London

The Marksman in Bethnal Green is Michelin pub of the year

The Marksman pub Image copyright Google
Image caption Then and Now: The Marksman pub after its refurbishment in 2015 (L) and as it was (R)

A "proper neighbourhood pub" in east London is the first in the capital to be named Michelin Pub of the Year.

The Marksman in Bethnal Green beat off competition from about 500 other establishments in Michelin's most recent Eating Out in Pubs Guide.

As well as being praised as a place to enjoy local ale, judges hailed its "new era" food, including devilled mussels and pheasant and trotter pie.

Chef owners Tom Harris and and Jon Rotheram said they were "thrilled".

Image copyright The Marksman
Image caption Tom Harris (left) and Jon Rotheram took over the running of the Marksman in 2015

The guide also made the Victorian pub a recipient of a Michelin Bib Gourmand, awarded to venues offering good value and good quality cooking.

It was also praised for its regular events with guest chefs, live music and DJs, and its summer roof terrace.

Mr Harris - who previously worked at One Leicester Square - and Mr Rotheram - formerly a chef at Jamie Oliver's 15 - refurbished the pub after taking over ownership in 2015.

They were praised for their menus which included such delights as devilled mussels on toast, skate with shrimps and turnip tops, and pheasant and trotter pie.

Image copyright The Marksman
Image caption The Victorian pub was hailed for its neighbourhood feel as well as "new era" food

The guide's editor, Rebecca Burr, said: "The Marksman cleverly combines a place to drink with new era pub food.

"One of the things we love about it is that it's a proper neighbourhood pub first and foremost, with a cosy, traditional bar in which to enjoy a pint of local ale or a bottle of craft beer."

Mr Rotheram said: "We're absolutely thrilled to have been crowned Michelin's Pub of the Year and this award is credit to the whole team who have worked so hard to create a pub that serves delicious food in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

"Needless to say we're incredibly proud."

The award comes as the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) warned that, on average, four London pubs were closing each week.

James Watson, spokesman for Camra, said there were about 3,800 pubs left in the capital and that 2,000 pubs had closed in the past decade.

Mr Watson said there was a trend for London pubs to close and reopen as gastropubs because there was more profit margin in "food and cocktails".

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