We ventured east to see if The Marksman’s new private dining room makes the cut
When you pass The Marksman on Hackney Road, it looks like any other pub. When you walk in, it feels like any other pub. But when you try the food, you quickly realise this isn’t like any other pub at all.
The Marksman Public House is the only London pub that has been awarded Michelin Pub of the Year, and we can see why. We love the distinctly unfussy atmosphere – the bustle of a normal boozer with casual Victorian interiors.
Downstairs, the new private dining room is an interesting space. Accessed down some narrow stairs and through the kitchen, the intimate cellar room is dimly lit and decorated with wine bottles. If good weather allows, you can also have a drinks reception on the charming rooftop terrace first. Dinner is a set feasting menu, which gives you the best produce of the season (summer sees the likes of courgettes, mackerel, fennel and crab), and if delivered with the same culinary skills as when we went, you’ll be one happy booker.
For it’s the food that makes this place special. The Marksman is headed up by chefs Tom Harris (previously of Leicester House) and Jon Rotheram (formerly of Jamie Oliver’s 15) and they serve up crowd-pleasing, but refined dishes. The menu changes daily, but the focus is always British.
The mussels, kohlrabi and wild fennel dish we had to start was zingy and refreshing. For mains, we went with pot-roast ham belly with peas and lovage, which was melt-in-the-mouth tender, just fatty enough and balanced nicely with the sweetness of peas. However, the star of the show was, without a doubt, the side of potatoes. The deep-fried, golden, crisp plateful revisits me in my dreams weeks later. It was served with a creamy, homemade horseradish sauce that was just sharp enough – delicious.
This is the place to take your food-loving clients who are fed up with the 2018 trend of tiny dishes – with bespoke menus and knowledgeable staff, The Marksman demonstrates that pub grub done well really does meet the mark.
Private dining 12
254 Hackney Road , E2 7SJ