Turn back the clock at Paul Rothe & Son, Marylebone’s vintage deli.
Gentrification and development means that London is rarely stood still for very long, but if you hunt down the back streets and hidden alleyways, you’ll find places that seem to be untouched by the ravages of time. One such spot is Paul Rothe & Son, where the influencer-friendly facade is hiding a thriving business that’s done a roaring trade since opening in 1900.
Not only has Paul Rothe & Son been open since 1900, it’s been run by the same family for 119 years, which is genuinely impressive. Just by way of comparison, Chelsea FC have had nine managers in eight years – although admittedly Paul Rothe & Son haven’t won the Champions League (yet). Anyway, what they lack in footballing talent, they make up for with old-school sandwiches and a frightening amount of jam.
Eschewing the fancy frills of other London sarnie-slingers, the offerings here trend towards the classic. Smoked salmon is a popular choice, and the shop is often lauded for their winning coronation chicken – the brave amongst you can plump for the likes of ox tongue. Breadwise, sourdough and focaccia are nowhere to be seen, for chunky slices of white, brown, and wholemeal rule the roost here, be it as part of those sandwiches or dunked into a fresh soup.
Your sandwich is made before your eyes, with meats carved, chutneys spread, and butter slathered there at the counter. Salads, though taking a back seat to sandwiches, are reportedly great, but Paul Rothe & Son have one other speciality that’s in evidence throughout the store.
Those paralysed by too much choice will be in a very literal jam here, with jars stretching as far as the eye can see. Marmalades, preserves, jellies, and chutneys are almost inexhaustible, ranging from the likes of redcurrant jelly and black truffle honey, to a range of whimsical London-themed jams.
As you can imagine, the delicious yet simple food and pretty exteriors (also featured on tote bags) have made Paul Rothe & Son a low-key hit on Instagram, with many an influencer popping by for a visit. Even the Formica-topped tables of the interior have been repurposed as ‘gram fodder, preferably with a sandwich somewhere in the foreground. Instagram trends may come and go, but I’ve a feeling that Paul Rothe & Son will outlast them all…
Location: 35 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2NN. Nearest station is Bond Street. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 8am-5pm (Mon to Fri), 11:30am-5pm (Sat), closed on Sundays.
Price: most sandwiches are about £4.
More information: there’s no website, so your best way to learn more is with a visit!
Featured image: @hanan_nadia_
Also published on Medium.