Royal Oak Station opened on the Hammersmith and City railway on 30th October 1871. At the time, a station also opened on the Great Western Mainline out of Paddington. These services ended in 1934 and you still see intercity trains whoosh past the station.
The station isn’t far from Paddington and you can clearly see its distinctive roof in the near distance. Royal Oak is also the site of a major Crossrail construction site as the Royal Oak portal will be the Western tunnel entrance for the scheme.
Royal Oak is perhaps one of the most apt stations on this journey, seeing as it got its name from a local pub! When I was doing my undergraduate degree, several of my exams were in Porchester Hall, right by the station.
The Pub: The Porchester, 88 Bishop’s Bridge Road, W2 5AA
This is the pub that gave the station its name – it is now known as the The Porchester. To reach the pub, head south down Porchester Road and the pub is on the junction of that road with Bishop’s Bridge Road.
It had a lively atmosphere when we visited on a Thursday night and a pub quiz was in full swing, complete with quizmaster with Lady Gaga style headset microphone. It has a decent selection of ales, with standard staples such as Youngs complimented by offerings such as the marvelously named Waggle Dance.
It’s decked in a smart, contemporary fashion. There are plenty of comfy seats but these were filled by the quiz teams so we perched by the quiz machine, embarking on another unsuccessful round. We did however successfully guess ‘Great Balls of Fire’ during the song introduction round of the quiz.
The pub is also well stocked with plants and I even spotted a cactus towards the edge of the room. It also has a decent sized ‘secret garden’ with some nice traditional adverts on the wall. Sadly as if often the way when I visit pubs with gardens on the journey so far, the weather outside resembled a scene from Blade Runner but fortunately this garden is partially covered from the elements(and I hope, the replicants…)
All in all, this is fine pub. If you find yourself within the vicinity of Royal Oak, it’s well worth a visit.