As my previous post revealed I am a man of lists. Unfulfilled lists that dwell in drawers, on the fridge or in my iPhone. My mid year resolution to refine and cross through the pub list starts with , The Marksman on Hackney Road.
Close to Columbia Road and just down Hackney Road is The Marksman. You can file this one under proper pub. That much is obvious as you step in through the front doors. Wood panelled walls, faded decor and unusually a skylight in the front bar for some reason give me the thought of being in a ships bar. I’m not talking the QE2, but add pipe smoke and a foghorn and I could have been on a Hebridean steamer (pre smoking ban of course). I promise you I had not been drinking at this point but it was my initial thought and i’m going with it.
The clientelle is a good mix of older locals and younger Shoreditch newcomers. For me this is always a good sign that a pub is working; where two groups that often rub abrasively against each other can co-exist in the name a pint, a bit of banter and even a barter. It’s a first on me to see a pub with a barter list on their website. If this took off my days of eBaying could be over, as I trade drill bits for beer.
Lou is already settled with a beer when I arrive and I find a cold pint of Meantime Pale Ale waiting. A selection of Sharps’ is also on the bar with the ubiquitous Doombar as well as Cornish Coaster and Atlantic IPA; which i’ve been growing to particularly like lately. Service is friendly and the atmosphere is lively without being too in your face. It’s a relatively quick visit but as we leave the goodbye is as warm as the hello. A definite addition to another list, the Pub Diaries top 20.
The Marksman, 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ