Dec 06

Pub-A-Go-Round: The Marquis Of Cornwallis

FT + Pumpkin Publog8 comments • 2,376 views

When i first started working in Russell Square over ten years ago there was a local pub, near the Tube Station called the Marquis Of Cornwallis. It was dark, smoky but had a feel of permanence to it.

Then it closed and god a major interior refit and became the Goose And Granite. Dirt cheap maybe, but of the sub-Wetherspoon chains proffering cheap food, cheap beer and lack of atmosphere, the Goose chain excelled primarily at the latter. Perhaps the thinking was to attract the local students (it did for a bit). Or the people living in the run-down Brunswick Centre (it did). A triumph then? (It wasn’t).

Then all of a sudden, a few months ago, it closed again to become: THE MARQUIS OF CORNWALLIS again. Possibly linked to the smartning up of the Brunswick, this was a definite smartning up of this pub. With a sign that looks a bit like a hologram, but isn’t, the pub has been part gastroed, part comfied up. They couldn’t do much with the barnlike space left by the Goose refit, but whilst the bar-staff are on the learning curve side of shonky, and the music is occasionally a touch too loud, there are too many good things about the Marquis to ignore.


From memory: Carling, Stella Artois, Staropramen, ScheiderWeisse, Peroni, Leffe Blonde, Kriek, Frambouizen, Fruli, Guinness, Green King IPA, Spitfire, Timothy Taylors Landlord, Black Sheep, Becks Vier, London Pride, Gouldenhous Blonde, Addlestones, Dry Blackthorn, Westons Vintage Cider, Budvar.

I might be forgetting some here too! Five draught wines (served by the litre carafe if you want). Pretty good food that is not too overpriced. Wonderfully dinky half pint pot for your Landlord. Whilst it is by no means perfect (staff really need to improve)

Basically, this means that Marchmont Street could be the best drinking street in London now. Selection if current shifting sands of atmosphere in The Marquis. The bonhomie and grey beer of the Lord John Russell (though beware their inflatable grotto). And the “not for everyone” Shepherd Neame fun of Mabel’s Tavern. I’d even put a word in for the Norfolk Arms!

And the Marquis Of Cornwallis is named after the man who lost the American War Of Independence. Smart!


  1. 1
    CarsmileSteve on 7 Dec 2006 #

    refit could also be related to m&b central london pub sell off as goose is one of their myriad chains, and i could easily imagine it only taking 7k a week…

    the woman i took to be the bar manager was sh!t hot though, i reckon she’ll whip the rest of the staff into shape in a couple of weeks (maybe except that lanky one with the hat) ;)

  2. 2

    but yr “sh!t hot bar manager” wasn’t in evidence last night, and indeed the ONLY crossover w.friday’s staff was “that lanky one with the hat ;)” ;(

  3. 3
    xmanoel on 7 Dec 2006 #

    If it has ScheiderWeisse it worths the visit. There is no need to feel friendly to the ‘krauts’ to concede they know a little bit about brewing beer.

  4. 4
    tracerhand on 8 Dec 2006 #

    unremarked so far is the ginormous upstairs which is almost as big as the downstairs part, and has not received second-shrift in the comfiness department that so many pub upstairs do. i wonder though, even with its capaciousness – are the loungey chairs and stools limiting the number of customers who can fit inside and pay the mortgage?

    the norfolk arms is not a pub.

  5. 5
    Kazaam on 21 Dec 2006 #

    We’ve actually got a NYE night here, woo hoo! Visit http://www.myspace.com/kazaamlondon

  6. 6
    glenn on 22 Dec 2006 #

    hola . solo queria felicitarlos por su estupendo Pub
    muy lindo el blog tambien:
    suerto en todo

    de Chile

  7. 7
    Jim Moran on 20 Jan 2007 #

    I was working in Greater London House in ’92 and was living in the hotel accross the road – frequented the Marquis nearly ebery night for 6 weeks and you description ” It was dark, smoky but had a feel of permanence to it” is exactly as I remebered it.

  8. 8
    Ewan on 11 Nov 2009 #

    This is an M&B pub indeed; they just went upmarket from their ridiculous Goose sub-brand. In any case, what interests me more is the way that the pub very quietly seemed to drop the “of” from their name. Perhaps they looked up that same Wikipedia page and realised their mistake?

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