The Porter Restaurant Review
Tucked inside a Georgian townhouse on George Street, The Porter is like a jewellery box that opens up when you lift the lid – you’d never guess from the outside that it contains not only a restaurant (Clayton’s Kitchen) but a basement bar, a first floor coffee hang-out that becomes a bar in the evenings, and two private dining rooms. There’s also space to sit outside, with tables arranged along the flagstones of the pedestrianized Miles’ Buildings – the perfect place to while away a summer evening.
We visited on just such an evening, when the sky over the buildings of Bath was just turning a dusky blue, and – spoiler alert – we had a fabulous time. We started with a selection of breads with flavoured butter, oils and olives, washed down with a carafe of red wine (incidentally, I always think this is a really civilized option – we rarely want to sink an entire bottle between the two of us, but buying wine by the glass is just ruinous). Then we moved on to succulent scallops with the most tender beetroot, a delicious combination.
For the main course, I couldn’t resist the steak, and when I tried it I was glad I hadn’t! Served with chips cooked in duck fat (the only way to treat a chip, in my opinion), sweet roasted carrots, a smoky shallot and thyme puree and Madeira sauce, it was far, far away from the standard steak frites. However, I think my dining companion chose even better – Mr Parson’s sausages, served with mash and gravy. It might not sound like much, but it was heavenly. The mash was rich and buttery, the sauce of the perfect consistency, and the sausages were packed with flavour.
We finished the meal with three desserts… but before you judge, one of them was compliments of the chef, so I shall blame him for my expanding waistline! I ordered a salted caramel chocolate mousse, which was beautifully balanced – not too sweet, which can often be a problem with the ever-popular salt & caramel combination. My dining companion chose a deconstructed lemon meringue pie (to be honest, I’m not a fan, but it looked gorgeous and he assured me it tasted even better). But our extra dessert was the real star of the meal – a strawberry confection, with white chocolate snow and lime jelly. I must confess, it’s probably not something I would have ordered, so I was delighted to discover how fabulous it tasted.
Utterly stuffed, we walked home very slowly, and both declined breakfast the next day. With a fabulous atmosphere, friendly and enthusiastic staff, and an exquisite menu, I can’t recommend The Porter highly enough – try it soon.
Sal Godfrey is a blogger and food writer from Bath who loves scribbling, cooking and eating, and provides creative content services for foodie companies.
Visit her blog at www.salskitchen.blogspot.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @sal_godfrey.