Calling themselves ‘Cambridge’s first urban gastropub’, The Punter is a beautifully renovated barn that has character and class.
For those who are tired of Cambridge pub food, where a basic burger in a dated pub is about the best you can get, The Punter will be a refreshing change. Only minutes away from Bridge Street this pub is a secluded Cambridge secret that locals love.
A renovation has completely transformed The Punter, with a classy decor that mixes traditional and modern very effectively.
Low ceilings with chunky wooden beams hint at the old barn facade, but colourful boudoir wallpaper brings the place into the 21st century. The silver blue colour of the wallpaper stands out well against the cream walls and simple dark wood furniture.
Other walls are covered with many posters and pictures, with a mix of retro 1950s style to an older more classic 1920s style.
The effect is haphazard yet cool, adding an essence of times gone by while still looking chic. With a couple of private rooms that follow the theme of old classic with a modern twist there is lots to look at.
The outside courtyard is totally cut off from the street making it feel lovely and tranquil, and it usually gets quite busy on sunny days.
The Punter is filled with people who want something more than just a trip to the pub. They want good food in a sophisticated yet casual atmosphere with an interesting crowd.
Ages vary from student to elderly, with everyone in between. The informal atmosphere is infectious but there is also an air of sophistication that is lacking in many pubs.
The staff are down to earth and helpful with the menu and the wine, so everyone feels at ease enjoying the low-key buzz.
For cheap pub grub this isn't the place to go. The Punter's menu changes daily and it focuses on ‘English and French peasant food’. It's just as hearty as the cheap stuff, but with quality ingredients, good presentation and delicious flavours.
Dishes range from classic roast beef or shoulder of lamb to seabass and asparagus risotto. Prices aren’t cheap with mains mostly above the £10 mark, but the taste is worth it.
As this is a foodie focused pub the wine list is extensive, with around 90 to choose from. Prices range from £13 to £30.
There's a good mix of Old and New World wines to suit most budgets and preferences. Beers are also on offer and they're slightly different to your usual selection. Leffe, Hoegarden and Staropramen cost around £3 a pint.
The ale that’s usually available is Adnam’s Bitter, and there is also a popular Addlestone’s cloudy cider.
The Last Word
The Punter is a homely pub with a stylish edge that offers good food and drink and bit more than the average boozer.