322 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6AG
020 8692 3140
Located slap-bang in the centre of New Cross, the Marquis is a long established local that attracts a broad spectrum of drinkers, and offers something to a lot of people. At first glance, it’s an unremarkable and slightly dingy Irish boozer. During the daytime the place is empty, bar a few hunched, grey figures scouring the Racing Post. But of an evening, this is a lively, atmospheric and welcoming pub, with a fantastic mix of students and locals all having a drink together.
The décor is very much what you’d expect from a local of this ilk: Black painted walls, red upholstered snugs and banquettes. There are various Irish-themed scenes decorating the walls, but it doesn’t descend into ‘diddly-dee’ vapidity, and adds to the warm character come night time.
The assortment of punters creates a comfortable environment, and is best on weekday evenings, when you’ll get lots of large groups drinking together. On Friday and Saturday nights the pub also hosts tangoed types up from Bexley and Dartford, knocking back shots before heading into The Venue (Don’t). The place gets animated, and is a good spot to meet people before heading elsewhere (Not The Venue). It’s definitely worth knowing, however, that when Millwall are playing at home, the place gets absolutely rammed after the final whistle. You won’t able to move, and will be subjected to dodgy ska versions of Millwall songs, played on a hellish loop on the jukebox. Even when there’s no football on, I have seen some of the more weather-beaten characters get lecherous on a Saturday night. One fella, in particular, will, every Saturday, put Rihanna on the always-too-loud jukebox, and gyrate his emaciated carcass about the place, beckoning people to come join him. It really is enough to put you off your crisps. So be warned, Saturdays in here aren’t for everyone.
On tap, you’ll find all the usual suspects, along with Addlestone’s Cider, which a lot of people seem to like, but I think tastes strangely of ham. With regard to ales, there’s only London Pride and Doom Bar on the pumps; meanwhile, there’s the standard selection of spirits and bottled drinks you’d expect to find in any decent pub. A pint of Guinness costs £3.40, and is always of a good standard. Most of the other draught choices range from between £3.10-£3.80. There are three well-placed screens for sport, as well as a bigger pull-down screen, and is an excellent place to watch football and boxing in particular.
The Marquis isn’t perfect, but it’s a solid and unpretentious pub; it’s a broad church, catering to the people of this parish. Places like the New Cross House may have nice food and craft beers on tap, but pubs like the Marquis give a neighbourhood its soul. The fact that on a weekday evening, you’ll find art students, lecturers, football fans and old Irish locals drinking side-by-side shows its appeal. It just does the job of serving alcohol to people really well.