My trip to Ladbroke Grove was a first on this blog, the first station I’ve visited that I’d not got off at before. Of course, there will be many more to come. It first opened on 13th July 1864 as Notting Hill on an extension of the original Metropolitan railway to Hammersmith. It then went through a variety of names, Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove(1880-1919), Ladbroke Grove(North Kensington) (1919-38), before settling on its current title.
The station itself is above street level, you have to take steps down to reach the road. Given its heritage, there were a number of nice touches such as the ornate ironwork above the platform arches. The station itself is adjacent to the raised Westway section of the A40, a strange feeling to anyone used to central London tube stations that feel light years away from busy trunk roads.
It is currently served by the Hammersmith and City Line and since the December 2009 timetable change, the Circle Line. The train frequency has improved with the Circle Line extension but the station still felt quite sleepy when we arrived.
The Pub: The Elgin, 96 Ladbroke Grove, W11 1PY
The station roundels advertise it as ‘Ladbroke Grove’ for Portobello Road but we arrived far too late in the day for the market. Leaving the station you get a distinct feel of the large townhouses of the Notting Hill area. It feels slightly less polished here though – in a good way – with a fried chicken shop right by the station.
Heading down Ladbroke Grove, we stumbled upon The Elgin. The pub looked perfectly decent from the outside but gave little indication of what was to be seen inside. The interior is filled with lavish, decorative touches, a selection of which you can see in the gallery.
The pub was packed with a young clientele which contrasted nicely with the classic decor. As we got to the bar, there was a very strong smell of Jägermeister, which most people around us seemed to be ordering. Thankfully there was also a fine selection of ales including a range of Youngs Beers and Doombar, so that kept us happy too.
The pub was buzzing with what felt like a pre-club atmosphere. The Elgin definitely gets a hearty recommendation from me. If you’re down at Portobello Road market, make the trip over to Ladbroke Grove to visit this pub.