Friday, June 30, 2006


"Look , its Mar(i)-lee-bone station" comes shrieking from the mouths of the American tourist teenage rat pack that is next to me on the Bakerloo Line. Of all the many things Americans mispronounce in England this one really irks me. Just how can they make a neighbourhood in London sound like some southern belle out of Steel Magnolias? I had to stop myself from belting back "No, bozo, it is actually pronounced Mar'l-e-b'n.

And then I was overcome with smugness. I suddenly remembered that despite the threatening hangover I had just spent a really good evening in Mar'l-e-b'n, without an embarrassing, hip sack wearing tourist in sight. Oh, and did you know Marylebone actually gets its name from a church, called "St Mary's" (now known as St Marylebone Parish Church), it is a common misunderstanding that the name is a corruption of Marie la bonne.

Whilst there are many pubs lining the High Street, there is one at the top, northern end closer to Regents Park than Oxford Street called The Prince Regent. On the surface, it doesn't look anything special. And once you scratch a bit, you realise it isn't and that's what gives it cache with the local trendy set.

Just like the High Street is a peaceful oasis from the Oxford Street mobs and yobs. The Prince Regent is tucked away just enough to retain a sense of being a pub of the people. But mind you the pub of the people in this pocket of W1 is more Pinot Grigio than Pride.

Drink prices are average for London. They have Becks on draft which is unusual, the bathrooms are swanky for a pub, there is live music every Saturday night, and the nachos and chips are better than average. And whilst the crowd does get filled with a few too many self conscious hipsters, it is a bit of a trashy thrill. Like reading Heat.

So when you find yourself in the centre of town this weekend, scouring the sales racks of Zara's or John Lewis, and you want a buzzy spot for Sunday lunch, think of The Prince Regent. Or for a celebratory drink after the big match. There isn't a telly which keeps away the hordes, so it will be a priceless discovery come 6 PM Saturday.

Celeb spottings at The Prince Regent (over a few visits):

Jefferson Hack, father of Kate Moss's baby, co-founder of Dazed and Confused magazine, and now editor of Another magazine. Credentials listed in order of importance obviously.

Sienna Miller, Jude Law's ex and wanna be London's Edie Sedgwick.

The Prince Regent is at 71 Marylebone High Street, W1
(020) 7467 3811


Blogger andrea said...

I hate to admit, living in London, that I have had a hard time pronouncing Marylebone. I hang my head in shame!

4:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto. I still am not sure how to pronounce it! Mar-LI-bin?

10:11 pm  
Blogger Ham said...

I quite like this photo of mine to evoke the feel of Marylebone High Street, but maybe I'm biased ;-)

2:21 pm  
Blogger ems said...

I still remember from years ago a couple of American tourists asking me how to get to Green Witch. They told me they thought it was well known but no-one they'd spoken to had heard of it. Me neither until they mentioned the Cutty Sark...

7:56 pm  
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