Marquess Tavern

  • Bars and pubs
  • Gastropubs
0 Love It
© Ming Tang-Evans / Time Out

The Marquess has the feeling of a gastropub slowly morphing back into a boozer. The main bar in the handsome, high-ceilinged tavern was always kept as a place for drinking, but these days it’s the focus of attention, with a short wine list, several beers on tap and a selection of bottled options (including Kelpie’s Seaweed Ale from Scotland and Jever Pilsener from Germany).

The lovely dining room has off-white walls and nicely spaced wooden tables, and is much quieter, though the bar’s disco music can still be heard. The biggest change lies in the menu: gastro fare is served only on Friday and Saturday, and roasts on Sunday; from Monday to Saturday, thin-crust pizzas are available.

A two-for-one special offer bought a capricciosa (mushrooms, artichokes, black olives, cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, prosciutto, salami) and a quattro formaggi (gorgonzola, ricotta, parmesan, buffalo mozzarella); both acceptable at £10 for two, but not worth £10 each.

Far better was a well-flavoured globe artichoke with pine nut crumble and garlic mayonnaise, followed by ribeye with grilled cherry tomatoes, salad and parsley butter cooked just-so. A side of honey- and thyme-glazed parsnips looked limp but tasted fine; chips were average. An eagerly anticipated fresh fruit salad with Mount Gay rum and apricot ripple ice-cream was a disappointment, with no alcohol apparent and gloopy fruit.

Service was charming, but then again, staff didn’t have many diners to take care of. In short, no longer a destination gastropub, but a nice spot for a drink.

Venue name: Marquess Tavern
Address: 32 Canonbury Street
N1 2TB
Opening hours: Open 5-11pm Mon-Thur; 4pm-midnight Fri; noon-midnight Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Lunch served noon-5pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Sat; 6-8.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Highbury & Islington tube/rail or Essex Road rail
Price: Main courses £8.50-£17

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
1 person listening

Hi, I am the new manager at the Marquess. The pub has changed from tenancy back to being a Young's managed house. We have recently reopened after having a refurbishment. The pub now looks even more fantastic then before. Food is back on in the pub and everything is produced in house rather then hiring out the kitchen as before. The menu consists of the pub classics plus seasonal dishes. We also now open from 11am Monday to Friday and from 10am at the weekend as we serve Brunch. Our website and phone number have both also changed we are at: 02034370630 We hope to see you soon for another review. Thanks Matt


Living locally I frequent the Marquess Tavern quite regularly but of late have observed bizarre goings on with the food. It seems that the kitchen is now being run as a separate entity, 'a little of what you fancy'. Gone is the prix fixe menu and in it's place overpriced and over-gastrofied food. We went to eat recently and not wanting a three course meal really struggled to order anything. Now I have discovered that the chef in his wisdom is no longer serving food during the week - what is that about? This used to be a place you could rely on if you fancied some good food at a reasonable price now you're lucky if you can get food when you want it and it certainly isn't reasonable. A little of what I fancy? Very little indeed.


Lovely place away from the main Islington drag. Went on a week night and had the 3 courses for £15, which is amazing. Menu was short but interesting with something for everyone. Had an awesome pork fritter for starter which went well with the fresh remolade side. Fishcake main course was classic and just as it should be. Wine list was interesting and reasonaby priced. Will certainly be returning next time I'm in London.


Lovely bar, but very disappointed with service and over priced, over fussy food, which was served tepid.

Rose Simpson

The Marquess seems to have new management. For starters its been spruced up and looks the part. The food has taken an impressive turn. I had the turkey with parsip puree and pancetta, my partner had the steak with salsa verde with chips. Neither of us shared it was to good. One thing that would have been nice was some salad with the steak, its always a hassle not knowing if you are getting it or not and then having to order it retrospectively. For dessert I had the chocolate soup and I believe if it was real it would be exactly how the river of chocolate from Charlie and the Chocolate would have tasted, just wonderful. The staff were great, so welcoming and helpful even though its so busy. There was a great buzz there and it made me really happy.


Ate there the other night, they've done away with the pizza's and are now doing some pretty classy food. I was very impressed with my venison dish.

Jim c.

Is this really the same pub at which I and two friends have just had one of the worst meals in years. Indifferent bordering on rude staff managed to take an hour to serve up overcooked chef's special of 28 day hung beef. It was tasteless and cold and accompanied by disgusting Yorkshire pudding that would cause a riot up north. The roast potatoes seemed to have been deep fried and the broccoli was cooked to buttery. Horrible and expensive.