December 18, 2019
The Gunmakers – Winston Churchill’s favourite hostelry!
After an extensive refurbishment, the Gunmakers finally opened its doors with a flourish, under the same partnership of Xavier Rousset and chef Mark Jarvis, who recently opened Anglo together, under the auspices of ‘Trade’, a sophisticated, members-only club. With such a talented chef and a renowned sommelier, The Gunmakers will certainly shake up the pub scene in Marylebone.
Make no mistake – the pub was established in the 18th Century but has now been modernised to fit the London scene, without losing its valuable history. A 40-cover restaurant and 6 boutique style bedrooms will attract even the most discerning customers, whether locals or tourists, who will appreciate the fact that this was once the favourite ‘watering hole’ of none other than Sir Winston Churchill.
To say that this is ‘the best of British pubs’ is an understatement, when it comes to culinary flair and perfect choices of beverages, including an impressive wine list designed by Xavier. Mark has a unique way of taking simple food and making it shine – quite difficult when you are eating typical British pub classics. Soggy Yorkshire puddings and watery gravy are nowhere to be seen here.
One can almost imagine Winston Churchill sitting at a table in this classic pub, with dark wood panelling and tables set out for lunch and quoting some of his famous sayings to all that sat with him! Whilst the lunch menu includes favourites such as beer-battered fish and chips, pastries, soups and sandwiches, it is the Sunday Lunch that is proving most popular and having savoured it myself, I agree that it is an absolute winner.
Quite often in pubs, there will only be one or two choices of meat for Sunday lunch, but at the Gunmakers, there were 3 choices, plus a fish choice and a vegetarian dish. Before we ate our main course, we were spoilt for some classic starter choices, which included Celeriac and Pear Soup with a hint of Stilton Cheese and crunchy Caramelised walnuts. Hand Dived Scallops were another option, served with black pudding, cauliflower and apple, or sumptuous Maldon Rock Oysters that would slip so smoothly down your throat, silky and plump and scented with the sea – yum! Vegetarians and vegans need not despair, a dish of Pickled Beetroot, Shaved Fennel and Citrus Dressing looked pretty amazing.
For the mains, Rare Roast Beef came in proliferation and was tender and delicious with the carrot puree, mustard cream leeks and the beautifully risen Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes, which were crisp on the outside but fluffy on the inside – just perfect. My guest chose the Dry Aged Lamb Rump, again cooked to perfection, tender and pink, served with aubergine, mint and miso. Slow-cooked pork belly was the third option, with all the usual trimmings, and looked mouth-wateringly tender as we saw it being served to other diners.
Desserts were certainly British classics – Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ice Cream, Bitter Chocolate Ganache with Coffee Chantilly Cream, Crème Brulee with a hint of Earl Grey. There was also an impressive cheese board, which had we had enough room in our already full stomachs, we would have tried.
Finding it difficult to move after such a filling and delicious lunch, staying in one of the 6 stylish bedrooms would have been a great option!
As Winston said, ‘I leave when the pub closes’. We certainly could appreciate this sentiment, but a post-luncheon snooze was definitely on the cards.
A: The Gunmakers, 33 Ayebrook Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 4AP
T: 020 7935 5291
W: Gunmakers House
Written by Rafa Zurita for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International