December is here and provides the perfect excuse to meet friends for 3 course lunches – all in preparation for the big day of course.
I really like the food at The Punchbowl in Mayfair so I snapped up a table for a very early Christmas lunch with two friends.
As with most places at Christmas, you choose from a set menu. There were two price points: £65 and £42.50, both of which were three courses, coffee and mini mince pies. We opted for the £42.50 a head menu – there didn’t really look to be much between them – and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I had duck liver pate with toasted sourdough and cranberry jam to start and it was delicious. The pate was perfectly smooth and well seasoned, the sourdough was crisp and crunchy; the cranberry jam added a beautiful sweetness. I slathered my bread with thick layers of the pate and cleared my plate in minutes! Delicious.
For main course I opted for the traditional turkey with all the trimmings. The turkey was serves as a stuffed ballotine rather than slices or legs which I really enjoyed, the veg was all very nice and very fresh and the potatoes were great.
Unfortunately there was a little bit too much food for me for a Saturday afternoon so I didn’t finish my main course but I did enjoy every part of it. I also washed it down with a divine glass of Malbec which may have also accounted for why I couldn’t finish my food (and needed a nap).
Dessert was mulled pear tarte tatin with vanilla bean ice-cream. The ice-cream here was the real star of the show – so, so good. Smooth, full of vanilla flavour and SO creamy. The tarte tartin was beautiful, well cooked and perfectly spiced.
Finally, we finished with mini mince pies and a (much needed) coffee.
All in all I thought this was a lovely way to spend a pre-Christmas Saturday with friends: enjoying good food and good wine whilst getting into the festive spirit.