Within walking distance but a world away from the Bloomsbury set and the British Museum, the Marchmont neighbourhood is a mongrel area of the low-waged, laundrette users and long-term ex-students. All can be found in this rather splendid venue named in honour of the man who twice served as prime minister in the 19th century – and a descendant of the family that developed Bloomsbury.
It has all the markings of a gastropub (bare boards, sturdy rustic tables, the occasional pew and a colour photo of the pub on the walls) but only feels the need to serve pies and pasties. The beers – König Pilsner, Hannibal’s Nectar, Wadworth 6X, Caledonian Flying Dutchman, Budvar light and dark – are what bring punters here. Rugby’s also big, as are the Sunday roasts (£7.95). Smokers gather in the attractive adjoining courtyard.