Sunday 28 April marks the 2019 edition of the London Marathon — some 40,000 perky athletes will be making their way around 26 miles of (largely riverside) tarmac over the course of a day, in the name of fun, charity, or professional competition. Undoubtedly, as many begin to realise the folly of their undertaking (likely from about mile marker 5, give or take), they’ll need some encouragement. So here are 10 great places to eat and drink while, or after, watching a whole bunch of other people wishing they could be doing the same.Read More
9 Places to Eat Along the London Marathon Route
Old-school wine, some of the best Mexican in the city, and a serious pie for the finish line
1. Gordon's Wine Bar
Is there a better definition of smugness than enjoying superlative wine and cheese while others sweat their way along the Thames below? This Embankment institution — cellared arches and all — is the perfect place to start, punctuate or end a marathon watch: settle in with some serious wine and order a hulking board of cheese or meat to chase. The protein will be welcome for any recovering runners willing to trek it back from The Mall, too.
2. American Bar
One of the most storied cocktail bars in the world, the Savoy’s American bar is also among the best places to channel one’s inner Don Draper and sip on an Old Fashioned in surrounds of unabashed opulence. Best of all — the dress code means no smelly runners stopping in to refuel. Bliss.
3. Rochelle Canteen at The ICA
A winning home straight has its key tenets: the triumphant waltz to the finish line, the flood of relief (and cramp), and the victory toast. There are few options for the latter as good, reliable and within stumbling distance as Rochelle Canteen at the ICA, serving up seasonal deliciousness for a light finish and pies of serious heft to aid recovery.
4. Santo Remedio
Tower Bridge is one of the route’s most storied and hectic vantage points, so it makes sense to have a retreat planned once the pack has meandered over the Thames. A short stroll down Tooley Street lies London’s best Mexican restaurant, Santo Remedio, waiting with hibiscus margaritas, octopus in achiote and superlative salsas, guacamoles and tacos. There’s a terrace out front for catching some rays.
5. 40 Maltby St
London SE1 3PA, UK
Can’t stomach the Tower Bridge frenzy? Stick with Bermondsey for something a little more laid-back, but still offering the chance to cheer, sneer, or just wait for the inevitable search for refreshment. Sneak off down the ropewalk to visit 40 Maltby Street, drink some delicious wine — natural or not — and revel in how Steve Williams quietly and confidently defines what British food can be in 2018.
History bubbles in the Guinness and champagne of Sweetings’ legendary Black Velvet, served — as it should be — in a silver tankard. A place to look upon the runners and despair: despair, that is, that they cannot partake in the plain brilliance that this London institution is so rightly renowned for. Scampi and bacon (50/50 fried/grilled) is the baller order.
It’s both the season and the weather for a lunch at Skye Gyngell’s beautiful Somerset House restaurant, and with hyper-seasonal menus inspired by regional Italian cuisines propped up by the best of British produce, there’s an air of lightness to a meal here that leaves one feeling, well... like they could run a marathon.
Leave the oxygen debt in Deptford. The frenzied tumult of a marathon on a humid day — and that’s just the spectating — requires something steadying, familiar, delicious. Enter Marcella’s brilliant Sunday set, which offers three courses for £20 with some snacks for those feeling fancy: Last week featured porchetta with datterini tomatoes and fennel bookended by white sprouting broccoli with bagna cauda and coffee ice cream. This is a menu that can run and run.
A short detour toward the river from both outbound and return routes through Wapping, Victualler is the ideal escape for those needing a break from the pressing crowds and the crushing sense of inadequacy that comes with watching fitter, healthier people pound the pavement for hours on end. Slow Food-focussed cuisine and a commitment to organic and biodynamic natural wines mean it’s perfect for restoring the sheen to that suit of self-righteousness.