The Punter, Oxford
By Olivia McQuaid
As a veggie, I often find going out for a meal to be a pain - choices are often limited to one veggie and one vegan option (while this does make ordering a LOT easier, it’s heart-breaking for a foodie like me!). Repetitive menus can take the joy out of eating out and I find that lots of chains are only now starting to put some effort into their meat-free and plant-based options!
So when That Oxford Girl kindly invited me and two friends to try the vegan and vegetarian pub ‘The Punter’ here in Oxford I jumped at the opportunity!
Just a 20 minute walk outside of the city (enough time to build up an appetite), ‘The Punter’ is nestled in a quiet street by the riverside - a little slice of calm to break up our busy first few weeks here at Oxford! Everything was extremely COVID secure and we felt so safe - the staff wore masks and tables were socially distanced which gave us all the peace of mind we needed so we could enjoy our food. However, this new and slightly odd dining out experience didn’t detract one bit from the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the pub.
We started off with some drinks and ordered our food - we were completely spoilt for choice. With a veggie, a vegan and a meat-eater in attendance we all spent ages deliberating over the entirely meat-free menu, everything just looked so delicious and I will definitely have to go back to try everything I missed out on! I started with an open lasagne of Jerusalem artichokes which was just divine, followed by the most amazing sweet and sour lentils with the biggest (and most delicious) shallot bhaji I have ever eaten in my life
The true show-stopper of the night was the vegan chocolate mousse cake with poached plum - we left absolutely stuffed and so happy. The staff were so helpful and lovely, they really made the whole evening. Even my self-confessed ‘meat-lover’ friend said that the food was so amazing she hadn’t missed meat at all, and we all loved the variety of flavours and dishes represented on the menu.
A perfect place to bring any visitors to Oxford; veggie, vegan or otherwise. I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough!