Even though Marylebone is where I would choose to live if Mr Sunny and I bought property in London, we don’t get to Marylebone pubs as often as we would like. However, we know that if someday we moved there, it wouldn’t be a big struggle to find a local one we loved.
When we were invited to try The Sir John Balcombe Pub, we knew from reviewing the menu that it would basically be an evening of burgers and beer. With those expectations, we headed to the pub on a late Friday afternoon in January to see what we would find.
Sir John Balcombe Pub- Ambiance
When we arrived around 4pm it was very spacious, which wasn’t a huge surprise. This year on the first Friday of January, you could be hit or miss in London pubs. You might find people like us who cling to every last minute of the holidays and savour a few extra days off in the new year or those who go back to work on 2nd January and don’t hit the pub scene until the customary happy hour time. Then there are those who go right in to “Dry January’ resolutions the minute after the clock strikes midnight on the 1st and consequently give people like us extra space in drink lines at London pubs.
Through our experience, it seemed that Sir John Balcombe Pub in Marylebone attracts a mix of those who work and live around the area. Almost like clockwork, around 5pm the pub started filling with people. By the time we left at 6pm, it was nearly full of a late 20-40’s crowd of people looking for an evening of casual drinks with friends and partners who were local to the Marylebone area.
Sir John Balcombe Pub- Food
We ordered the Sticky Chicken Wings, Mac and Cheese Bites, Sticky Glazed Pig’s Cheeks and Wholetail Whitby Scampi for Starters. They were delivered in a basket and each individually served in a small glass. Mr Sunny and I shared a bit of them all with each other and our overall impression was they had just been heated.
Next, Mr Sunny had the Sausage and Mash. It featured Broad Oak Farm smoked pork sausages, grilled onion mash, crispy onion rings and beer gravy. While the beer gravy sounded perfect for Mr Sunny, he was confused as to why the sausage was smoked. This did not seem to be traditional to what he has experienced and prepared himself as an Englishman from generations of Londoners. Although, in all fairness, it was advertised correctly.
I stuck with a cheeseburger and ordered the Loaded Burger. It is a 6 ounce beef patty with smoked Cheddar, rarebit cheese sauce, sweet cured bacon & beer glaze. There are few burgers I have met that I did not care for. The Loaded Burger was good but wouldn’t make me swoon if I was on a diet. And, as you can see, the side salad looked a bit tired.
Sir John Balcombe Pub- Service
Our service was perhaps the highlight of the experience. The person who waited on us was friendly, informative and fast. What more could you want at a pub in London in this category?
Sir John Balcombe Pub- Final Thoughts
In summary, we think the Sir John Balcombe Pub is a great meeting place for locals and people who work in the area, but it is not somewhere that keeps us up at night dreaming about what we ate and when we can return for a second round.