If ye olde English pubs are your thing, then the Punchbowl will be right up your street. Brimming with quirky touches that add to its charm, this 350-year-old Georgian pub in the heart of Mayfair is the second oldest in Britain.
Tucked away down a quiet street, the pub shot to fame during its ownership by director Guy Ritchie. Ritchie hung up his pub landlord shoes six years ago, which means you’re much less likely to see celebrities tucking into a roast here these days, but it’s still plenty buzzing with punters who come all days of the week to scoff the hearty lunch and dinner options.
The pub is split over three floors with the main floor consisting of a large bar area with cosy tables and booths tucked into every nook and cranny. The long wooden bar with it stools neatly lined up in a row takes centre place and is the perfect place to sip a pint or two of real local ale.
On the second floor, there is a contemporary dining room that feels distinctly modern compared to the ground floor restaurant thanks to its neutral colour palette and more refined furnishings, making it a great place to take a date for a romantic meal.
Our favourite area, however, is the private dining room on the third floor. Bursting with funky décor, this area has a much moodier and more playful feel to it than the other floors of the pub – think playing cards wall paper, an oversized chandelier, quirky paintings, Chesterfield sofas to sink into with a Negroni and an assortment of bric-a-brac scattered throughout the two adjoining rooms, which make it the perfect place for enjoying a wicked cocktail party!
Traditional pub fare is what they do best here. From Sunday roasts to fish and chips, burgers or Cumberland sausages and mash, they’ve got all of the classics covered.
We were ‘feeling fish’ the day we visited, so for starters, my husband selected the crab fish cakes (which he rated a solid 8/10) and I had the leek and potato soup (a classic that you really can’t go wrong with). Mains continued the fish theme. I opted for the traditional fish and chips (a massive piece of perfectly cooked cod that nearly hung off the plate) and my husband went for the monk fish wrapped in Parma ham, which was superb.
Our youngest restaurant reviewer, our 16-month-old son Evan, tucked into his own portion of creamy mashed potatoes. He seemed suitably impressed and actually exclaimed ‘oh wow!’ upon their arrival! All of the staff went out of their way to be extra accommodating during our visit, which made dining out with our young child a much less stressful experience, which any parent with a child under five can appreciate.
Now, to be honest, we shouldn’t have had dessert because frankly we were stuffed to the gills (sorry, I couldn’t resist the fish pun), but we managed to stretch our stomachs to squeeze in a brownie with banana ice cream, which was very rich and the perfect end to our meal.
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There's nothing more delicious in life than indulging in a sensational meal.