Sir John Balcombe - Marylebone

The Sir John Balcombe pub in Marylebone enjoys an established reputation as a lively City venue. Located in a prestigious area of Westminster and frequented by a clientele drawn from local businesses including law firms and the Courts, it is owned by The Bermondsey Pub Company, part of Enterprise Inns. 

Bermondsey Pub Company runs an interesting and eclectic collection of pubs designed around individuality, with core values focused on creating pubs that are an integral part of their communities, offering an outstanding experience for guests. Planned refurbishment of the Sir John Balcombe required a completely fresh approach, sympathetic to the existing traditions of the venue yet injecting a new vibe tailored to the local area and to the pub’s specific clientele.  

Using design to link two leisure spaces

Interior design specialists Nanu Soda were charged with injecting new life into this popular spot. The existing décor was rather disjointed; the pub operated with upstairs and downstairs spaces which did not link together, and an important part of the refurbishment was to dovetail the two areas, ensuring they could work effectively as a whole and appeal to the targeted audience. 

The scheme designed by the Nanu Soda team began by assessing the entire layout of the venue. Upstairs, the space was opened out completely to create a lighter, more relaxed effect. Downstairs, the staircase was turned to create a more accessible approach, a glazed corridor was removed, the kitchens were opened up and a hot pass unit was installed to create an element of theatre whilst complying with all building regulations. 

A comfortable and atmospheric speakeasy

The new Sir John Balcombe now features a warm and welcoming atmosphere downstairs, with an atmospheric ‘speakeasy’ feel promoted by exposed brick walls, comfortable padded seating and button backed settles. Timber paneling and rich timber tones add a cosy, period feel. A striking tree feature which rambles up one wall and across the ceiling complements the hideaway concept, with lighting carefully selected to enhance the setting. Upstairs, the feel is more rustic, retaining a more traditional pub atmosphere with less polished timber textures paired with muted colours and subtle lighting effects. 

About the Sir John Balcombe

So why the Sir John Balcombe? The pub has had other names in the past. It was renamed Wood Marylebone in 2010, taking on its present persona as The Sir John Balcombe in 2014. As well as its location on Balcombe Street, the name reflects the pub’s current popularity with the legal fraternity. Sir Alfred John Balcombe was a Lord Justice of Appeal for ten years until 1995. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1950 and appointed a QC in 1969. Knighted in 1977, he was made a Privy Councillor in 1985.

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