THE SCENE Named after the founders of Punch magazine (similar to Private Eye) in 1840 because its journalists were always in here having a beer or two, the venue boasts Victorian decor, with high ceilings, wooden panels and glazed tiles. It’s won many awards – and it’s easy to see why. It’s relaxed, cosy and brimming with character, with a roaring open fire offering refuge from the cold.
THE GRUB Calorie-rich, delicious, winter comfort food. On offer for mains are ham, eggs and chips; cauliflower and broccoli cheese pie with mash; and sausage and mash. You won’t go hungry here with the generous portion sizes. And don’t scrimp on dessert – there’s plum fudge pudding and apple and almond crumble with custard on offer.
BEHIND THE BAR A great range of draught beers and ciders, including Mad Goose and Doom Bar; a decent selection of wines, as well as cocktails.
BILL PLEASE Mains from £7.50; desserts £4.50; a pint of beer from £3.85; a glass of wine from £3.75; and cocktails from £12.50.
VERDICT This is a proper English boozer – no airs or graces, just decent food and an ample selection of drinks in a colourful building steep in history – perfect for a couple of glasses of mulled wine during the festive season. 4/5 Carol Driver
99 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1DE
Tube: St Paul’s