Very friendly-looking self-confessed gastropub on Pound Hill. The menu changes every day, though the barman I talked to said that there was usually an interesting burger on it; apparently the style is 'English and French peasant food'.
Standard slightly-upmarket beer selection — Leffe, Staropramen, Hoegaarden — and a dangerously drinkable Addlestones cloudy cider, without the tinge of bitterness that afflicts a lot of real cider. In September 2010 they had two real ales on as well: Adnams Broadside (£1.75/half) and Adnams Bitter.
I went there with my brothers in November 2007; between the three of us we had confit de canard with gratin dauphinoise and braised red cabbage, sea-bass with potato-cake and cabbage, and a green-pea risotto. All pretty good, though the risotto rice was maybe slightly too crunchy, and flavoured with whole stalks of thyme which you had to remove. For dessert, one of us had rhubarb creme brulee and the other chocolate brownie; the brownie is enormous, and the creme brulee perhaps a little scanty, though nicely presented in two espresso cups. Came to about £20 a head. --[Tom]?
It's quite cosy inside, despite the exposed floorboards and stripped-varnish tables — split up into different areas separated by broad pillars. Paintings hang on the walls, some of them for sale photo. It has two private rooms, one fitting fifty at a slight squeeze or thirty in comfort on a selection of friendly leather sofas, and the other up to fifteen around a solid wooden table in a room with mahogany panelling taken from a London embassy. There's a courtyard beer garden as well.
(The Punter was previously known as the Sino Tap; the current people took it over some time in 2007. It is completely different from the old incarnation though. The site also used to be the [Town and Gown]?, one of Cambridge's few gay bars, but no more.)
Accessibility: Steps at the main entrance, but step-free access via the beer garden to the bar and some of the seating area. Gents' toilets are down a couple of steps.
- Clueless About Cambridge review
- Local Secrets review
- Karohemd's World review
- Press release on Local Secrets
- Pocket Pubs entry