If you are looking for a classic, quintessential British pub experience then a visit to the Marquis Cornwallis in Bloomsbury must be high on your list of must visit pubs. The area near Brunswick Square is vibrant with locals and visitors alike, being a short walking distance away from fine institutions like the British Museum. There was a vibrant buzz to Sunday proceedings on a recent visit with most tables filled with guests ready to sample their Sunday roasts options or enjoy drinks from their lengthy craft beer options. They even have their own in-house beer tanks on display as you enter the pub to store fresh London lager from Meantime brewery.
Apart from the smart furnishings, what makes this pub stand out amongst a plethora of offerings in this area are their quirky pictures on their walls. The highlight is undoubtedly the print of the war of Independence in America with all the soldiers holding light sabers instead of bayonets.
The menu may look like standard British pub fare, but on closer inspection, you will appreciate the thought and effort put into assembling this menu. For starters, their chicken skewers are marinated with Ras el hanout, which is a North African spice and exotically mixed with quinoa salad and coconut dressing. Even though the meat lacked a little moisture, the dish was flavoursome in taste. What looked like a typical charcuterie offering from Italy was in fact black Combe ham and salami and the taste easily rivalled the best of what Italy can offer.
The pan-fried sea bass was matched ideally with lemon butter sauce, however the fillet was slightly mushy in taste. If you are lucky enough to visit on a Sunday, then I would highly recommend the regal option of mixed roast with 21 day aged roast sirloin of beef, Cherry Orchard pork loin and red wine jus. Firstly, not many venues, give you the option of trying different meats for your Sunday roast. Secondly, the generous portion size is ideal for a relaxing Sunday afternoon feast. More importantly, the quality of the meats are outstanding: the pork loin is succulent and moist and the beef is tender and flavoursome. We ordered a bottle of De Alto Amo Rioja, which was a balanced and not too heavy red wine that matched well with the mixed roast.
The Marquis Cornwallis clearly likes to offer customers a choice; with their dessert, they offer an option with a carrot cake matched with an orange cheesecake. It did taste slightly heavy on the palate. The lemon and wild blueberry ricotta cheesecake was slightly lighter and smaller in size. It wasn’t overly sweet and had a fine texture.
For those who want a relaxing Sunday roast lunch, the Marquis Cornwallis is definitely one of those places you need to consider visiting.