Marksman Public House

Marksman Public House. Photo: Katherine Anne Rose

Address 254 Hackney Road; London E2 7SJ
by Queensbridge Road
Neighbourhood Bethnal Green, Haggerston | See on map
Tube Hoxton [Overground]
Telephone +44 20 7739 7393
Price GBP 40-60
Hours Tues-Thurs 18-22. Fri-Sat 12-15, 18-22. Sun 12-18

To turn an old Victorian boozer into a gastropub is the norm in London’s East End these days, and the Marksman Public House might just be one of the best examples of this geezer gentrification. Though the wonderful design is pure old school pub, complete with flat-capped punters propping up the bar, the backing is thoroughly modern.

Tom Harris, who was head chef at St John restaurant for eight years, and Jon Rotherham, former head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, are in charge and serving up a truncated menu of British grub. Well, that’s if rissoles (small croquette goodies) and fresh crab can be considered typical boozer fodder. The prices certainly can’t.

However, get past the vernacular and you’ll be enjoying delicious food, and not in hefting big hangover portions. Worthy of mention, apart from the salt hake rissoles, there’s a steamed beef and barley bun, which is making the Vietnamese down on Kingsland Road worried, and a brown butter and honey tart that’s gaining cult status.

Everything is beautifully presented, yet anyone worried that the duo have taken all of the pub out of the Marksman needn’t – they still pull beers on tap, including local numbers like the Bethnal Blonde, and you can still dig into a portion of chips from the old-school banquettes. Just artfully done. With roasted-onion mayo, naturally.