Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sunday lunch at The Punchbowl

Having a roast lunch or roast dinner is a must when in Britain. It is one of the long-standing British traditions. My latest roast dinner took place at The Punchbowl.

The Punch Bowl is a very well known Mayfair pub in London. It became a favourite of the rich and famous after falling into the hands of Guy Richie and Madonna in 2008. At the time it was popular with Royalties, celebrities, stars with Hollywood pedigree. It was sold in 2013, but it hasn't lost its charm.

Nowadays, the 300-year-old  Georgian pub, a hidden gem tucked away on a small street in Mayfair still with the same façade and historic interior to match. The real traditional pub is something hard to find in Central London, so I was happy to visit and try their food too.

As you enter the place, you instantly feel the warmth and friendless of the staff. The Georgian decor makes you feel you have step back in time. The bar is on your right as you enter it and the pub dining area is right at the back with a range of tables,  a bar with high chairs,  and  three booths for a more private dining experience.

We started with a sample of three beers from the Ale menu.  You then settled for a pint of Punchbowl very own ale .

The artisan sourdough with Jersey butter, as expected they were delicious.

Smoked duck breast, green beans, pomegranate, almonds drizzled with vintage port  dressing - It was juicy duck and delectable dressing

deep fried squid, green salad and avocado  - very appetising

A succulent 350g dry aged Ribeye steak (28 days hung from South Devon), truffle chips, watercress & shallot salad and classic béarnaise sauce

Sunday roast - I chose beef with all the trimmings. A tender and medium rare roasted meat, roast potato, the most unusual Yorkshire pudding - it looked like a muffin, and it was a bit like 'soft bread';  lovely vegetables and a very flavoursome gravy.  They cater for vegetarians too.

Amazing Rolo chocolate and blood orange fondant, honeycomb ice cream topped sugared almonds   - a dish full of textures, the fondant was set by the time I cut into it still very palatable.

trio of ice cream
We drunk Malbec, Chumayo, 2015, Argentina @£28/bottle with our main meal

All in all we had a good time, the place was quiet when we arrived at 1pm but it was very busy by the time we left. A meal with aperitif, wine and  3 very substantial courses will set back around £50+/per person.

They also have an express menu during the week:
Monday -Friday 12pm- 3:30pm | 5:30pm-7pm
1 course £13.50 | 2 courses £17.50 | 3 courses £21.50

The Pub also serves nibbles and sandwiches at reasonable prices.

41 Farm Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5RP
T: 0207 493 6841

Mon - Sat: Noon to 11.00PM
Sun: Noon to 10.30PM
(Bar Snacks served all day)

Mon - Fri: LUNCH (Noon to 3.30PM); DINNER (5.30PM to 10.00PM)
Sat: All Day (Noon - 10:00pm)
Sun: Noon to 9.00PM (last order)

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary meal for two for review purposes. All views are my own. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Cream Tea Cruise on the Thames

While in London, you can enjoy an afternoon tea cream tea in style this summer with the new ‘cream tea cruise’ from London’s leading river bus service MBNA Thames Clippers.

At the moment the Thames Clippers is running daily special mini cruises and serving a traditional cream tea complete with a glass of Champagne or glass of orange juice while basking in the glorious weather and stunning London views.

Cream tea is a smaller and lighter  affair than the traditional British Afternoon Tea.  It consists in tea, scones, jam and  clotted cream.

It's a covered boat, so you are safe from inclement London weather.   They also have an outside area for those must 'selfies'. The day I experience the cream tea cruise, it was humid and a little overcast, but that didn't matter, the dramatic weather just added another layer of interest to the proceedings.

This is an experience like no other as while taking in the city's sights including the Houses of Parliament,  The Big Ben, Tower Bridge and The London Eye and many other iconic buildings with spellbinding past.

A blue badge guide provided a lively and fun commentary during the sailing while pointing out interesting landmarks from the river Thames and highlighting key dates and events from the capital’s history. 

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon on the Thames, eat, drink and get to know London a bit better. Such a great city!  It last 1 hour so enough for a break in the afternoon - a really special treat!

The Tea


2 scones, jam, cream, tea and 1 glass of bubbles
Anything else is extra including water. They cater for special dietary requirements.

Cream Tea prices:
Standard: £16.90
With Champagne: £21.55
With Orange Juice: £18.50

The cream tea cruise departs from London Bridge City Pier at 15:30 and lasts for one hour.  The  London Bridge City Pier is located just off Hays Galleria on the Southbank. Nearest Underground: London Bridge

For further information and to book, please visit

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary cream tea for review purposes. All views are my own.  Hot&Chilli  believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Brazilian dessert: Pudim de Claras - Meringue Flan

This dessert is so good; I can’t tell you how much, you must try it!
The solution for those 8 egg whites out of the 18 used in the Quindim recipe.  In Portugal, this dish is called Pudim Molotov. Apparently, It’s origin has roots in the wartime Europe. At the time, the Portuguese prepared this pudding to use the egg whites leftover from their typical egg-yolk based puddings they are so famous for.This delicate dish is white with treacle of caramel gleaming in the light makes it so pretty too. Another childhood sweet that is always in my mind and my oven!

Pudim de claras


8 organic egg whites
200g  of caster sugar (1 cup)

caramel sauce:

200g of caster sugar (1 cup)
8 Tbsp of water ( divided)



1)Pre-heat  the oven at 180C (fan assisted) or 200C (not fan assisted)
2)Grease a pan with butter. The pan should have with a hole in the middle of 22 cm diameter.
3)Using a clean and grease-free electric mixer, beat the egg whites. Stirring constantly, gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks.
4)place the mixture in a greased pan, firmly to avoid air pockets, gently  tap pan onto the counter to avoid air bubbles.
5)bake in the hot oven (180 C), preheated in a water bath (bain-marie) for 35 minutes or until firm. It must look golden at the top.  It will raise about 4 fingers, and then it will  come down as it cools. Let cool slightly and unmold.
6) place in the fridge for at least 2 hours

caramel sauce:

1)place the sugar into a heavy-based frying pan, stir in 4 Tbsp  of tap water, then 2)place over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
3)turn up the heat and bubble for 5 min until you have light caramel colour.
4)Take off the heat. Leave the sauce to cool, if needed add 4 Tbsp of water to loosen it.

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