Newly opened earlier this month, Marshals has certainly commandeered London Road as one of the classiest bars on the South Coast.
Situated opposite Varsity in Bedford Place, this ‘speakeasy’ style bar oozes character with polished wooden bars and rich decor that perfectly compliments the Prohibiton-era theme (don’t worry, I didn’t know what a speakeasy was either, thanks Wikipedia!).
Many of you may recognize Marshals’ older brother, the famous Rockstone of Bevois Valley. Both share a uniqueness difficult to find on Portswood Highstreet. Owner and culinary mastermind Maximilian Greenwood has certainly given swanky establishments in Southampton a run for their money. He said:
Set to be the new place to hang out in Southampton, Marshals is the perfect cocktail of high-end spirits, incredible food and awesome service that has been missing from London Road.
Lucky enough to catch an invite to the VIP opening night and experience Marshals first-hand, I arrived at 8pm on Saturday evening to a heaving joint full of people laughing, drinking and cheering on both the footie and American football matches shown on numerous TVs.
The venue was buzzing and both staff and patrons (most of whom were between 25 and 35 years it has to be said) rocked a particular hipster style, which made a change from the likes of Varsity!
Welcomed with a complimentary glass of Prosecco and homemade punch in a tin (think iced tea with an alcoholic kick- goes down a treat but after five or six you’ll be crawling home plastered!), I settled down to soak up the atmosphere, which had a certain blues ambiance to it.
Marshals had a melange of live music acts playing, with the opening night’s headliner The Lounge Kittens covering an array of artists from Alice Cooper to Duran Duran in their unique style:
We’re a three-part harmony group with a piano, so perform jazz/swing renditions of songs, mostly rock or metal but popular dance tracks too! Songs with lots of swearing in them as well, they’re always fun!
It’s safe to say the live entertainment was top notch and certainly brought in a crowd, with one-in-one-out door service by 10pm.
With entertainment covered it was now time to eat, drink and be merry!
WARNING: If you are vegetarian please avert your gaze, these images are not for the faint-hearted…
Meat. Ribs, brisket, loin and chops. Beef, pork, lamb and chicken wings to blow your head off. Marshals has it all. If you fear you may be suffering from protein deficiency, this is the place for you, with authentic USA BBQ that will bring you to your knees. A selection of gourmet pizzas are also available so fear not vegetarians, that solitary veggie pie in the sky is in sight!
From cherry cola ribs to shrimp Po’boys, volcanic chicken wings to loaded hot dogs, you will not go hungry here but rather leave Googling the nearest surgery that will fit you a gastric band. One individual who loves a carnivorous feast has already pinpointed the must-haves:
Max’s Bourbon BBQ sauce is amazing, with the beef brisket and BBQ pork belly the best cuts to have, all locally sourced. The BBQ is a manly buffet; the food is amazing but is no way dignified to eat!
Now I hear your cries: “So the music is good, the food is tasty but WHAT ABOUT THE BOOZE?”. Fear not Sotonians, Marshals has you covered. With over 400 spirits and 19 lagers you will be spoilt for choice. You want a double vodka and coke? WE HAVE 40 VODKAS, TAKE YOUR PICK! A gin and tonic? WHICH TONIC, WE HAVE ELDERFLOWER, LIME AND STRAIGHT?
You will literally be stood at the bar with your mouth wide open unable to comprehend the fact that Smirnoff vodka is not your only option. Draughts range from the well-known Peroni and Rekorderlig to more exotic varieties such as Pistonhead and JJ’s cider, so your beerful needs will also be undoubtedly satisfied.
But now for the painful bit no student ever wants to think about. PRICES. With this level of gourmet lushness and diverse drinks list I’m afraid you’ll be paying the price, with a Russian Standard ‘house’ vodka and coke coming in at around £4.
Indeed, drinks prices range from £3 all the way up to £50 (hey big spender!), and it costs around £9.95 for a hot dog and £14.95 for 12 wings, so don’t expect it to be SUSU’s Bar Three competition…
But if saved for a special occasion (a.k.a when your parents come down and are paying for everything), Marshals is the perfect bar to chillout, watch some sports and drink away. Just don’t go in thinking this is the new place to ‘prink’ before crossing the road to Orange Rooms!
Overall review (Tl;dr):
- Food Quality: 9/10 – Great meat feast and gourmet pizzas- be sure to go on an empty stomach!
- Service: 8/10 – Friendly, helpful staff, ready to make even your own personal concoction!
- Atmosphere: 9/10 – Classy ‘hipster’ bar with a slightly older clientele.
- Prices: 4/10 – steep prices not really aimed for students, but you’re paying for quality!
Have you been to Marshals? What did you think? Want to find out more? Follow Marshals on Twitter or ‘like’ them on Facebook .