Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last two months, you’ll know that Madonna is getting to know her new adoptive daughter, Mercy. What you may have missed is that her ex-husband Guy Ritchie has his hands full with a new charge of his own: London pub, The Punch Bowl.
Image credit: Sam the sham
Previously a joint venture with Madge, Guy now has sole custody of the precious boozer, which is fast becoming a favourite with the moneyed Mayfair set, as well as a host of celebs – think Justin Timberlake, Leo, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Spacey and princes William and Harry for starters.
So what’s all the fuss about? Well, it seems that in Mayfair, where the pub is nestled down a quiet mews street, the dazzle of try-hard wine bars and monochrome restaurants is finally starting to wear off. Perhaps seeking a reminder of pre-recession London, drinkers are opting for a good old cockney or ‘mockney’ boozer – a reassuring throwback to England in its glory days. And The Punch Bowl delivers, albeit not as authentically as some of the city’s lesser-known establishments.
Inside, you’ll find dark wooden panelling, a heavy oak frame, traditional candlestick holders and various portraits of 18th-century political figures clustered on the walls, as well as an oil painting of Winston Churchill over one of the blackened fireplaces.
The bad news is that The Punch Bowl is unusual in its roaring trade. A report just out from the British Pub and Beer Association reveals that 52 pubs a week are closing thanks to taxes, the smoking ban, the recession and cheap supermarket alcohol. The good news, however, is that inventive house-seekers are cashing in on the trend, snapping up the properties at a great price. One London pub, The Simon the Tanner is on sale for the cost of a two-bedroom central London flat, but is twice as big!
So, if you’ve landed yourself a Georgian pub like The Punch Bowl and are looking to retain some traditional features, I’d recommend a Georgian Double Wardrobe and 5ft bed, both from Dooleys Furniture and both in white – the best way to achieve old-school charm without overpowering a bedroom with masses of dark wood.
And if you’re still more interested in the stylings of ex-Mrs Ritchie, we’ve got just the thing to tickle your fancy – the inside track on how she’s kitting out new daughter Mercy’s bedroom. Enjoy.
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