Fulham Broadway is the closest tube station to Chelsea FC and the ‘Special One’, although I doubt Jose Mourinho is like Christian Gross and uses the tube. The station first opened on 1st March 1880 as Walham Green on the Metropolitan District Railway. The station gained its current name in March 1952.
The station itself is very modern, located within a mall which opened in 2003 and comes complete with Pizza Express, Sainsburys. I last visited this station back in January 2007 when I saw Chelsea beat Wycombe 4-0 in the first leg of the League Cup Semi Finals. Lots of Chelsea fans afterwards went to the Lloyds in the station mall where there was a rousing rendition of ‘Chelsea Dagger’, which had been a hit a few months previously.
For those less interested in glass noughties malls, the entrance building for the previous station remains. It dates from 1905 and was designed by Harry W Ford in response to rising demand from the then new Stamford Bridge.
The Pub: The Cock Tavern, 306 North End Road, SW6 1LY
Following a number of recommendations, we set off for The Cock Tavern, a short distance from the tube station on North End Road. There is a rather proud looking cock(no jokes about Chelsea players please..) on the roof of the building.
Upon entering, we certainly weren’t disappointed. The interior had many quirky features, a small portion of which I’ve captured in the gallery. As well as seating in comfortable pod looking things towards the back, there are also booths closer to the front. Each of the booths has an old style telephone on it. They weren’t working on our visit but the barman told me the idea is you can call other tables, perhaps if you admire one of the people sitting there. In the era of Twitter and Facebook, it seemed refreshingly old school to me.
It’s a Youngs Pub so you get a solid, strong selection of ales. Above our table was an impressive tube style map of Youngs Pubs in London and beyond – the sort of epic undertaking I’d be keen to do if I did this thing full time and could get a documentary slot on BBC4. I can but dream…
There is also a decent enough sized garden at the back, as well as a trusty dart board in the front room. The food comes in the shape of little platters, almost pub grab tapas if you will. I went for a Macaroni and Cheese and some Triple Cooked Chips. The various other options looked equally appealing.
I think, if Jose were into English pubs, he would certainly class this as ‘a special one’. But on the off chance he isn’t, I will anyway. Check it out!