The first Porterhouse I went to was in Dublin about 12 years ago, where I met a very beautiful and very orange Australian man who wooed me with a hip flask and some bold moves on the dance floor (reader, they were not dance moves).
This London outpost has seen a lot in its time, too. For one, Turner once lived here and we all know that the man was a genius. The things he could do with clouds! I daresay, though, that the weekend shenanigans that abound now might make him blanche. I once went on a first date here with a paratrooper who looked like Paul Newman. What could go wrong? Rather a lot, it quickly transpired, but luckily there was a lot of Porterhouse-owned beer and Dingle gin to take the edge off. Sigh. Was it ever thus for beautiful Irish women? I had had enough of foolish men so I took Gareth, who is Welsh and has the same glint of the Celt in his eye. Many a time have we sauntered the labyrinth of the Porterhouse, singing and dancing long after Turner would have gone to bed. This lunchtime we were terribly well behaved. Gareth was terribly pleased with his chicken, ham and leek pie – the pastry was light and crisp AND had those filling-softened bits that are my favourite. My chimichurri chicken was all garlic and green goodness and a perennial favourite. Thus replete we wondered if we might stay on for some more of that Dingle gin but that was to be for another time. I think Turner would have approved.
Porterhouse, 21-22 Maiden Lane www.theporterhouse.ie ►MAP E5