Ealing Broadway Station first opened on the Metropolitan District Railway on 1st July 1879, following an extension of the line from Turnham Green. Mainline trains had been calling here as far back as 1839, when the Great Western Railway first opened here.
The Central Line arrived here in 1920 and is I think the faster route into central London – I’m not sure if there is much in it mind you as both have plenty of stations to traverse first.
Sadly most of the station itself has a rather modern, uninspired feel after a ’70s style rebuild – witness the looming tower block above. There is still a rather nice roof near the District Line platforms mind you.
The Pub: The North Star, 43 Broadway, W5 5JN
Following a recommendation via Twitter -( thank you @pinkpino76) we headed for The North Star pub. It’s very close to the station, situated on ‘The Broadway’ itself. From the exterior, it seems like a charming suburban house.
The interior is kitted out as a modern, clean gastropub. There are plenty of signed photos of actors on the wall, which may or may not be due to the proximity of the former Ealing Studios, synonymous with ‘Ealing Comedies’ of the 1940s and 1950s, but also used for contemporary films such as Shaun of the Dead. I was particularly taken with one of the lamps near the main bar, I think it looks like a game of KerPlunk. I put that to the barmaid but she’d never come across it sadly. I did begin trying to explain but that didn’t help matters…
On the beer front it was stocked with Doombar, as well as other solid ales such as Oxford Gold. There is also a good selection of Czech lagers if you’re that way inclined.
We took our residence in the garden as the weather was muggy, without being particularly sunny. There is a ‘grotto’ type section in the garden, crafted together out of a number of twiggs. We also tried the food, both the Fish and Chips and Burger were very impressive.
I really liked The North Star. The danger with Gastropubs is that they can stray into a generic formula – but The North Star has plenty of character of its own and I heartily recommend it.