14th Oct) and found that overall; it was a decent enough place in some respects, yet it has one too many flaws. What I did like about here was the really interesting layout. There is only a ground floor and a basement; yet, there are so many hidden away cubbyholes. I was also impressed by the vast amount of different draught and bottled beers available. Prices were of course dear (£3+) per pint, yet this is Convent Garden on a Saturday night, so it’s to be expected I suppose. Now, what I didn’t like was the music. I couldn’t believe how bland the piped in stuff was prior to the blander still (same old predictable cover versions performed without with zero aplomb), band coming on. The set up was strange too. I’ve never attempted to watch a band that is performing from behind the bar! The FINAL gripe I have concerns the basement area in general. Have the owners not heard of air conditioning? It was like a sauna in there and with the overcrowd ness and people trying to constantly push by you, it became more and more unbearable as the evening progressed. I had to go outside just to breathe! Now the rant is over, I’ll summarise by stating that this is by no means a dire place and undoubtedly some love it, but I won’t be rushing back.
HTM69 - 17 Oct 2006 17:20
Cool Pub, like the Polar Bear lager, rather tasty, excellent bar staff, will go again
london123 - 9 Oct 2006 13:39
Way overaated and full of suited tossers on a Friday night.

That said, if you can pop in during the day you can have a quiet beer in peace without the heaving masses of the West End and take in just how maze like this pub can be.

Another thing to note and to be thankfull for is the wide and varied range of beers and lagers on sale.
PigPen_in_the_Fens - 19 Sep 2006 13:14
Following a recent expedition to london from the west country to meet old friends, i'd been given directions to the porterhouse, after going down the back streets of covent garden from the tube my friend and i were concerned that the venue of choice for our reunion of 15/16 blokes had been what looked like an overpriced, pretencious trendy type wine bar, but we had faith and went in.

Upon entering i was amazed, and thought i'd been transported to the titanic with the steel pipes and wood everywhere, a joy to behold.

The beers that were on offer were very tasty, there was definitley something for everyone and it wasn't too expensive either which was re-assuring. A good watering hole for a catchup, though i can imagine it wouldn't be as good later in the evening when it gets overcrowded, despite there being at least 3 floors that i found and a small mezzanine part as well.

Bar staff were friendly and didn't mind a laugh us having a laugh with them, wide range of consumers so no specific genre and a good atmosphere in general.

Next time we have a catchup i'll be proposing the same venue again and i'm sure i'll be seconded by many others.
bruciefresh - 21 Aug 2006 22:53
Pretentious - for those who think they are drinking something diferent - only one (1) beer is cask the rest are kegged - as they are in Ireland.

The one beer was uninspiring - there are far better pubs in the area - selling far better beers and choice
loftur - 21 Aug 2006 16:35
Maybe Saturday evening isn't the best time to visit this pub. Had to turn out the contents of my bag before I entered (presents as I was trying to celebrate my 30th birthday), which wasn't a good start. The beer is good, not exceptional but good. By 9.00pm felt like sardines, the place was heaving and then a band came on at around 9.00pm and from that point on we had to shout just to speak to one another, or to order a drink. Even moved up a level away from the band but my hearing had been ruined by now and could only hear a disturbing ringing noise. I'll give it another go in the afternoon some time.
giantelf - 14 Aug 2006 14:56
Not everyone wants a pint with someone elses kids round yer elbows. That's what Whacky Warehouses are for.
Albert_Campion - 4 Aug 2006 10:38
I like the Porterhouse, its different to the pub down my road! Its about 10 times the size, with 3 or 4 levels (maybe more, I couldn't discover them all!) It is a bit dimly lit, but its got character. Yes its lively in the evenings (and early afternoons sometimes) but it is situated in the middle of a busy metropolis..!! (If you want a quiet drink, come to my local...)! For a radical change, try the Porterhouse!!
I'll invite 'Jezz' and 'Paul B' to my next drinky... i'll leave the whinging pommies tho'...!!
Hey 'Barton'(Feb'06) they obviously have a door policy regarding under 18's, I presume your girls were (or looked young!). I know the feeling.. I've been refused entry myself with my wife & daughter at other establishments, but that doesn't make this a 'bad' pub.
WHEN oh WHEN is this country going to wake up its licensing laws...!! ITS OK TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY OUT FOR A DRINK! HOW ELSE WILL THEY LEARN TO DRINK SENSIBLY...?!! that's why the UK has drink problems with youngsters isn't it...!!
(N.B. to doorman everywhere - If they're 17, but with Mum &Dad... they should be OK... they're not gonna cause any trouble..!!)
Sorry.. I'll put that soap-box away now!! TJ

TeeJay - 3 Aug 2006 13:10
Just returned from my first(and only)visit to this 'pub'. It started off well. Fine big pub,busy and most impressive was a barman who took 3 orders at once without asking any of us to repeat,which was the first time i have seen that in the 20 years i have been over here..But the beer!! My god, it is disgusting. Pure slop. Nothing to do with not having brand names there,i have drank local brews all over this country and the planet and i tell you, this was just vile! On top of that,my friend,whos b'day we were celebrating,tried to return a rotten pint in exchange for a bottle of beer or cider. After a drawn out 'discussion'it was replaced with....another pint of muck. I kid you not,it looked and tasted like a medical experiment. All it was missing was a kidney stone. If you are going to to go drinking in the tourist trap, avoid this place like the plauge....mb
markbhoy - 28 Jul 2006 23:26
Typical whinging poms. They sell Coopers! (A home owned brewery in South Australia). Need I say more! When you are this far away from home, to see the green and red labels staring at you from those fridge doors brings a homesick tear to the eye! Go out and enjoy pubs instead of bagging them. Or better still, if ya know so much, go and buy a pub and make it the best place to be in the world! Or ya could down a Coopers Sparkling (red label by the way) and let all your troubles disappear!
jezz - 8 Jul 2006 19:04
Don't care what others think about this place coz I liked it. Beer good. It was quiet because it was early Thursday evening but at least you could have a convertsation without having to shout!!
paulbeckett - 6 Jul 2006 18:14
Why not complain if a pub's too touristy in the middle of Covent Garden? Or should huge chunks of our great city just be there for visitors?

Real pubs with tourists (The Lamb and Flag) = good.

Tourist Traps (this place to an extent and The Punch And Judy) = Bad.
Albert_Campion - 28 Jun 2006 12:49
Don't complain about a pub being too touristy, when it is in the middle of Covent Garden! It is a great pub, offering a huge range of beers and a friendly atmosphere throughout. The best way to do it is to go around the world in beers - everytime you get a round, get a selection of bottled beers from accross the globe. The place is much bigger than it appears from the outside, so be careful when arranging to meet friends! Also a huge thumbs-up for Sky Sports in the men's rooms!
anonymous_beer_lover - 6 Jun 2006 16:31
but when will they clean the lines - yuck???!?
anonymous - 25 May 2006 22:05
Declan - that one's called the Nell Gwynne.
Trev - 22 May 2006 12:50
Like all theme pubs there's just something about the place I don't like. The lager is sweet and the bitter indifferent, although I didn't have the Porterhouse red. (May pop in for a quick pint en route somewhere else).

Why go there when down the side alley nearby (forgotten the name) the is apprently a real place. You know near the Mongolian restaurant. Come out of the Portherhouse. Turn right. Near teh mongolian, there's a side alley on the right. Down there, I hear there's a hald decen t real pub. One of few in London.
declan88 - 15 May 2006 20:09
Tremendously busy and popular pub which has nevertheless taken the trouble to ensure disabled access, by a side door in the pedestrian alley next to the pub and by a lift between the different floors inside, and a disabled persons' WC.
Martinl - 11 May 2006 00:02
Noisy industrial zone night club and American style brewpub, though the beers are brewed in Ireland and then filtered and shipped over here. This place is dark and trendy and full of NOISE. The first time I came here they had a band playing behind the bar, so it was impossible to be heard - my order had to be given in sign language. They have a beer list of bottled beers and they sometimes do guest casks. It's a place that beer hunters come in order to sample the Irish brewed porter and stout - there is a sample tray of nine beers available. Other than beer hunters the place attracts tourists and young people. It's on several levels - all are noisy. And there are televisions sets blaring away in the toilets if you think you can escape the noise in there. The beers are not that great, but - to be fair - they're not that bad either. They might be better tasted fresh in Ireland.
SilkTork - 9 May 2006 23:24
The obvious thing to do when you arrive is head straight to the bar in front of you (and wait quarter of an hour to get served). Best bet is to steam round to the bar area further in and get served in an instant! And i've never got a hair in my beer from this bar.
hecklesworth - 23 Apr 2006 22:21
Cisk the fantastic lager from Malta used be sold in the Porterhouse, but it always seemed to sell out as it was so popular.I was told that it was difficult to get hold of. I see from the UK press that Cisk has now been launched in this country.It will be great to have it on sale here again.
blackandamber - 17 Apr 2006 20:27
Spent a thoroughly enjoyable day meeting old friends in the excellent Porterhouse yesterday. Looks like an overpriced, exclusive marquee from the front but once you step through the doors it's like you've entered a secret, underground kingdom of beer.

The multiple spiral staircases & dark, stone-walled, mezzanined walkways more closely resemble a rabbit-warren than a pub but it's fun being continually astounded at how you accidentally find a new route to the toilet each time you go.

The food was good. Mainly thin & crispy pizza's & a range of different burgers which are not as extortionate at you might expect given the location. There are a few more unusual options on the menu too, although we weren't brave enough to try the speciality oysters, we found our burgers to be more than adequate.

On to the real trump card - the beer. The Porterhouse is an irish brewery, with, currently, its one UK outlet in Covent Garden. They do a range of 3 ales, 3 stouts & 3 lagers on draught. The only cask offering, TSB 3.7%, was disappointingly dull but the flagship Porterhouse Red was a lovely keg-conditioned, burnt-flavoured Irish red ale. The Oyster Stout (made with real oysters) was also a treat but the real excitement came from the bottled selection covering hundreds of beers from most countries in the world from the USA, Australia & Europe to obscurities from the likes of Ethiopia & Zimbabwe. There are some real gems to be found.

When we arrived at 2pm the place was surprisingly 'empty' but after an hour or 2 they opened the large basement floor & it steadily filled up as the evening approached. The live covers band (I sadly didn't catch their name) were outstanding & surely professional session musicians. Sure to return another day to work our way further through that database of beer.
young_camra_collectiv - 16 Apr 2006 15:35
I went here last night. I got there about 4.30and most of the tables were taken already. I enjoyed the Plain Porter and I was fortunate enough not to have to go to the bar as after a couple of hours the place was heaving. Like most people have said - a good place to go if you don't mind it being busy and loud.
PeaBee - 1 Apr 2006 14:26
expensive over priced gimmicky place - i thought themed pubs were on the wane ?
moclips2002 - 26 Mar 2006 10:11
Great atmosphere, fantastic choice of beer - all of which are chemical free = slight hangover, if any - lots of tables/seats (you still need to get there early mind), friendly and knowledgeable staff, live music most nights. This is simply the best pub I've found in central London (after many years of searching).

Only caution: few beers, of which there are well over 100 on any given evening, are less than 5% and none are cheap.
Stroller4 - 7 Mar 2006 09:43
Like it's Dublin original, it is decorated with copper pipes etc
to resemble the inside of a brewery. There is a choice
of stouts and a long list of bottled beers. If you want
to sip your beer in quiet contemplation, go during the afternoon,
it *is* quiet then!
Uncle_Dunkel - 27 Feb 2006 02:10
Went to this pub with my wife and two teenage daughters (both more glamorous than I) for a pre-theatre meal at 6:15pm and we were turned away by two big bouncers outside. Very civilized! If the service inside is as good as that outside I would advise giving this establishment a miss. There is nothing on their website to advise about this selective door policy, which was humiliating to say the least.
Barton - 24 Feb 2006 14:56
Yes it was busy, but it was Sat early doors (5pm) so what do you expect. Food was very tasty and good value, beer didn't strike be as being too bad for Central Londonvillage. The place is a real rabbits warren of seating areas and bars, we had a good craic.
BigCol - 23 Feb 2006 15:06
Far to packed!! Great Band, We planned a full evening there, but we left after 20 mins as the pushing and shoving of people to get drinks and to see the band was shocking!!!
miks - 23 Feb 2006 00:13
Great range of beer, although the more obscure stuff is often out of stock. Suffers from being too popular, as it takes an age to get served. Still, if you can get in when it's quiet, or you like a crowd, worth a look.
rayray67 - 16 Feb 2006 15:06
I have had almost exactly the same experience there.
anonymous - 13 Feb 2006 12:15
I would have liked to sample the PorterHouse properly, but unfortunately we never got served. It was a not-particularly-busy Saturday afternoon, and my wife and I went there after watching a musical nearby. I had enjoyed going to the Porterhouse in Dublin, so we thought we'd give it a try.

We got to the main bar and stood there for several minutes, which would not be remarkable except for the fact that none of the five staff behind the bar were serving anyone. A girl even wiped the bar in front of us, and we tried to catch her attention but she rushed off to chat with another staff member. We evetually took to waving at the staff to try to get some attention, but it wasn't until we yelled "helloooo?" that anyone even paid any attention. Then the bartender said "We can't hear you!" and turned around to chat some more. When he finally came over, he sarcastically said "Patience is a virtue" and we asked to see his manager. He claimed to be the manager, which I don't believe, and after he insulted us, we decided to leave.

So I can't make any comment other than this: The staff are lazy, arrogant, and rude, and that includes the manager (if he really was the manager!). I won't be going there again, and I encourage others not to.
peshwengi - 13 Feb 2006 11:53
Great place. At xmas they provide some wonderful xmas beers from all over europe. Pricy and crowded, but then you're in central london, so what the f&$k do you expect??!!
oldelondonmerchant - 12 Feb 2006 21:26
Love the pub. Good selection of beers (especially the Germn Weissber) and always an interesting social experience.

Only problem I have with it is the generic English people who insist on going there and then complaining about everything. Fortunately all of us "braying antipodeans" generally drown them out and they can only whinge on here. Let's be thankful for small mercies.
tour_contact - 7 Feb 2006 21:47
a half-decent covent garden pub, a rarity in itself. nice beer range, bit pricey, lots of drunk tourists/young londoners. if you like/can put up with the crowd it's not bad. it does close early like almost everywhere else in westminster. the original in dublin is much better.
silverside - 22 Jan 2006 22:09
Cruzcampo is rubbish anyway. Their own beers are pretty good here and the bar is good design like it or not. Nothing wrong with antipodeans, but your typical covent garden crowd doesn't make for the best atmospheres or prices. I'd go for the beer if around that neck of the woods but you wouldn't catch me paying the ridiculous prices for the bottled beers.
mitomighty - 9 Jan 2006 15:31
In reply to Stonch. Thanks for the attack on Antipodeans...of which I happen to be one.
I don't think this forum is meant for attacks on groups of people. I find the pub a great place that reflects London's diverse society - I find that it is frequented by not only Antipodeans but Europeans too. Whilst it can be very busy and that is frustrating at times, it is an indictment of its popularity which demonstrates that your view is a minority one.
Zorba - 7 Jan 2006 09:58
Dodgy live music creates an atmosphere of sorts in this modern barn. It is packed with braying antipodeans and pissed up workers in various types of sales jobs. There are some good international bottled beers at silly prices. However, unimpressive but expensive draught beers make this a place to avoid for a satisfactory drinking session.
derry - 6 Jan 2006 17:05
Been here once. The bouncers made us move precisely 3 inches to the left because we "were in the way". That'll learn me to break my self-imposed never-go-in-a-bar-with-doormen rule.

Beer was OK but nothing special. Everybody in the place seemed to be tourists with rucksacks worn on their front (why do they do that?), couples conducting clandestine meetings, worried-looking blokes or Shouty Generic Australians.
Albert_Campion - 6 Jan 2006 13:30
i don't agree with the "modern and vibrant" bit. This place isn't modern, its just horrible. Agree about the beer list but really I'd rather buy the bottles from a specialist beer shop and drink at home rather than suffer the antipodeans and the dreadful service
anonymous - 5 Jan 2006 13:09
The beer list is simply amazing, with some amusingly candid descriptions of certain piss-poor well known brands found in other pubs.

Expensive? Not the cheapest no, but then you can easily spend £3 on a bog standard Stella anywhere else round there, plus figure some of these beers aren't on the usual disributors lists. Cruzcampo may be 50p/l in Spain but then we're not in Spain (sadly...)! Blame Gordon Brown!

It's good to see somewhere modern and vibrant promoting genuinely interesting and unusual beer.
OldRogue - 5 Jan 2006 13:03
Great place, excellent feeling, a wicked range of beers and certainly has that awesome bar feel!
Randy_Campbell - 21 Dec 2005 11:01
Don't arrange to meet your friends here - it's like a maze. So many floors, half-levels, different staircases, that in the end you don't know where you've looked! But if you arrive together you should be OK. Even when packed to capacity the service is quick and trays are provided to help you carry your drinks to your table. Wonderful selection of draft and bottled beers from around the world (listed in a book!) and great food too. Not cheap though.
Trev - 20 Dec 2005 15:01
Boisterous Irish bar on three levels. The beers start at £2.80 approx, pub absolutely heaving at 8pm last night. The atmosphere is lively, and even the bouncers were friendly when I visited. Try the TSB and Oyster Stout.

Interesting furniture and lighting.
lad_newton - 15 Dec 2005 12:24
I've been here many times and love the atmosphere and live music but had to wait for over an hour for food the other night, the response of the waiter and manager was absolutely ridiculous. We we offered a drink after taking the matter up four times with staff, should have got my money back and left. May drink there but sure as hell won't eat there again! Used to score 8/10 but now 4/10.
Dr.T - 9 Dec 2005 12:58
For extraordinarily rich and stupid drinkers. The two are often associated in these parts...
cardamom - 4 Dec 2005 16:48
You must be having a laugh - the prices take the pesh! Did like the draft though but I'd rather cut my nob off than pay those prices for bottled beer!!!! Great design though
mitomighty - 1 Dec 2005 13:06
Packed (too cold to stand outside) for a Tuesday night. Service still prompt for all that. Alas did not have full range of beers on (XXXX porter etc), as well as prices in their superb beer guide not tieing with the bar...

All in all starting to feel as if the place has slightly lost its edge.
zakman - 23 Nov 2005 13:52
Went here last night.

Food: utterly, utterly underwhelming. Had a lime and coriander chicken salad, which had no lime or coriander, the chicken wasn't great and neither was the salad.

Beer: Good range as per usual. The "Koenig Ludwig" wheat beer was lovely.

Prices: this place always used to be expensive, but they're just taking the mick now. 3.80 for a bottle of Banana Bread. 5.95 for a 1ltr bottle of Cruzcampo that costs about 50p in Spain. 9.25 for the underwhelming salad.

Not good value for money at all, and given this place is starting to get a bit grubby and tatty (the toilets are *minging*) and other places in the area are starting to increase their beer ranges, I suspect this place could find itself falling out of favour in the near future.
mike - 27 Oct 2005 09:15
No doubt that the beer here is wonderful. A pint of Oyster stout is almost as nice as the steak and kidney pudding they serve in Rules opposite!! But the place seemed grubby and the toilets were smelly.
wal - 13 Oct 2005 14:42
Plain Porter...Plain Brilliant!!...My favourite pint in Smokie Town.....They do a tasters servive,which gives you a quick nip of the main brews...but I've found the Porter is King.....£3 a pint-which seems more of a bargain after each glass!
Good place to visit during the day as its not too busy...The Ups n Downs format is quite similar to its sister branch in Dublin-whilst theres plenty of nooks & crannies to choose your seat from.
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 21 Sep 2005 21:31
excellent pub excellent beer, food is pretty quick recomend the oysters with a pint of stout
anonymous - 31 Aug 2005 22:46
I like their Plain Porter - that's my favourite of their draught beers.

My favourite bottled beer there is - Erdinger Dunkel.
edrok666 - 31 Aug 2005 09:37
This place is excellent, so much to choose from on the beer menu! The food is pretty good too. Best drink I've tried there is the Porterhouse Red. Heaven in a pint.

OK, prices are bit steep, but it's Covent Garden, not Hull. At least you get something unique for your cash. It does get crowded, so best to go in mid-sunday afternoon to enjoy the place properly.

One slightly sore point - watch their quizzer if you take more than a quid out of it, it sets ridiculous levels of attainment for the next time. Win your money and go!
Quinno - 30 Aug 2005 22:58
Great atmosphere and unique decor, on top of the best beer selection for miles around. Often hard to find a seat due to popularity, but it's a great Sunday afternoon pub, especially if you can sit out of the firing line of the Irish session going on in the corner (i.e. great background music, but wouldn't want it in your face). Beer menu contains useful information and tips to help you choose new beers to try.
mrfrisky - 28 Aug 2005 14:30
I still like this pub - the traditional music session and the beers are fantastic. The only thing that pisses me off is that for a bar that bombards you with their 'only genuine, authentic Irish brewery' claim-to-fame, they don't show the Gaelic games. Arranged to meet with some friends to watch the All-Ireland hurling semi-final and they weren't showing it! Unhelpful barmaiid too. Went to Waxy's to watch it - which was packed full of people doing the same. The PorterHouse is definitely losing trade on a Sunday.
keep_it_green - 16 Aug 2005 12:04
This pub has the best selection of world beers in London. I like to try something new whenever I go in - Russian lager, German dark white-beer, American ale, whatever!
edrok666 - 15 Aug 2005 20:24
The only gripe I have is when this place gets packed very quickly, making the room temperature hotter than a tube train at rush hour. Other than that, if you get here early enough, it's a good place to spend an afternoon. The stouts are excellent and beat guinness hands down. The Porterhouse Red is the best pint. (not too sure about some of the bands that play here at the weekends).

Good pub. Needs some air conditioning.
kriekboozer - 15 Aug 2005 18:18
Ok, but over-rated. I've never understood the popularity of this place....
rah - 2 Jun 2005 14:15
Excellent selection of Stouts and bottled beers from around the world. That's the good bit. Very expensive and full of loud tourists and City types. Still owrth visiting for the Oyster stout.
ahscum - 30 May 2005 11:32
A highly overrated pub regardless of the huge variety of beers and lager on offer. Probably the most appalling pub I have ever had the misfortune of eating in as the food was obviously cooked by a 5-year old have been warned!
Knocker - 24 May 2005 17:24
The stouts here are good but the place is too damn packed in the evening with tourists and trendy types. The staff are extremely arrogant and take aeons to serve you. Slightly on the expensive tip as well. Clearly relies more on location than antthing else.
kyle473 - 15 Apr 2005 16:12
Undeservingly popular place - as shown by the massive amount of reviews here. I was trapped here once by a mate's birthday, and was suffering so much I had to make my excuses and escape to the Lamb and Flag.

The beers are massively overrated. Some people are impressed by anything, as long as it's not a generic lager (witness the amount of rave reviews a Sam Smiths pub gets despite their house beers tasting like muck) but the tap brew here is horrible. Which leaves you with the overpriced bottled stuff, which I'm sure people are excited about because they're a novelty and not because they actually enjoy them.

The best thing about it though is that it's in Covent Garden. It suits the area perfectly. Horrible.
travis - 4 Apr 2005 02:32
I have the advantage of going here during the days. I love Stout, so this punis awesome as it has three very different Stouts. All of which have a unique flavour.

I would avoid this place on a Friday or Saturday night. But it is a great pub for proper beer. Intresting comment on Pasteurising. My understanding was that they tried to maintain natural ingredients and avoid such proceses, so I am not too sure this is valid.

Another comment said this "nasty beers" which I assume is beacuse they don't have Fosters, Guinness and 1664 on tap.

The service is not that good, but I have been to the Dublin Pub, and that was definatly not the case there,

This Pub is my favourite in London, but that is more than likely because I am a Stout lover and get fed up with Guinness everytime.
Mikepcshaw - 18 Mar 2005 15:20
Went there last night for St Patricks day and the place was going orf. There was one bartender who was a dickhead, apart from that the others were efficient. Will be back.
Speights - 18 Mar 2005 13:58
Went on saturday night with large group. The band didn't show up, the service was appalling, and the staff have an attitude problem.
One glass collector took two full drinks from our table and threw them (I'm presuming by accident). When we asked for a replacement we were told by the surly irish barman that 'that's life and 's*it happens'. Nice touch.
Another arrogant Covent Garden bar thinks location is all you need to run a good business. Shame, as it could be very good.
That's 12 locals who will leave it for the tourists.
vinrouge - 15 Mar 2005 17:37
Read about this pub when looking for Real Ale and it sounded good. Went along in the afternoon, six people in the pub, four customers and two staff. One staff serving food and the other faffing around with a cooler. Left after about five minutes and still hadn't been served or even acknowledged. won't be going back
anonymous - 15 Mar 2005 15:06
Probably the best selection of worldwide beers under one roof in central London. Has a TV screen for sport, but is not imposing. Good, attentive bar staff looking for people to serve and clearing up empties. The cleanest toilets I have been in for ages!!
snowdog2112 - 27 Feb 2005 09:55
How come a pub this big means you can never get a seat is beyond me. Ghastly place, nasty beers, impossible to get served and rude doorstaff. Avoid.
anonymous - 25 Feb 2005 12:05
Cool place to go for something a little beyond a regular pub/bar. Great bottled selection of beers of all (or most) types.
However, gets annoyingly busy despite impressive size, and generally seems to be too few bar staff.
Also bloody expensive, but hey it's Covent Garden.

Still a good spot.
eccentric_man - 4 Feb 2005 15:02
Truly fantastic selection of beers but sadly the labyrinthine nature of the place and the permanent over-crowding that restricts easy movement from bar to seat to toilet makes it a better place for a quick drop in rather than a place to spend the evening. Expect a fairly long wait when attempting to get a drink but helpful service once you are actually being dealt with.Prices are as awful as you might expect in this neck of the woods and the place is strangely soulless. All in all an expensive and uncomfortable environment that is only worth enduring on an occasional basis to try there many wonderful beers from all over the world. Would get a 9/10 for beers but only a 3/10 for layout, atmosphere and value.
Mr.Monkfish - 24 Jan 2005 16:43
A lively pub with character. Pity there's no cask beer, but brewing their own (in Ireland) is a nice touch.
graley - 29 Dec 2004 14:32
I cannot agree with some of the comments on this site. The place always seems desperately understaffed, the beer variety is kegged so any flavour has been well and truly pasteurised out, the food is predictable and you need a king’s ransom to get a round in.
For a proper beer house, try the Market Porter in Borough or the Wenlock Arms near Old Street.

SteveinLondon - 18 Dec 2004 14:20
The best place in London to play passport. Make a point of choosing a different beer each time even if you find one you like.
Richard - 9 Nov 2004 10:06
A very good pub. Its not cheap but the beer is great and there lots of it. Stocks lots on draught and well over a hundred bottled beers and No carlsberg, stella or 1664 in sight. Sometimes has live music which can be a good or a bad thing and there are T.Vs for sport but only in certain area. One of the best pubs in London and the one in Barnes in definitely wort a visit as well.
Brian - 25 Oct 2004 18:17
Class bar - bit smaller than the one in Barnes - but great beer and wine selection is pretty good too.
Scott - 16 Oct 2004 14:52
Big, busy, good beer although the weis was off. There was football and a covers band and lots of beer and loads of punters and the place is a labyrinth. I got a bit disorientated.
MrScott - 14 Oct 2004 11:43
This pub is fantastic. If you are a beer fanatic, then this is really the place for you. If you're looking to get drunk on Stella or other generic bs, steer clear, its too expensive for you and the finesse will be wasted. The beer afficionado will be well rewarded by this pub, coupled with a fantastic atmosphere, well worth a visit.
Martin - 12 Sep 2004 21:16
The best selection of beers in London. Great food, good music and a real party atmosphere. I'll be back.
Mike - 2 Sep 2004 12:42
As long as you like your pub loud and busy, the Porterhouse is perfect: a huge selection of beers, a decent (if expensive) menu, and the music isn't too bad. The Oyster stout and Porterhouse Red are pleasant drops if you like that sort of thing, and if you really dislike the pilsner like the gentleman below there are about a hundred others on offer (bottled). Stupidly busy on Friday/Saturday night.
anna - 11 Aug 2004 14:56
Full of predatory homosexuals. Mostly irish.

Soulless, expensive, touristy and crap.
Matt - 14 Jul 2004 11:54
I was very disappointed by this pub - rather than being a temple to all things beer related, as we'd hoped, it was overpriced and served up 'own brew' pilsner that tasted like window cleaner. The TSB ale wasn't up to much either. Maybe they had an off day, but the beer here was the worst I've had in 12 years of drinking in London.
Kris - 12 Jul 2004 17:32
Exciting pub, always busy even on traditionally quiet days of the week. The bars (all six of them) boast a wide selection of beers from all over the world.

Live music on certain nights.
Guy - 25 May 2004 13:15
great pub - great atmosphere - great live music. had a really good night here. was very busy and place is huge but would definitely recommend.
Clairey - 24 May 2004 15:20
This place is huge, I actually got lost when I went down to the loos, couldnt find my way back up stairs, could have had something to do with the fact that I'd had about 8 pints by this stage. Very lively place loads of people, we stood outside cause so packed. Was a fun place though.
Maz McGuigan - 10 May 2004 11:05
Lots and lots and lots of crap over priced beer, if thats your thing you'll love it!!
Damien - 29 Mar 2004 16:06
A great pub, shame about the location.

Loads of fantastic beers, even a decent beer from Australia! Loads of little nooks and crannies to hide in.

Unfortunately, it's right by Covent Garden, so as a result gets too full.

Also, the bar staff could do with some kind of 'punter awareness' program. Don't stand in the wrong place, you'll be waiting for a llloooonnnngggg time!!
Matt - 11 Mar 2004 13:17
I really dislike this pub. Its always so full of people that you can't see what's on tap until you get to the bar. Inevitably you are rushed into buying a rubbish beer that is 7% or something equally ridiculous. I always end up throwing up drunk when all I wanted was a quiet couple of pints.

I really cannot recommend this pub to anyone.
Jenna Malone - 9 Mar 2004 15:08
Decided to see if Weekends were as bad as stated. It was packed but not so bad that it made it difficult to get a drink. My first impressions hasn't changed, the beer is good the pub lively... Good choice for a night out in London..
Mike - 6 Mar 2004 00:36
Crowded with suits who've made the journey up the Central Line to stand and shout at each other. Cloudy beer, rubbish white wine and "music" ridiculous.
Alexis - 5 Mar 2004 13:38
I have read about this pub, and I have to say I was sceptical. However, for pure quality of beer, this place is top drawer. It is a shrine to good beer. I loved it - will be back next time I am in London.
Mike - 3 Mar 2004 19:38
An excellent pub, very spacious on many different levels, good music, live entertainment and Sky Sports in the gents lav. There's a wide variety of beers on offer from around the world along with their own brand of lagers and stoute. The only down point would be the prices, very expensive but if you go drinking in central London I suppose that's to be expected! A good place to get lost in. 7/10
Steven - 20 Feb 2004 13:53
A pub right out of the top drawer. Always a friendly, lively atmosphere. All manner of beers, all which have to be tried. Try to get down there when there's live music on. Probably the best spot in Covent Garden.
Alex - 13 Feb 2004 16:04
Beer heaven, but gets too busy, and the clock is always 20 minutes fast.
Andrew - 12 Feb 2004 09:32
Any pub that has Sky Sports showing in the Gents has got to be doing something right!
Rob - 2 Feb 2004 15:40
I think Matt (12 Jan 2004) has hit the nail on the head. It's big, dimly lit, lots of nooks and crannies to escape to, live music, all things to all people and ALWAYS FUN! Have been at least a dozen times and it's a great place to start the night. Oh, and did I mention the 'beers of the world' menu? I think they've scaled the international beer list back nowadays but it's great fun trying to drink yourself around the globe.
Paladino - 23 Jan 2004 21:08
Serves a quirky (and very cheap, if I recall) lager called Chiller. Has live music in the basement at weekends. The best thing about the Porterhouse is that it's all things to all people - there are quiet, cosy corners, pleasant bars where party groups can mingle and hear themselves speak, plenty of large tables, adequate food, and a raucous, pull-an-Aussie-au-pair basement bar with dancing. The decor is great too and there is rarely any aggro.
Matt - 12 Jan 2004 13:05
Well its nice to go in a bar over here and drink something different other than stella and fosters ,the list of different beers is awesome ,hope to see (export gold) and (tui) on the list at some point.
Alan - 10 Jan 2004 12:34
This is a great pub. There is a huge beer menu to work through & although it is a bit pricey, it is Covent Garden! Go early to get a seat as it can get busy & there are loads of cosy booths which are great if on a date :-)
Matt - 5 Jan 2004 13:59
Not bad, love the beer and the live bands.however, it gets stupidly busy and the prices are well expensive.
Kevin - 29 Dec 2003 18:33
I love this place. Entertainment never less than good and remarkably cheap for Central London. Beer wonderful esp Plain Porter.
Try the Oysters.
puss in pye corner - 1 Dec 2003 12:34
Was in the House last Saturday after the rugby! Brought a mate who had just returned from NZ and Oz. He loved the range of Southern Hemisphere beers. Which is just as well as he is a miserable bastard!

Great place will defo be coming in over the next month..........
Rob - 29 Nov 2003 16:57
Excellent pub! Clean and well-managed. Live music, wide variety of beer, good class of patron and frequented by some attractive ladies.
Can get busy; also pricy.
Peter - 22 Nov 2003 14:06
Its a belter
Ted - - 21 Nov 2003 22:39
thought it was a bit shite really. full of ben shermans and tourists. oh and a dodgy covers band. might be alright in the weekday daytime, no atually it won't it's crap.
alisdair - 21 Nov 2003 13:39
Fantastic place, huge range of bottled beers, good service but very busy.
Pete - 20 Nov 2003 20:22
What a weird pub! BUt what a f*****g amazing one as well. Had an "extended" lunch last Friday, and found the place to be one of the best pubs i have ever been into!!

Will defo be going back, especially as Christmas is around the corner!!!

Bring it the hell on!
Rob - 3 Nov 2003 13:36
Sepite being very busy on a friday night, it's a good pub with good decor and lots of interesting beers to try. Best to go there on a Monday afternoon and get smashed.
Martin - 27 Oct 2003 14:20
been once

kept walking up stairs half expecting to come out on the cealing.

Its a living Escher print.

That said with friends its a great place to sample the wares of the world.

And a question about the beer menu

And WHY is Tasmania listed as a seperate country to Australia? Did a Queenslander compile it?
jon-paul - 24 Oct 2003 16:18
Looks a bit dingy but once inside opens up into a copper and steel masterpiece. The live music was brilliant, beer menu great - my boyfriend and i had a great night tucked away in one of the hidden boothes
catherine - 28 Sep 2003 01:57
Big, quirky decor and some decent beers on offer, but by no means a cosy pub. The lack of atmosphere in this place can be depressing, and though you may find a corner somewhere away from the amourphous laaandan mob that fills it of a friday, you won't be able to hear yourself think. considerably worse than several other nearby haunts, and far too popular with office clones.
Ant - 24 Sep 2003 18:03
Good food and a fantastic range of beers, no familiar names on tap though.
Pauly - 20 Sep 2003 15:34
Very nice place, although could easily get lost inside. Very busy at weekends but nice to stand outside if the weather is good. Doorstaff were a bit arsey and wouldn't even let my friend stand with us outside because he was too drunk, but he did fall over right in front of them. Would definitely go again.
Lieven - 11 Sep 2003 16:54
This is a pub that really does catch the imagination and eye... The way this pub has been decked out is a tribute to pub lovers from all countries, this place is a definate!!!
Tim - 14 Aug 2003 12:56
This was the first location for the evening. Lots of pretty girls and a jiggidy-wiggidy group of musicians play Irish music on real instruments. That said, this pub is a maze on several floors and it is beautiful. The fittings are spectacular and you may be walking into an engineers oversized shed or some clockmakers studio. The variety of beers is an accolade and they usually brew their own. The place is packed of weekend evening and can take you a long time to get a beer but once again, this is a really cool pub to go with a group of friends or just a girl. Tv's in the toilets as well
Doofer - 6 Aug 2003 14:00
Has been my favourite Pub in London for the past two years. Great atmosphere. It does get busy at the weekend, but that just means you have to get there earlier if you want a seat. Good bands. Fantastic selection of beers. What more do you need?
Phil - 24 Jul 2003 17:14
Great pub, atomsphere was awesome & range of excellent beers. Finally snagged a seat after two hours and the rest of the night was pure beer degustation bliss. You can bet me I'm paying £3 for a souvenir menu !!
Twistie - 21 Jul 2003 15:51
Strange place. Dark, cavernous and crowded. Chairs and tables become a much sought after commodity and once gained are rarely given up all night.

Good choice of beers from what I can remember, which ain't much.
Ruby - 18 Jul 2003 16:30
Love the Porterhouse for the huge variety of beers on offer. No Michelob though. Sky Sports in men's loo - woohoo!
Matthew - 8 Jul 2003 17:41
I'm revising my comments and my rating. After Saturday night I'd like to say that The Porterhouse has gone down in my estimation. TO BE AVOIDED ON SATURDAYS!!

It's full of lime green shirt touting tosspots and the barman actually seemed to get annoyed at me because I interupted his efforts to chat up some woman on the other side of the bar. TWICE! Tosser.

The only saving grace was that the girl who brought our food over was very cute indeed... ;-)
TheG - 2 Jul 2003 14:45
Im going, im going, any which way the wind might be blowing, im going im going, where STREAMS OF WHISKEY are flowing !!
BK - 2 Jul 2003 11:43
Cool pub.

Dunno if they still do dodgy comedy once a fortnight but that used to be a cringeworthy laugh!

Oyster Stout = yum.
Porterhouse Red = yum.

Food looked overpriced compared to The Maple Leaf a few doors down, hence didn't have any so can't compare the taste (but I love ML food). The beer is better and a lot more varied though...

Choices choices! ;-)

Oh and no phone reception downstairs!!
james - 26 Jun 2003 16:32
An excellent pub. Been here many times and worked my way through all the draft choices and a fair chunk of the bottled beer menu. The food is good too.
Steve - 23 Jun 2003 14:47
Contrary to my usual tastes, I like The Porterhouse. And I like their stout, though I must confess I didn't go near the one with seafood in it. That sounded like a really bad idea, and judging by David's post, it is! The place is bloody massive mind, and it has one thing against it. A cash machine inside. This sounds like a great idea, but in actual fact it's really really bad for your wallet... bastards!
TheG - 20 Jun 2003 10:35
Worth a visit to this bar i think.It's such a great and interesting set up inside.I remember this bar best for watching the world cup final in.
Great choice of beers from around the world.
Andy Bishop - - 13 Jun 2003 23:06
Was here last Saturday night - some dreadfull oirish band in the basement. The draught beer tastes like cack - Oyster stout will haunt my nightmares for years to come. On the plus point, the range of bottled beer is fantastic- it's the only place i've ever seen Cisk outside of Malta.
David - 2 Jun 2003 17:10
Have been to the Porterhouse many times and despite being always busy and crowded, there is always a corner or space to make your own. Great pub to start your night at and the extensive list of foreign beers is a conversation point.
Paladin - 28 May 2003 10:50
great place to watch sporting events, plasma screens and beer being served to your table. Does life get any better?

p.s. could do with having more fanny in there.
adman - 19 Mar 2003 21:27
Sorry we always have our staff parties here every year and i hate the place. Only arty farty bottled world bears and homebrew on sale sorry i'm not a fan
arturo_morales - 18 Mar 2003 16:21
Nice place, very big obviously but not just full of pricks! Been there on a number of occassions and met nice new people every time despite being in a big group to begin with. Its so busy you cant help but meet new people, the original range of beer is a good feature, and so is the semi-darkness, after all who wants to be in a brightly lit place after 10 pints??
sarah - 14 Mar 2003 10:53
Decent Selection, and plenty of space. Not one to visit regularly though.
Patrick - 11 Mar 2003 11:58
Dreadful place - grotesquely expensive, snooty (but what have they got to be snooty about?!?!) bar staff and full of the sort of people who can't spell 'London'.
ElDickster - 11 Mar 2003 09:57
quite simply the best pub in londen,and the best beer in londen.
d.little. - 6 Mar 2003 22:39
Dreadful, crap range of home-made beer. Too dark as well, full of pricks.
Ian - 5 Mar 2003 14:31
good comedy nights, lovely beer in silly glasses, spacious but intimate... and excitingly labarynthine. I am impressed!
Ash - 11 Feb 2003 13:26
This pub is great. It can get very busy but it has several bars and attracts a good cross section of people. I defy anyone to not like at least one beer on offer.

Yes it is expensive but remember this is Covent Garden. What do you expect?
Alistair - 6 Jan 2003 15:09
Top pub - great atmosphere - very christmassy feel throughout december - cant wait to carry on the mammoth task of getting thru the world beers list ! cheers.
paul - 26 Dec 2002 10:04
Very popular, gets very busy and generally a very social place. Grumpy bar but usually efficient bar staff. Porters and cask TSB are best. Beers all have that familiar microbrew taste. Great inside. Small courtyard out front packs them in the summer.
Jon - 4 Nov 2002 17:44
Another cracking Friday night in the maze of bars that comprise this behemoth of a pub. Can I suggest pints of Oyster Stout with a double Tia Maria dropped in for good measure... Makes yer feel good! Look out for the sparkly new cocktail menu as well.
PaulyH - 14 Oct 2002 16:33
I challenge anyone to find a more expensive list of beers in the world! The atmosphere is great and the pub is situated on about 6 or 7 different levels. If you're meeting friends, arrange to meet on the ground floor in the main bar!
Adrian Yorke - 8 Oct 2002 00:13
Terrific place, start with Oyster Stout, continue by mixing the Belgian beers, and hurt from both ends the morning after.
Daniel - 30 Sep 2002 15:12
Decent pub, excellent beer. The porter and stouts are superb. Nearly as good as the original in Dublin.
Joe - 26 Sep 2002 19:29
Wonderful pub, great selection of beers. One of the best pubs in London. A must see.
Jason - 27 Aug 2002 13:47
oh, another thing - sometimes if it's quiet the bar staff actually come over to you so there's no need to drag yourself to the bar :)
Briony - 9 Aug 2002 15:43
I love this pub! You don't need to visit any other pub when you visit this one, as the huge selection is full of quality - my favourite being Oyster Stout.
Briony - 8 Aug 2002 14:29
This pub is responsible for far too many hangovers!

Give the Haan (an Australian beer) a try.

The food's a bit dodgy, but apart form that it's a nice pub.
Phil - - 5 Aug 2002 11:17
Is just as good as it's older sibling in Dublin (Temple Bar just by the Halpenny bridge!)
pab - 30 Jul 2002 19:36
Excellent beer selection, especially when they stock the stuff I used to live on when I lived in Austria. It's good for you too!
David - 18 Jul 2002 11:00
Enormous place, divided up very well into several bar areas with mezzanine levels so it doesn't feel like a warehouse. Nice to see a beer list rather than a wine list in a West End pub! Pricey but worth it, also has live singers / DJs in basement bar
Paul - 9 Jul 2002 15:54
Not so much as a pub crawl but the great selection of beers allows a great pub challenge. The idea is to start at 0% and work your way up to the Beelzebub (15%) in 1% increments. Very hard
John The Greek - 21 May 2002 14:45

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