The journey began back in March – in the depths of the winter that felt like it would never end. Bad weather seemed to follow us around – there was a downpour on a visit to the first pub(The Fountains Inn) in Paddington, while an early trip to Edgware Road was saved by the fact there was a pub within running distance of the station.
I’ve tried to keep a historical edge to all of it, hence visiting the stations in the order they opened and trying to include a bit of interesting local trivia. I have a fondness for obscure statues, The Window Cleaner at Edgware Road and Etcetera by Hammersmith being two of my favourites.
Apart from a few misfires (Phoenix in Queensway with its wilted spider plants was a big disappointment) I’ve been very happy with the standard of pub I’ve been finding.
I’ve also been lucky that my schedule matched the June/July upturn in the weather – I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon by the Richmond Riverside at the White Cross while The Grange at Ealing Common had one of the most impressive beer gardens I’ve seen on my travels.
Most recently, I’ve visited venues that remind me of the massive pressures London pubs find themselves under in the current climate. The Queensbury in Willesden Green, a pub which serves a key role as a local community hub, is threatened with demolition by property developers, while The Black Lion in Kilburn, a budget hotel with a lavishly decorated downstairs bar has taken a stand against the practice of ‘tied pubs’ by taking out all beer on tap.
In the first 50 stations, I don’t really feel I’ve got totally out there yet. It’s the next 50 stations, where the crawl heads out to Metropolitan Line outposts such as Amersham and Pinner where I think things will really start to get interesting.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading and enjoying the blog so far. I’ve received some excellent pub recommendations so please do keep them coming in, especially as I start to venture further and further away from my usual haunts.
If you do visit any of the pubs on the crawl so far, tweet me and let me know what you thought of them.
Till the next time!
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