I was pleased to receive an email a few days ago from 21 Hospitality Group, the group of restaurants and cafes in Newcastle and York headed by chef Terry Laybourne. I was pleased to learn that Porterhouse, one of the group’s restaurants within Fenwick department store in Newcastle city centre, is once again able to offer dining seven days a week and I was glad to have my memory jogged back to the last time I dined there.
To be more specific, my visit to Porterhouse in March 2020 was the last time I ate out anywhere – just as the global pandemic was beginning to apply its grip and activities which we had come to view as normal began to be curtailed.
I remember my thoughts as I sat at my table watching the staff working around the grill and service areas: “This may well be my last visit for a while”. As the months passed, I started to view that meal out as a sort of pre-Covid personal landmark . I pledged to myself that if this restaurant could survive the financial and practical difficulties the pandemic was causing that I would make it the first restaurant to head for when the dust settled from this extraordinary global event.
I wondered what might have been holding me back from reviewing the restaurant. Perhaps uncertainty about prospects for the survival and continuation of businesses in the post-pandemic phase had been acting as a restraint. Now, with the restaurant up and running, it’s time I converted my recollections and scribbled notes into a report. Look out for a review of Porterhouse Butcher and Grill midweek.
24 October 2021