There’s more to Marylebone that just the station. Not only is the area full of charming streets and great London attractions, there are more cool bars and quiet pubs than you would think, too. We’ve found our favourite speakeasies, cocktail bars and historic pubs in which to while away a weekend.
If you want a slice of unpretentious London, you need a proper London pub – the Mason’s Arms has been here in Fitzrovia since 1848 and was even once a Freemasons spot; really very little has changed (other than the food and the drink). Red leather banquettes and wooden panelling take you back in time while the menu has diversified with a mix of traditional English and modern Thai food. There are cask ales, great wines and a lovely sense of history on this quintessential London street.
You could blink and miss Purl, which is found under a sandwich shop. The basement cocktail bar is a chic hideaway where drinks become experiences, complete with foam, fog and all manner of special silverware. One of the first (and best) London speakeasies, this little gem has a thoroughbred style commitment to the cocktail. Pull up a Chesterfield sofa and forget the world above.
Cocktail bar and restaurant, 108 Bar and Restaurant is the place you want to prop up at the bar for the afternoon, if only for the people watching. Pretty, delicate cocktails come with edible flowers and an inventive small plates menu that needs to be shot and shared on Instagram. With an Art Deco decor and suitably polite bar staff, it’s the perfect place to take parents or a push the boat out date.
Cocktails and drinking is taken seriously at Artesian (in The Langham Hotel), which was awarded the world’s best bar in 2015. The food is as creative as the cocktail list (think tuna sashimi in ice cream cones) and the service is as you would expect from a world class hotel bar. The dignified and elegant surroundings might dampen your spirits initially but the cocktails more than make up for it.
Seymour’s Parlour can be found inside The Zetter Townhouse, the boutique hotel chain that has some of the coolest hotel rooms in London. As befits such a brand, the bar is quirky, the imagined space of Wicked Uncle Seymour – think lots of red and dark wood – and the bar has a bespoke cocktail list. It also does a fine line in afternoon tea.
The Carpenter’s Arms is a proper London boozer that serves up pub grub like steaks and sausage and mash and feels a world away from the bustling shopping streets near it. If you need to retreat for an hour or two from the world, this is a handy spot.