I was in London on a business trip, and as a fan of pubs I went to several in the Mayfair area. Punchbowl by far had the best food. The roast Devon lamb was amazing, even if it was a bit small; and the toffee pudding was the best thing I ate while in London.
My only complaint was that it was very loud.
I've been to the Punch Bowl twice now, once just for drinks and the other for dinner. Overall, I'd say this place is highly forgettable and not worth your money. Drinks are standard and fine, but overpriced. You can find the exact same brews down the road without the arbitrary premium upcharge.
The food was mediocre at best. They had a small but good selection on the menu. The items were pricier than a regular pub but seemed a bit more upmarket so it was fine. I opted for a trout starter and a side of broccoli while my friends got the steak tartare and the fish and chips. Everything was pretty bland and I could have made a more inventive meal myself. Given the price tag, I highly regret eating there.
The service was fine, but nothing to write home about.
Overall, the pub is cozy and homey with a post-work banking clientele (as one person put it "hedge fund central"). If that's not your scene, I wouldn't bother with this place. There are too many pubs in London with better food at cheaper prices to trek all the way to this place.
I walked in and found there's no host so I asked the bartender for a table and just when I thought I was sensing pretentious snottiness, he seated us promptly and professionally. In fact the entire staff was lovely and I LOVED that I didn't need to search for my server all night- any staff at any level was happy to handle our any/every request. I can't say enough how much I love that. It's a lesson for EVERY other restaurant on the planet.
My girl's bangers and mash was excellent. The meat was so flavorful I could have come back the next day for it. Unfortunately the gravy was too salty. My lamb dish looked gorgeous but was so fatty and endlessly chewy- stay away from it! My house beer was devoid of flavor but was a safe choice none the less. Her merlot was fine. Our sticky toffee dessert (something like that) was smashing.
The pub's oh so english, the staff's wonderful, and the food is good (but not superb). I would return and recommend the place. It was a very enjoyable meal, even if my girl had to sit there all night listening to me trying to figure out who was famous.
It was ok, just ok. Cute view of it from the outside as I had been taking pictures of pubs we had been to for a large picture for our wall, but nothing special inside. The service was just ok. But it's traditional in London that you walk into a pub, place your order at the bar, pay, take your drinks to your table, and someone will bring you your food. I honestly wish they would tip the waitstaff in these pubs because there's no incentive to do a good job, clean the table,or even ask if you need anything. They ask you when they plop the good in front of you and then--whoosh! They're gone forever. It's an "eh!". Don't go out of your way for it.
I'm giving The PunchBowl 2 stars for the decent food they serve.
I've been to the PunchBowl twice. First time I thought it was alright with decent food. Then I went back this past Friday with my newly wed friends for a lil rendez-vous celebratory drinks. We were sitting by the bar, having a good time, the couple started doing matching zombie faces so I took a picture of them with my phone and said that should be their new "wedding photo" on facebook.
So we were all laughing out loud when suddenly I felt a hand on my back and a piece of paper shoved in my face. At the corner of my eye I saw a short old man emerged from my peripheral vision. He pointed at the bottom of the piece of paper that was still in my face. I couldn't read what that font size 8 sentence was saying as it was 2 inches away from my nose, and he said, "you can't take pictures in here."
He really could've just approached me from the front and informed me straight in my face that "sorry lady, you can't take pictures in here." And I would've apologized because I was unaware of the rule (there was no no-photo sign in the pub anywhere). Instead he took the rude way out and decided to shove a menu (or whatever that piece of paper was) in my face?! His explanation was even more arrogant, "we have very high profile people here and sometimes they may be with people whom they don't want to be seen with." my respond was, "um... I'm not from here and I probably wouldn't recognize any of the high profile people from your little island."
Anyway, I have no idea what that little man's problem was. But I think if they really want to enforce whatever pub rule they have they need more conspicuous signage around. And stop asking that little old man to shove pieces of paper into people's face.
It was Saturday night and pre-movie, we were looking for a drink. Someone knew of The Punchbowl and so, off we went.
The Punchbowl is a small English pub tucked away from the main streets of Mayfair. Wooden bar, painted portraits on the wall,. the likes. Also, legendarily, it's owned by Guy Ritchie who apparently drinks there from time to time.
Now, there were two things I did not get to try during my experience with the Punchbowl:
1) The food. This is as much of a restaurant as it is a classic English pub and I hear the food is good. However! This is a small space and they've cut it in half by making the first portion the bar and the back half for sit-down eating. And so a ton of us were crammed into the bar portion while the restaurant section remained almost empty. Not a great use of space.
2) Without crowds. Since I was there on a Saturday night, it was packed, which made my stay semi-uncomfortable. Getting a beer was tricky and then we finagled our way into a table by luck. But people still shoved into me all night.
The prices on drinks are fine and the staff is quick. Overall, I'd be willing to come by and try it again (not on a weekend) but for now, it felt like any other English local.
We visited The Punch Bowl for an after-dinner drink on the recommendation of the cabbie who drove us to the area. It was built in the 1750s and was exactly what I thought a British pub would look like, dark with lots of wood and a fireplace, but it turns out it's even more famous for being "Guy Ritchie's pub." The bartender was really friendly and they had a great selection of beers and ciders. I had a delicious pale ale and my husband said it was the best pour of Guiness he's ever had.
We visited several pubs in London, but this one was more memorable than most.
W1 is bereft of decent pubs. There. I said it. In a field of weak competition, though, this place is tops. Friendly staff, good selection of lager and ale, and far enough off the beaten track that the hordes of tourists can't quite find it. I'd give it five stars, but after-work crowds during the week can be off-putting.
Also: forget the celebrity nonsense. But don't forget that there's an amazing private dining room on the first floor.
This place is a cute little pub but is pretty much the same as any other pub in london. Its quaint, its little and cramped, has beer. Enough said.
I think people only make the trek here because Guy Ritchie owns it and is rumored to occasionally have a drink there.
Bottomline: I wasn't that impressed. If i lived in the area I might frequent it for an after work drink, but its not worth my travels.
Knowing that this was Madonna and Guy's place, when I first visited the Punchbowl I was surprised to find such a cosy, twee and average English pub. Maybe I'd expected Madonna to have hung up a few of those Jean Paul Gaultier bra's behind the bar or to see a spinning disco ball here or there. Worse still what if there was a jukebox with Madonna playing on loop and a ballet pole across the back wall with the lady herself doing stretches across it. Eeeeeeewwwww!
None of this here though, instead a very nice, warm pub with a great selection of ales and wines. I'm told it's a great place to visit at night when bands play live music here but I'm yet to witness this myself. What I have witnessed though are the staggering prices. £6.50 is fairly average for a glass of wine and you'll easily spend just shy of a fiver on a pint. For a pub that initially seems so welcoming and warm this can take you by surprise but remember we're in Mayfair here. It's not royal blue on the Monopoly board for nothing! Personally though this spoilt the 'local' and cosy feel to the place and what had at first seemed like a great pub was ruined by its overpriced drinks...
Tucked away in the back streets of Mayfair, this charming pub feels more like the English countryside than central London. The building is apparently from the 1750s; and although it's owned by Guy Ritchie, it's barely updated. The wooden floors upstairs have holes, where light from below shines through. Charming.
They have live music, and the crowd is full of spirit. I can't speak for the food, but it's worth a trip for a drink.
This is a great and considering the owner - one Mr Guy Ritchie - a fairly ordinary and not too expensive boozer, which you could imagine being your local, if you lived / worked in Mayfair. If not, it's a good place to bring tourists / visitors as it never fails to impress them!
It's got a good atmosphere, charm and you don't feel out of place or like you'll be ridiculed for walking into the joint or similarly like you'll be beaten up by some geezer ala Lock Stock or Snatch.
Would recommend and it's located within some nice mews type houses.
I have to say, I like this place. I was skeptical since it's Guy Ritchie's place and in uber expensive Mayfair but yup it's a cute pub (maybe a bit too small) that although a bit more expensive than your average english pub is not that bad. There's a dining room upstairs and in the back downstairs, haven't tried it yet but at some point I will.
I kind of liked that it was packed and there were lots of people there trying to see if anyone around them was a celebrity, give it an interesting buzz. I don't normally seek out celeb hangout spots (oh lord Bijou no) but this is one where I could easily see myself hanging out, kicking back a few pints and if I so happen to be chatting it up with who knows who from what's that show, well good for us!
This was a good way to start my evening. However, is everyone in London an investment banker? Seriously I think I met about 20 of them here last night! The punchbowl was a great English pub, small and traditional. It's also a great location, tucked into the back streets of Mayfair, which meant we were about the only tourists there.
To be honest, the only reason I went is because Guy Ritchie owns it, but I was really pleasantly surprised by what I found. Oh, and apparently one of the bar tenders is Piers Morgan's brother. Crazy?!?!
The next time I'm in London I will certainly be back here.
Have been to The punchbowl twice now and each time have enjoyed a relaxing afternoon pint or three.
The location(in the middle of Mayfair) means that you really have to search it out.This keeps the crowds down and the drunken Wetherspoons types away.
The pub interior is nothing special,you could really be in a rustic country pub anywhere in england.The only thing that makes you realise you're in Mayfair are the prices.
Well worth a visit if you're in the area.
There is no doubt that the Punchbowl was probably more loved by Mr Madonna rather than herself as it comes across as very British and quite twee.
Attracting a somewhat more mature crowd with bad suits and paunches, this is not going to appeal to Madonna's more outrageous fans so they should steer clear.
As a pub it is fairly decent. It does nothing wrong, the staff and service are good and the range of ales etc should appeal to most. Saying that it's hardly a riot so will only really appeal to those working nearby rather than those looking for a good place to start a night out.
Posh posh posh poshy posh posh. But, none the less, pretty good. Decent Deuchars on tap, and a menu that, while pricey, was fairly impressive. Their copy is hilarious, but I couldn't argue with the bangers and mash. Brighters' crab dish, was very very crabby, and the fish and chips (coley) was huge.
The Essex girls trying it on with the local billionaires added to the ambiance. Class.
Great food (would recommend the chicken pie), expensive wine, pissed toffs in suits.
Great place to settle down for a slow and steady evening, although anticipate lots of rubbernecking en route to the loos looking for an uber-celeb hiding in one of the numerous nooks.
Clientele appears to be entirely comprised of increasingly (as the night wears on) lecherous blokes in suits. Staff very friendly and helpful; last nights elderly male/young female tag-team behind the bar were faultlessly lovely. Been there before, would definitely go there again even though it is rather out of the way and you have to walk past numerous similar-looking pubs to get there.
This pub is owned by a celebrity blah blah blah.
What we have, in the middle of Mayfair, is a pub that is as trad. arr. as it gets. Stripped back wooden walls and floor, all dark and dank in a rather fetching and welcoming way.
Depending on your slant, there's a helluva lot of suits knocking around this place. When I first arrived, it looked like I was about to wander into a Tory party conference. Being a hideous leftie, this saw me dry-heaving outside and thinking or turning on my heels and chipping off elsewhere.
Inside, it was much the same and was very, very busy. However, once the hubbub had died down, there was a great little pub to be found under all those bad slacks.
The beer is good and the food seemed pretty good. I didn't hear anyone complaining about a thing.
One thing to watch out for is the slightly over-zealous doorstaff who are sticklers for slightly petty rules. They shush you on the way out, making the more mischievous reveller tempted to kick over a few bins.
That's a small complaint though and probably says more about me than the Punchbowl.
Beautiful little pub! It is quite well hidden on a back street, ON A BACK STREET! in the depths of Mayfair.
It is the second-oldest pub in Mayfair, and it has kept its character from its beginnings, with the same fittings from when it opened, and frosted glass windows.
The drinks served are good, and it has a good number of decent wines.
The only problem here, is the fact that the pub (like most winebars and pubs in the area) cater mostly to Hedge-Fund managers, so the conversation and company is usually boring and annoying. *unless you are a journalist, then you probably could pick up some piece of news that could make the busness pages!
wow, i have not seen this many guys in suits in a long time. i have been craving fish and chips since i arrived here, and my friend said the one here is good. we arrived around 8 pm, and the place was packed. we stood around and had drinks at the bar for a while before some space opened up at a communal table.
i love pub food. i ended up getting the haddock and chips which came w/ a side of minty peas. my friend got a grilled haloumi salad and my other friend got a tri tip sandwich. the portions are pretty good, and the fish was tasty.
if my friend didn't tell me, i would not have known this was guy ritchie's pub, b/c it's pretty unassuming.
Have avoided this place in the past just because of all the publicity seen in papers. So and so celebrity seen leaving The Punch Bowl, etc.
But having had a horrible experience at another Mayfair pub and entertaining a guest from NYC staying at a hotel on Park Lane, we thought we'd give it a shot.
And what a pleasant surprise. The staff were really friendly and a round of drinks was actually decently priced, especially for this area and the history that comes with it.
We arrived around 9.45pm, drinks in. Then our friend who was a bit jet lagged decided she wanted some food. But like most pubs, the kitchen here closes early (she's from NYC and used to restaurants serving late). Even though we were in the pub bit, she got a waitress who explained the kitchen was closed and the waitress apologising the kitchen was closed suggested a cheeseboard from the dessert menu. So our friend ordered and actually had quite a lot of cheese selection when it arrived. I of course had a couple of tastings and they were very nice cheese indeed.
So we got another round in for closing and instead of screaming to get out at the end of the night, the staff politely go around and ask patrons to finish up.
Would definitely go here again for drinks. Very warm and cosy and not poncey and not pretentious as I had initially feared.
It's recently emerged that Guy will get to keep the pub (hurray) - so even more reason to patronise it. Not that I don't like Madonna... but I'd say GR has had a tough 7 years.
Despite rumours of a biased pricing system (ie non-regulars having to pay more), The Punchbowl is a pretty laid-back establishment and an atmospheric spot to have a drink (with well-dressed types) if you happen to be near this quiet Mayfair street. Also, with no further prospects of a Madge sighting, perhaps the tourist element will dwindle a bit...
Truffle risotto to start... Simple and mind blowing! Then a medium rare hangar steak and hand cut chips (I've never liked chips this much, so buttery and sweet!).... This was quite a serving of food and the quality was impressive. For desert a banoffe pie was enough to make me feel as though I might pop. Went back two nights later and ordered the exact same meal. Cannot wait to return! An obvious stop for me every time I visit from now on.
Have only been three times, saw Guy Ritchie and Piers Morgan on two separate occasions so would not be opposed to going if I were in the neighborhood.
This is Guy Ritchie's and was Madonna's very own pub. So, as you can imagine Punchbowl has celebrity appeal. But it has more as well. This place is a cozy pub located off Berkley Square and is frequented by locals and the occasional tourist looking for a celeb. I go there for the ambiance and seem to be somewhat of a regular. They have a number of decent wines by the glass. Upstairs they serve traditional pub grub. This place always seems packed and rightly so. It's a wonderful place to share a drink with mates after work.
Was here for lunch on Friday. Yes its posh but its in Mayfair so thats not surprising. I had steak for lunch, which was excellent, and ended up having (I think) 5 pints of Deuchars, which represented an important step forward in my real ale conversion project. It was really tasty and I was still able to walk out and make sense when I got back to the office, which would not have been the case if I'd had an equivalent amount of Stella.
Incredible space in Mayfair, really great chicken or Truffle Risotto.
This has to be one of the poshest boozers I have been too. Very mayfair. Serving a good selection of real ale, fantastic atmosphere (on a tuesday night)
If this place wasn't so darn out of the way I'd be here all the time. I was expecting pattered carpets and bar stools in this traditional English pub but it's all stripped back wooden walls, fine, fairly priced food, great selection of wine and real ale, pleasant staff and as a whole it's totally charming and cosy.
I went here a few weeks ago on a friday night. It has recently been reburbished by its now infamous new owners. It however has lost none of its charm as a traditional boozer. The main differences are a good if somewhat limited menu and an extensive winelist. I had the ribeye which was fantastic and cooked just as ordered, and service was very good.
All in all a pleasant evening!
Great traditional pub just off the beaten track in Mayfair. Due to the pub being owned by Guy Ritchie I was expecting it to be full of iritating people with a rolled up copy of heat under their arm but thankfully saw nothing of the kind. Heineken on tap and a good selection of real ales. I'll be coming back to sample the food soon.
Cracking boozer, by far my favourite in London. Bar staff are superb, not just friendly but more than a match for a very busy and demanding crowd, and every single one of them very easy on the eye. Rupert and Pandy do an amazing job keeping the beer flowing and the punters happy. Yes there are a fair number of suits from 6-9. Personally i recommend popping in at around 3. Hopefully not too many will read this and join me!
I decided to give this place a try, largely because of the owner - Guy Ritchie. I was simply unimpressed. While I only purchased drinks, I was not happy with the selection. I recalled reading the pub had a wide variety of craft, English beers. Unless Harp and Stella now fall under that description, none were to be found. Also, expensive menu.
great little pub to drink yourself silly. good atmosphere and nice patrons.
My experience of this pub was not very good. I used to use it frequently under it's previous management. Since it changed ownership,I visited with friends we were moved on three occassions with no real explanation. I think it was because people wished to eat, there was no notification that where we were sat was for Diners only. Under previous ownership it was a very friendly pub with good food and comfort. The new decor we found was very cold and unwelcoming.
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