Strolling through the meandering cobbled mews’ of Mayfair, I found myself at the well positioned but slightly quirky and tricky front door of The Punch Bowl, to discover a warm country pub feel, similar to my local in Yorkshire. It’s brilliant to experience the hustle and bustle of a village local situated in the very heart of Mayfair.
Winding my way through the distinguished ale drinking Mayfairian’s I spotted an almost secret door, leading to the upstairs dining room, as I walk through I’m greeted by a very welcoming face who shows me to my table while I wait for my guest. The table, quaint and with a view of the kitchen and open pass.
Eventually deciding on a Hendricks and fever tree to quench my thirst after a days work, I sit back and enjoy the ambiance. I had heard lot’s of good things about this pub so I was keen to see if it would all ring true.
Having a leisurely peruse over a menu is one of life’s great and true pleasures. Sometimes, I feel people are too hasty in making their choice. I greet my guest and find myself on the “starters”; being a huge fan of game, I chose the New forest Game terrine. It’s known to be a deep and rich dish, perfect for these winter nights. My guest opted for the scallops and they were very good, large and perfectly cooked, served with a delicious apple purée and smoked crispy bacon.
We washed our dishes down with a clean, elegant and chilled glass of Côtes de Gascogne, in honour of my French guest, Jeff!
We chose the house red, a Molino Loco, to drink with the mains. In my opinion, a house wine should reflect the chef and sommelier’s taste, I found their choice to be, a tad off perfect for me. I hoped for a punchy, bold and round wine to match the big and bold tasting mains. I found the wine a bit too subtle for my taste, it was very drinkable, but I like a bit of spice.
We decided to order the chateaubriand, it isn’t on the menu and must be specially requested. Once told that it would take thirty to forty minuets, we wanted it even more! It sounded exquisite, served with truffle mash, and we chose a side of spinach.
It was one of the most perfect and wonderfully cooked chateaubriand’s I have ever had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into- we savoured every last bite! I glanced at my watch and realised we’d already been at the table nearly three hours! We finished the night off with a brandy and double espresso; a perfect way to end the night.
The Punch Bowl is a real must try and so much more. I know I’ll be going back for more.
[By Timothy Lord, contributor]