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BITE bites the dust???? with RealAleRobUK on the Pub Forum

Punch Tavern, EC4

99 Fleet Street
Phone: 02073536658

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Punch Taverns
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Brainy Pool left this review about Punch Tavern

I had basically the same experience and same beer choice as Will - I went for a half of Landlord in a dimpled mug which was ok.I didn’t like the pub much at all though. snooty, pompous, miserable service, just not my kind of place at all really. the highlight of my visit was the codgers next to me trying to guess the nationality of the waitress and possibly offending her...

On 1st February 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 895 recommendations about 868 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about Punch Tavern

Third and last of my three pub crawl of the ancient taverns of Fleet Street, this was easily the best. While the Tipperary and the Old Bell were rather quiet and low key, this one was vibrant and clearly popular with a young crowd of cosmopolites. The decorative features are impressive and lit by discreet lighting. The bar has three hand pumps, with two Trumans beers and Timothy Taylor Landlord. I went for a half of Trumans Runner 4%, which was very bland, especially in comparison with the strong bitter I'd had a few doors along, or perhaps just very bland; at least I didn't have to twist anyone's arm to get a full glass, and the price was £2.15, so slightly cheaper than either the Tipperary or the Old Bell, though only by a few pence.

The highlight of this pub's architectural features was the barrel vault ceiling with a fantastic relief of cherubim framing a portrait of Mr Punch himself. At ground level, this is a very well presented pub, with tables, some of them with reserved signs on, and low seating around the walls, and higher tables in front of the bar counter, which has a brown marble top. The lack of seating didn't bother me as I was only stopping for a quick beer before my train to Luton, and anyway I was pleased to discover a hook under the bar counter on which I was able to suspend my shoulder bag while writing a few notes. I can't say for sure I'll be back, but if I'm in the area again I'll certainly bear this one in mind.

On 30th January 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2952 recommendations about 2774 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about Punch Tavern

30th September 2016:

A pub has been on this site since the 17th century and the current edifice was rebuilt in 1894 with the finery installed in 1897; the pub is Grade II Listed. The place has a beautiful original entrance hall covered with mirrors, polychromatic tiles and images of Punch and Judy. As you enter the main bar area, look up at the fine lantern with more polychromatic tiles to the perimeter; the oak panelling, banquette seating and marble bar top are also original and there's also a part mosaic and part bare boarded floor. However, I doubt that the rather ugly tropical fish tank to the rear was installed in the late 19th century, nor was the sound system which was far too loud.
Ales: Sharp's Doom Bar and Marston's Extra Pale Ale at £2.10 a half which was ok and cheap for the area.
A pretty curiosity which warrants a visit, but the loud music and poor ale choice aren't an incentive and it's also very gloomy in here.


A return visit on 30th August and the place has improved. I didn't have a drink as I was pacing myself but it would appear that the aquarium has gone, the lighting is brighter and the music was less noticeable, possibly off altogether though the acoustics are terrible, making conversation somewhat laboured. Mark increased accordingly.

On 14th September 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1502 recommendations about 1481 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Punch Tavern

This pub has the distinction of being mentioned in Samuel Peyps' diaries, although he would've known it in a very different form to that of today, as the pub underwent a significant redevelopment in the 1890's, giving it the fabulous Grade II listed gin palace interior that has been preserved ever since. The pub was originally known as The Crown and Sugarloaf, but changed its name to reflect the journalists from Punch Magazine who would regularly congregate here. You enter the pub through a magnificent mirrored passageway with a fabulous tiled floor and glazed tile pillars, into the main bar area which is L-shaped with the servery on the back wall opposite the entrance. The bar has a marble counter and spectacular mirrored bar back with lots of elaborate decorative features including some Mr Punch themed bits. Above is a grand barrel-vaulted skylight with further decorative touches and the walls have a mix of original panelling and huge etched glass mirrors. Seating includes some fixed banquettes supported by standard chairs around the perimeter, with a few more tables and chairs in the entrance passage. To the rear left, a door leads through to a much plainer rear room, which I believe is available for functions and used to host events such as tutored wine tastings.
Just the two beers on handpull on this visit - Sharps Doom Bar and Marstons EPA. I gave the latter a try and found it a bit lacking in conditioning and perhaps a touch too warm in the hot weather we'd been enjoying at the time. The bar staff seemed pretty efficient and there was loud music playing throughout my stay, which didn't really fit with the pub's overall feel.
This is a pretty spectacular pub that is certainly worth a quick pint to admire, although I had the sense that the place could do with a bit of a tidy up (the skylight in particular looked to be in a bit of a poor state). The problems with the beer range and quality would preclude this from repeat visits, but if you're touring the many interesting historic pubs on and around Fleet Street, you would do well to include this in your plans.

On 23rd August 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about Punch Tavern

An impressive tiled entrance is let down by the beer selection. 2 real ale taps (just 1 on during my visit).

On 22nd November 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2818 recommendations about 2760 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about Punch Tavern

More pubby than the next door Punch Tavern. Four real ales on but the quality of my Hogs Back Tea was poor.

Wouldnt go out of my way to come back and there is plenty of choice in the area.

Fleet Street Pub Crawl at

On 19th October 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about Punch Tavern

Only one out of the two real ales was on - and this was Doom Bar. It was as good an example of it as I have had.

Really more aimed at diners, with a more formal dining area at the back.

Beautiful marble bar and matching fireplace. Lovely decor.

Fleet Street Pub Crawl at

On 19th October 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about Punch Tavern

An enticing looking pub at the end of Fleet Street, the entrance porch way is lined with elaborate etched mirrors and windows, and so I was keen to check out the interior to see what that was like. Unfortunately once inside, any more etched glass was conspicuous only by it’s absence.

The only features of any note were a couple of arched wooden atriums, both of which were quite long and narrow. These contained frosted glass and carved wood and there was a carved Mr Punch motif at one end and a Judy at the other. Plain mirrors were situated all around the walls and these had all been adorned with fairy lights which also extended around the door frame. The flooring was dark wood and the walls predominantly white plasterwork, whilst bench seating was situated around the perimeter. An L-shaped marble topped bar counter was a prominent feature and there was also a tropical fish tank at the rear. A plasma was mounted up above the bar showing a news channel, but the volume was off so this was not too intrusive.

Beers on tap were just Doom Bar and Marston’s EPA whilst the solitary cider was Symonds Founders Reserve. All in all, whilst there is nothing really wrong with pub, there are much better options just a short stroll away.

On 26th January 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1792 recommendations about 1716 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Punch Tavern

Famed for its decor, particularly the pictures of Punch and Judy in the mirrored entrance passageway, the figures at each end of the skylight inside the front door, the etched glass on the bar-back and the mirrors all around the 'L'-shaped bar. After that, the beer comes as a disappointment - with just Doom Bar and EPA (£3.90) from the three handpumps - but they do advertise that over 40 types of gin are available. Also has a separate dining room to the rear.

On 16th January 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6956 recommendations about 6956 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about Punch Tavern

We called in here around lunch time and the all the customers were seated having a bite to eat. The choice of beer was mainstream, Adnams Broadside, Sharps Doombar and Marstons EPA. The marble counter top and the tiled entrance were all of interest here.

On 12th January 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3073 recommendations about 3073 pubs]

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