Simple, well-cooked food served without fuss in a proper pub in east London really hits the spot
254 Hackney Road, London E2 (020 7739 7393). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £90
If there’s a better lunch to be had in Britain right now than the beef and barley buns with horseradish, the kid goat curry with the fried potatoes and the brown butter and honey tart served at the Marksman pub on the Hackney Road, I want to know about it. I want it brought to me, or, if necessary, I want me brought to it. I won’t hold my breath, because I really doubt there is one. The joy is not simply in the cooking, though it does possess the sort of vigour and attitude that makes properly greedy people swoon. It’s in the simplicity of the offering, the straightforwardness, the resolute lack of tiresome, self-regarding flimflam and hauteur. Their approach comes down to this: we cooked some stuff; we think you might like it.