The Marksman | Two St John alums walk into a pub…
They’ve added a whole new level to walking.
And now they’ve worked their magic on the typical East London pub. The Marksman is a Michelin Pub of the Year-winning Hackney Road local that underwent a full refurbishment in 2015. It was the first pub in London to pick up that prestigious honour, in 2017, beating over 500 pubs across the UK and Ireland for excellence in boozing. For pubs, aside from actually getting a Michelin star, this is the ultimate prize.
Before co-owners Jon Rotherham and Tom Harris – formerly of St. John (the nose-to-tail institution that we’ve also rated as one of the best restaurants in Clerkenwell) – got their hands on it, The Marksman was just your routine Victorian pub in need of a good ol’ polish. Now that the two chefs have got their hands on it, well, the ground floor bar has been decked out with a traditional varnished wooden bar, varnished wooden floors and varnished wooden furniture. Basically, it’s a fire hazard. Upstairs, however, lives a light, bright dining room designed by London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper, serving up sophisticated British food. And it’s most likely you’ve heard of it because The Marksman serves one of London’s best Sunday roasts. And while, yes, they are incredible in their own right – they’re just the tip of the iceberg here. Here’s what you can expect over the two floors:
DOWNSTAIRS AT THE MARKSMAN
Image credit: Anton Rodriguez
The downstairs part of the pub is where the pints are pulled, particularly ones celebrating locally/independently brewed beer, lager, ale and cider (such as the Bethnal Blond brewed just 300-metres down the road), while also offering a 50-strong menu of mostly old world wines from across Europe. But a proppa ‘ackney boozer wouldn’t be a proppa ‘ackney boozer without a jukebox – and fortunately The Marksman duly obliges.
UPSTAIRS AT THE MARKSMAN
Image credit: Anton Rodriguez
Meanwhile, upstairs in the modern dining room is where to act civilised over a sit-down dinner. That could be Lindisfarne oysters, a chicken and wild garlic pie and grilled Brixham sole with devilled Dulse butter, served alongside the likes of a brown butter and honey tart and a chocolate, blackberry and barley malt. You can even swing by with your dog (as The Marksman is one of best dog-friendly restaurants in London too) for a bacon and barley bun and a read of the papers on the roof terrace on a Sunday morning, before heading round the corner to the Columbia Road Flower Market – or on second thoughts… stay for bloody Maries and posh versions of classic British breakfast dishes (think a Tamworth bacon chop, hash brown and a runny fried egg).
Image credit: Harriet Clare
Lastly, back to the roast: the staple of great British pubs the length and breadth of the country. The Marksman truly does a Sunday lunch to match that of your nana. Roast Norfolk chicken, saddleback shoulder or Hereford rump provide the meaty accompaniment to the dripping and sage roast potatoes and nutty cauliflower cheese.
In summary, this place doesn’t miss…
NOTE: The Marksman public house is open Wednesday – Sunday. You can find out more, and make a reservation, HERE.
The Marksman | 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
Love a cosy pub? Check out these lovely London pubs with open fires
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