South Kensington station is museum central, with the V&A, Science and Natural History Museums all right beside the station. The station itself opened on 24th December 1868 – you can’t imagine any transport projects opening on Christmas eve these days but the line promoters wanted to cash in on the pre-Christmas rush.
Talking of cashing in, when the rather long foot tunnel that takes you to all the museums from the station first opened in 1885, there was a 1p toll. I’m not sure what that would be uprated to 2013 prices, but it seems pretty steep to me.
Like Gloucester Road, the deep level tube arrived here in 1906 on what became the Piccadilly Line.
The station building itself is very attractive, with a pleasant small shopping arcade before you exit to the street. This alongside other features of the station are Grade 2 listed.
The Pub: The Anglesea Arms, 15 Selwood Terrace, SW7 3QG
Not surprisingly given all the museums, South Ken rightly has a reputation for being tourist central. That usually means a dearth of good pubs in the immediate vicinity of the station. Further exacerbating the situation is the genteel nature of the surrounding area. In days gone by, the rich residents of the area wouldn’t have been seen dead in pubs, preferring to drink in their impressive townhouses.
What pubs did exist were therefore confined to side streets and mews, for the servants that worked in the area. It’s precisely down such a side street that we found the Anglesea Arms. If you head West along Old Brompton Road, then turn onto Onslow Gardens until you reach Selwood Terrace and the pub. It has a very traditional interior, with plenty of wooden features on display. The seats are comfy and the whole place has a warm and cosy atmosphere. I particularly like the strong red walls and mellow lighting.
On the beer front, they had Harveys on tap when we visited(always a plus point) as well as Doombar and other good options. There is also a dining room downstairs but that was closing up by the time we arrived.
This pub is a breath of fresh air in an area better known for tourist traps with all the soul of a motorway service station. After you’ve enjoyed a cultural feast at the museums, come here afterwards to take in a fine example of how a British pub should be.