Bayswater Station opened on 1st October 1868 as part of the Metropolitan Railway extension from Paddington(Praed Street) to Gloucester Road. It is now served by both the District(Edgware Road to Wimbledon) and the Circle Lines. The station itself has period features remaining at both platform and street level.
One of the true pieces of London Underground curiosity is located nearby Bayswater, at 23/24 Leinster Gardens. These are two ‘dummy houses’ that were put up when the Metropolitan Railway Gloucester Road extension was first built. Given the well-heeled local area, the promoters of the line knew that residents wouldn’t want their neat procession of façades ruined by unsightly ventilation shafts for the then steam trains. They hatched the crafty solution putting in place the two mock frontages. At first glance you probably won’t notice them but look closely… You can clearly tell the windows are painted on!
Pub: The Phoenix, 51 Moscow Road, W2 4AL
Bayswater Station is in the heart of an area populated by hotels and hostels. Unsurprisingly then, the streets in its immediately vicinity are populated by tourist shops, McDonalds and the Aberdeen Steak House. All the pubs we spotted nearby the station seemed quite generic so in the end we went for The Phoenix, a short way down Moscow Road.
Sadly for us, The Phoenix also fell into that same generic category. The interior was relatively non-descript, as the photos below illustrate. The ceiling had a number of different flags hanging from it that I assume date from the Olympics last year. The beer selection was limited with only one ale on tap available during our visit, an Adnams White Ale. That particular pint didn’t go down smoothly, put it like that.
To look at the positives, the pub does have a decent pool table and a dart board. It also has a Sky Sports licence and was just gearing up to show the Real Madrid v Galatasaray Champions League Quarter Final during our visit. It’s also fairly spacious so can accommodate larger groups.
On balance though, I’d say this is a pub best avoided. It is perhaps best summed up by the wilted spider plant in the back room. This is a Phoenix crying out for a revival or at the very least, some TLC.