Tucked beside the bricked arches just South of the River Thames, the punters of the Marquis of Wellington shy themselves away from the busy suited commuters scurrying through London Bridge station. It is just a short 20 minute walk, from the tube station to the hubbub of beer drinkers and food fanatics.
Couples and families walk past with hot, rich smelling street food in their hands. There is a sudden feeling of hope, that the food they are holding comes from the Marquis of Wellington. Drawing closer to the pub, people are seen congregating in small groups around the outdoor marquis and breweries further up the street, The Shard prominently visible in the distance.
There is a subtle air of togetherness which unites the entirety of Druid Street. The close-knit community feel is intensified once inside the pub, as the rough and ready interior suits the clientele faultlessly. Sweater clad, alternative people cosy up inside. It is of course a place for anyone, but the people who dine here are all distinctively alike in appearance and dress sense. Assistant Manager Alex Abrey discloses that: “Everyone is pretty chilled. Most people love coming here on a weekend to eat good food and drink good beer. Obviously we focus on a good quality beer and we also have a great gin range as well. Every customer seems to be really engaging with the pub as well. They’ll go to the market and then come to the pub. Everyone seems to be really positive that the pub has opened up as well, because it was closed for so long.”
With the Bermondsey Beer Mile attracting a high quantity of beer enthusiasts, the Marquis of Wellington is the ideal location to have a pit stop and a pizza. There is a variety of local craft brews in both keg and cask from Camden Town Brewery, Southwark LPA, Horns Brewing Co and Clarkshards among others. Premium gins are also available including locally-distilled favourites Jensens and Dodds, which are paired with refreshing Fever Tree Tonics.
The building itself is made up of mismatched furniture that has been upcycled to accompany the industrial backdrop it sits between. There is a mixture of recycled tables and bar stools. The bar spans itself almost 360 degrees around the centre of the building, allowing for optimum pint pulling. “We opened on November 21st so we’ve been open around a month and a half. Since then it has been growing. We had our first quiz last week and we had a great turn out. It was so busy we had to turn teams away. It has been slowly building up to a big community.”
Aside from the Marquis of Wellington being the very first street food pub of its kind, the menu also caters for simple, Italian food; rustic pizza’s are its speciality. “We’ve teamed up with the British Street Food Organisation and if we work well with a particular person, they will come back. We just get quite friendly with the people at the market.”
Fresh garlic bread is prepared as a starter. Opting to try both a vegetarian and meat option, the ‘Fior di latte mozzarella and sweet onion’ and the ‘San Marzano and nduja’ are the ideal choices. The vegetarian ‘Mushroom, baby spinach and black truffle’ pizza and the Raclette Brother’s ‘Traditional Raclette’ comes piping hot to the table on wooden boards and street food style serving plates.
There is something to be said for the striking atmosphere of the Marquis of Wellington. Perhaps it is the combination of tempting comfort food being made in front of eager customers and the stripped back indie playlist that hums in the background around the voices of homely regulars, that makes this place an exclusive retreat. Not only for the residents of Bermondsey, but for those exploring London, looking to find a place which truly represents a modern British pub environment.
Marquis of Wellington
21 Druid St, London SE1 2HH
020 7394 0246