Punch Bowl, Mayfair
Taking lock stock of the place from the outside the pub really sticks out; literally protruding further than other buildings in the road, and also on account of it’s bold black and white frontage, topped with a fine floral display on the low level roof.
Inside this is the ideal place to come out with that detestable cliché ‘touch wood’; there’s loads of it to get your mitts on in the hope that Lady Luck will spare you from getting a round in here.
For indeed, the rumours are true, the prices here are tasty. Tastier perhaps than the limited selection of lagers and ales served on tap. But hey, this is Mayfair and to be expected.
On the plus side, the pub is very accommodating.
The decoration is fitting for a traditional English pub, with both a hint of patriotism (portraits of The Queen and Churchill), and perhaps some indication of the propriotor’s hobbies (one picture depicts some strung-up pheasants, quite possibly despatched by the Governors two smoking barrels).
The toilets are nicely tiled in period style, and the Punchbowl have not skimped on creature comforts; the Roots and Wing , grapefruit and mint hand wash contains 76% organic ingredients and the Dyson hand drier outclasses most of the other pub driers you’re likely to encounter.
The staff too have been given the treatment and can be seeing in matching shirts and blouses that are worthy of a Jermyn Street tailors.
In terms of food, the Punchbowl’s website champions their Head Chef, Thomas Bridgewater and confirms that ‘his ethos on food is simple, quality food, locally sourced produce, seasonally changing menus’.
I caught sight of enough clean plates to get the distinct impression that they are perfectly entitled to big-up Mr Bridgewater. The menu is fully downloadable from the website.
Now there have been some press headlines regarding complaints from local residents in relation to noisy punch-drunk punters spilling out and disturbing the peace.
Management have got that covered with some well placed and extremely polite placards asking patrons to depart quietly out of respect for local residents.
Although my visit was during the daytime, I’m advised that The Punchbowl have some gentlemen on the door in the evenings to ensure that customers are swiftly moved on (I like to imagine that they must resemble Vinnie Jones hoping Gazza’s outstayed his welcome).
All told this pub offers great character and is well worth a visit.
41 Farm Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5RP
Green Park: leave the station and walk down Piccadilly on the right hand side (opposite side to Green Park) towards Hyde Park. Take the third right up Half Moon Street, left up Curzon Street, then right up Queen Street. When you get to the next street (Charles Street) you'll see Chesterfield Hill across the road, more or less in front of you. Walk up Chesterfield Hill to the pub. Bond Street: head down Davies Street to Berkeley Square. Take the first right from the square into Hill Street, walk along Hill Street until you get to Chesterfield Hill. Turn right up Chesterfield Hill and You'll see the pub up the hill in front of you.