Michelin Pub of The Year 2017
The Marksman is on Hackney Road, a stone’s throw away from Morito, a cool Middle Eastern x N.African tapas joint.
Co-owned by Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram who both worked at St. JOHN, The Marksman has a traditional gastro pub aesthetic downstairs, with a hip, very casual dining room upstairs and a roof terrace that’s a lovely place to hang in the summer. I’ve eaten in the upstairs dining room twice – simple wooden tables, chairs + brown leather sofa chairs make for grown up dining; the playful element coming in via the primary coloured patterned floor designed by Martino Gamper.
FYI, do book in advance and specify where you want to sit – upstairs or downstairs. Rooftop is first come, first serve.
FOOD & SERVICE
The first time I went I had a small plate consisting of cured sea trout with fennel and a thin flat bread biscuit of sorts – really delicious; so was excited to return for a full blown meal.
When I returned for a Sunday roast, it was distinctly underwhelming – the chicken didn’t really taste of anything and the roast potatoes were just alright.
We also had duck pate on toast to start with which looked somewhat bland and uninspiring especially against a stark white plate but pleased my tongue immensely. I really dug the smooth creamy texture of the pate and the sweet kick from the brown gloop (chutney of some sort I suspect) you can see peeping out from the side.
For dessert, I had a nice little nectarine tart…
On my most recent visit (which to be fair was a while ago – Aug 2016 be precise), I ordered some of their famous beef & barley buns which I washed down with some good wine on their cute little roof terrace and that, woah, that was superb.
So, from my experience I’d say you’d do well if you just avoid the Sunday roast which seems somewhat ironic considering it’s part pub and has just been voted Michelin Pub of The Year. Having said that I’ve yet to have a Sunday roast in a pub that I think is outstanding. If any of you have some suggestions, swing ’em my way por favor.
Service overall is professional, laid back and friendly.
Downstairs is definitely more buzzy – as there’s people there to drink as well as eat. The three times I’ve been, the upstairs dining room has always had a very low key vibe about it which makes it a good place for a casual date or catch up with a few pals.
It’s a small plates kind of deal, so you’ll need to get a couple of dishes, starters are £3-5, small plates £7-9 and larger plates start at £15. Sunday roast is £29 for x2 courses and £33 for x3 courses. So, I’d budget around £35 for a meal at The Marksman.
THE TAKE OUT
I’ve been to The Marksman quite a few times and it’s a place I’d continue to return to. They do some really lovely snacks and plates of food (the barley buns are a must) and it’s a cool, grown up space that’s great to hang out in.
254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ
+44(0)20 7739 7393
Last visited Aug 2016