West Hampstead

After an enjoyable trip through West London on the District Line, I’m back North at West Hampstead. The station first opened on the Metropolitan Line on 30th June 1879. It then transferred over to the Bakerloo Line on 20th November 1939. It was then transferred over to the Jubilee Line when the service launched in May 1979, along with the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo Line.

The Northern end of the Jubilee and Metropolitan Line is the closest we really get to having the New York Subway style system of local and express trains. The Jubilee Line stations in effect acting as the ‘local’ and the Metropolitan as ‘express.’

The Piccadilly Line(Heathrow branch) also has a similar arrangement with District Line stations but anyone who has got the tube to central London from Heathrow would stop me labelling that journey as express!

The station itself has some art deco looking shelters at platform level as well as some well tended plants when I visited. There is a brick ticket hall at street level.

The Pub: The Black Lion, 295 West End Lane, NW6 1RD

I know Hampstead fairly well, having lived nearby a few years back. West Hampstead is however new to me. Friends living locally duly directed me to the Black Lion. To reach the pub,you just need to head straight up the Hill from the station – a good way to earn your pint!

The pub itself has a very modern feel, with a sleek black exterior and stripped back brick work inside, alongside a rather impressive chandelier as you see in the gallery. There was an interesting selection of ales on tap,  including Trumans Ale, from the old East London Brewery of the same name, and the wonderfully titled Old Growler.

The Black Lion benefits from both having a front garden – effectively a seating area backing onto the street, as well as a large multi levelled garden terrace out the back too. Given it was a warm Thursday evening when we visited, the back garden was rammed so we took out residence in the front. We didn’t eat here but it’s clearly in the modern, gastro end of things – a Wasabi Peas rather than Pork Scratchings kind of place.

This is a good solid modern pub in a part of town I barely know. Certainly worth a visit, especially in good weather where the back garden’s potential can be exploited to the full!

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