Marlborough Arms, WC1E 7LY
- 020 7636 0120
- 36 Torrington Place, WC1E 7LY
A pub just off Tottenham Court Road near the main UCL building, so consequently often full of students.
It's usually very busy in the evening, as it's popular for a quick pint after work/college, but it stretches into a number of rooms. The main space is large and square, with large tables to the rear and near the door with leather banquettes, a few more in a slightly recessed space to the rear of the bar, as well as several smaller tables around the middle of the room and high tables with stools at the edge. There's a separate (bookable) room at the back which can be closed off with a heavy velvet drape if it's booked, as well as seating out the front along the street (and under covers if necessary).
The decoration in general is unusually ornate and elaborate, with carpet on the floors, and richly-hued wood panelling stretching up all the walls offset by paintings, mirrors and historical artefacts. It's certainly one of the more attractive old pubs in the area.
There are four handpulls for ale at the bar, with Greene King IPA, Spitfire, Bombardier (£1.50/half) and one off on a July 2009 visit. Other draught beers include Staropramen, Hoegaarden, Leffe, as well as Strongbow for cider drinkers.
The food menu is the standard Spirit Group one, with fairly sturdy pub grub (salad, burgers, sandwiches, and the like) which have clearly just been heated up for service. Ewan's falafel burger was fine, nothing special, but served on a long plate with a large pile of thin-cut chips and a BBQ dipping sauce (a pleasant change) photo.
Accessibility: Toilets are down stairs to the rear of the pub, between the main room and the function room, but there's also an accessible toilet on the ground floor. No steps to get in.