A few weeks back, I asked the great and the good on Twitter if they knew of any places that sold flights of Port in London.
I knew of bars where I could buy a series of small measures of different types of Sherry. For Port, though, the only option seemed to be by the normal-sized glass, and usually one style on offer only. Two if you were lucky.
I got some replies. None bore fruit.
But that has all changed with the opening of the aptly-named The Port House, tucked away amongst the monolithic buildings in The Strand.
Owned by Irish brewery The Porterhouse Group, there are already three of these bars in Dublin, where the focus is actually serving tapas alongside goblet-sized speciality gin and tonics with a twist.
While Port isn’t a feature in the Dublin bars – not much demand apparently – there is a Port Bar on the first floor in London, serving two flights of three 50cl glasses.
For £7, you can try Dow’s Fine White, Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve and Quinta do Crasto LBV 2010.
For £12, you can sample Quinta do Vallado 10-year-old Tawny, Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage 2001 and Hutcheson Coheita 1998 (this is a Tawny Port from a single harvest).
You can buy Ports in larger glasses of course, and by the bottle, the priciest being a Dow’s 1985 Vintage at £150. Sherries are available too.
The Port House is a cosy joint, all dark wood, exposed brick, black metal and candles. I’m sure there’ll be more branches in time but it is a welcome addition in the mainly* soulless Strand.
*Obviously not talking about Simpson’s or The Savoy…