And no, we’re not talking about Richmond Park.
We’re talking about the huge expanse of open-air seating tucked behind The Marlborough, a handsome Victorian pub perched on the north-western fringes of the park itself. Originally it was a tea garden – and although you can still order a cuppa here, you might prefer to plump for a crisp pint after completing one of London’s great walks – either through the park, or along the riverside and up Richmond Hill.
Nowadays you’ll find a staggering 150 tables out there for a little al fresco boozing, with bookable cabanas and heated areas for those rare occasions that the British weather is anything less than completely delightful.
Or, of course, you could always head indoors. The Marlborough is a well-heeled sort of pub that bears more of a resemblance to Petersham Nurseries or one of The Ivy cafés than your old-fashioned boozer. Rustic assemblages of plant pots, vases and candles adorn the walls; there’s vibrant botanical prints sleeving the banquette seating; quaint mullioned windows and a roaring fire, which gives the pub the feel of a cosy cottage come winter.
The Marlborough is a Young’s pub, so you’ll find their brews on draught alongside a guest beer each week, and there’s a pretty decent wine list in tow. You’ll find Rieslings and Albariños alongside the usual suspects, plus magnums of rosé and fizz if you’re planning a bit of a session in the beer garden.
Food-wise, there’s a menu of British classics on offer like sirloin steak with triple-cooked chips; an excellent burger with ale-soaked onions; and old faithful, fish & chips. Veggies and vegans are looking at either a plant burger or salad, but their lot improves at the weekend when The Marlborough turns out some excellent Sunday roasts. In the green corner: a nicely flaky wellington stuffed with wild mushroom, butternut squash and spinach. In the red corner: a choice of thyme-rubbed Sutton Hubbard chicken, 28 day-aged beef rump or Dingly Dell pork belly – all of which come loaded with a Yorkshire pudding, gravy, roasties, parsnip mash, maple-glazed heritage carrots, braised red cabbage aaand sautéed greens. With a sticky toffee pud for dessert.
If you have no plans to get up and do anything in the near future.
NOTE: The Marlborough is open daily. You can find out more, and book a table, HERE.
The Marlborough | 46 Friars Stile Road, Richmond, TW10 6NQ
Getting to know the neighbourhood? Take a look at these other great Richmond pubs