I try not to have any preconceptions when I go to a restaurant. I want to just go along, enjoy the food, enjoy the atmosphere… bob’s your uncle. (Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that I clearly turned into Del boy overnight). However, when I was invited down to The Punch Bowl, I couldn’t help but have a little google of the gastro pub come dining room, set in one of the most stunning area’s in London, Mayfair, and wonder just how nice can a pub be?
In short – and because the secret 5 year old in me can’t hold the suspense – really bloody nice.. The Punch Bowl is a very strange contradiction; the downstairs pub area was absolutely heaving with people, to the point of it would probably get a little too much for me quite quickly… but the upstairs restaurant however, is stunning. Serene, peaceful and scattered with funky artwork of models, many gold accents and ambient lighting that was perfect for a date (but awful for photography #BloggerProblems) I immediately felt relaxed and ready to eat like a pig for my 3 course meal.
Of course I went for 3 courses, you know me by now 😉
First thing’s first, when I alerted the lovely waitress, named Sara (I think, I’m pretty awful with names), of me having coeliac disease and needing to eat gluten free, she immediately understood and listed off a whole host of dishes that would be fine for me, checking with the kitchen right away also which made me feel at ease from the very beginning. I was so pleased to find that there were many gluten free options with the vast majority of the dishes being able to be made gluten free. Also, the chips were fried separately meaning that I could demolish actually eat them [insert hands up/hallelujah/heart eye’d emoji’s here].
After perusing the menu – I am that girl that takes an age to decide even though she’s pre-checked out the menu at home – I finally decided that starting with some wine would be the best option…
Saving me some crucial extra minutes to make my decision…
I really liked the menu at The Punch Bowl. A mixture of nibbles, small plates and big plates means you have the option to try a little of everything or go hard or go home and we kiiiiinda’ did both.
Starting with some Olives which were so tasty, with a good mix of each variety too, they were the perfect start to the meal.
Before moving on to some vegetable crisps and ranch dressing – the dressing was substituted to be made gluten free – and these, these probably shouldn’t have been so amazing… but they really were. So flavoursome but also light enough to not make you feel too full. (Not that’s really a problem for me as I have the appetite of an elephant, no seriously….). But they were good, seriously seriously good.
Moving on to the mains. I have to say, after being told I actually couldn’t have the fish pie due to flour being added to the mix – which didn’t upset me too much as I was just really pleased to see our lovely waitress/the kitchen staff so on the ball – I was a green eyed monster a little envious watching Dan receive his burger and chips whilst I ended up with the Trout, new potatoes and roasted veg. The burger looked, and apparently tasted, incredible. Full of flavour, the meat was rich and juicy and the chips were just perfect (which I can vouch for).. the only downside is that it highlighted my fiance’s loss of fiance points because he picked a main that I couldn’t try 😉
On to my main which, whilst it didn’t really sound spectacular on the menu, it certainly tasted it. The fish was cooked perfectly, the vegetable’s nice and crisp (no one like’s a soggy bottom vegetable!) and I loved the combination of the soft boiled eggs and salty new potatoes. I ordered a side of triple cooked chips – because carbs on carbs is totally OK, right? Right… – and they were actually beautiful. Salty, the right amount of crunch… just perfect.
P.S Can we all appreciate how hard I’m trying to not describe everything as lovely/tasty/flavoursome/[insert your own choice of equally unoriginal descriptions here]?
On to dessert, my options were narrowed down quite significantly here with the Eton Mess, and selection of Ice creams and sorbets being gluten free, but as a huge Eton mess advocate this wasn’t much of a problem…
My eton mess was actually incredible. Absolutely brimming with the creamiest, richest cream and a nice amount of meringue and strawberries, it was the perfect end to the meal. Well, food-wise. I am all about the after dessert coffee…
Dan opted for the cheeseboard and contently munched his way through the good selection of cheeses, crackers, grapes and chutney, briefly – and I mean, 2 seconds kinda’ brief – pausing to let me take a photo. He still hasn’t quite got the hang of this blogger boyfriend whilst eating out thing yet…
Finishing off with an obligatory latte, Dan and I really enjoyed just chilling for half an hour (knowing that no more photo’s needed to be taken) talking about life and how lucky we are to be able to experience things like lovely food reviews together. Overall, we really, really enjoyed this dinner. I found it a little hard to put my finger on quite why I liked The Punch Bowl so much and I think it’s because it has character. You have the option to have a lively drink and chill with the girls/lads after work downstairs… or go upstairs to the beautiful restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal in a gorgeous setting, but without it feeling too smart/pompous that you can’t relax. And those sort of places are always my favourite.
I would love to know if you’ve been to The Punch Bowl before or if it’s a place that you’d consider? As always, if you have any London restaurant – in particular, gastro pub – recommendations, I would love to hear from you 🙂
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post!
*This meal was very kindly complimentary but all thoughts, photographs and love for triple cooked chips and eton mess, my own.
The food looks delicious!
Candice | Beauty Candy Loves
It really, really was!
Your blog is always one of my favourites to read! This food all looks so yummy, I'm so hungry now xx
Liz | LotsofLoveLiz ♥
Ah thank you so much Liz, that's made my day!
What a beautiful restaurant and the food looks amazing!
Thanks lovely, it looks amazing doesn't it, tasted it too 🙂
Oh this place looks incredible and pretty reasonably priced too! The burger and fish look so yummy to be honest, as do the desserts! I bet you had such a lovely night out together xx
Sam // Samantha Betteridge
Thanks lovely, we really did have such a nice night… the food was fab!
The food looks so delicious and the place itself sounds amazing!
Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue
It really was Jodie, I'd highly recommend!
The trout wold have been my choice too, looks delicious and I always think that the punch bowl has such a lovely atmosphere.
Lots of love,
It really does Angie, doesn't it? One of my new faves!
OK I'm officially hungry now, thanks Ellie! The food looks delicious, I must add this place to my wishlist.
Haha sorry lady, but yes, definitely add it to the list!
Oh my gosh that eton mess **drools**. Looks like you've found another really great spot to eat at and I am SO HUNGRY NOW and I just ate dinner 😛
Haha oh no, sorry Rachel 😉 but yes, the eton mess was dreamy!
Oh my gosh I am starving now, the upstairs setting sounds and looks just amazing, big fan of yummy nibbles and that burger would have to be my choice it looks divine. ANOTHER place added to my list of must go to thanks to you 😉 xxx
Haha oh no, I have a habit of doing that! It really was amazing though, I'd highly recommend!
Mmm you can't beat Eton Mess! I've been to the Punchbowl way before the refurbishment so would definitely like to try it in its new incarnation
Suze | LuxuryColumnist
Definitely try it now Suze, it's fab!
Everything looks absolutely perfect! And "bad" (as in very pretty, just not for photos) lighting for food/drinks is the worst! haha. Your photos did turn out absolutely beautiful though.
N- Naomi in Wonderland
Haha I know what you mean, but I'm so pleased you thought it turned out well, thank you!
Wow what a gorgeous restaurant! The set up is so classy and the food looks amazing!
Thanks lovely, isn't it gorgeous?
You make so hungry now with all your gorgeous food photos Elle! I love the cosy setting of the restaurant as well. Xx
every LiTTLE thing07
Ahh thank you lovely, so pleased you liked it!
This pub sounds AMAZING, I love gastro pub food and that Eton Mess looks so delicious *heart eyes emoji over here*
Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty
You definitely need to try it out Lauren, so lovely!
The place looks amazing I would love to visit one day, Im sure you had a great time there.
It really was fab, I'd highly recommend it 🙂
Elle, me and you are alike when it comes to checking out the menu at home first. And when I don't know what to order, it takes me longer when I am at the restaurant, but hey it happens. And just look at that food… everything looks amazing.
Kia / KTS
Ah thank you lovely, glad I'm not alone 🙂 So pleased you liked it!
Thanks so much!
Beautiful review, stunning photographs. Looks like a perfect meal, thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks Camille, so glad you liked it!
Wow fantastic! I wouldn't be able to chose between the burger or the fish! And the dip too! The place looks so warm and chic too, love the art. Great post!
Thanks so much, so glad you liked it!
I'm starting to see you as my own personal enabler, I keep thinking I will spend more time at home and less outing out at lovely places, then I see lovely places on your blog and off I go out for lunch haha
Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog
Haha I am so sorry, but you're also welcome! 😉
Sounds like one heck of a place, Elle! I love the fact that it gives different vibes depending on where you choose to sit, and ahh, helpful waitresses and waiters are the best! The food look incredible, too!
May | THE MAYDEN
Thanks so much May, totally agree, the atmosphere was great and I love it when staff are so helpful!
Dayum, that burger though. Beaut piece, ma dear! xxx
Thanks so much lady!
Looks absolutely gorgeous – your photos of food always make me SOO hungry though haha!
Haha sorry lovely, it even makes me hungry looking back 😉
The burger looks inviting.
Oh im thinking of working out later but when i see your post– i think i need a burger with fries lol
The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic
Haha yes go and do it Zarrah, fries over exercise all day long!
What a nice place! Food looks really delicious and there are so much to try. That burger looks so tempting *drools* ha ha 🙂 xx
Oh my gosh everything looks so yummy!! Your hair looks great!!! 🙂
Sounds like great restaurant with delicious food, especially I love that hamburger with fries, the outcome of this dish is perfect, because it was served in great way 🙂 PS: I totally agree with Zaarah, work out is so hard when you see food like this one from your post 😀 Have a great weekend, my dear!
What an amazing meal! So glad you went whole hog, it's the only way to do it! Also, I totally sympathise with you on the lack of adjectives to describe food without sounding repetitive/like a twat. Lovely post, Elle x
Martha Edwards | http://www.marthajanemusic.com
Um okay that food looks absolutely delicious, especially the deserts definitely making me hungry now! x http://coffeeatmidnight13.blogspot.co.uk/
I am quite hungry after looking through the photos, everything looks delicious and the pace sounds amazing. I love the name, the decor & the menu from the looks of it. Plus your photos are lovely, I can tell it has that cosy feel to it & I love it x
Beauty with charml
I should not have read this post before eating lunch, haha. My stomach has started talking.
Rubi | Instagram | The Den | http://www.the-den.blogspot.com
This is a stones throw from my office and it's my little lunch time secret – I love it under the new management (I think they've been there about a year now) – the food is spot on! xx
You always eat at such cool places and you always seem to pick amazing food! I'm practically drooling XD xx
I am saving this post for my next night out! I love gastro-pubs and triple cooked chips! I have some food restrictions due to a medical condition too and cannot eat everything myself so I always appreciate when a restaurant can offer tasty alternatives 🙂 xx
Ally | http://www.glamoclock.com – Shortlisted for #CosmoBlogAwards vote here
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