Southfields Station is the second of four stations on the Wimbledon branch of the District Line that all opened on the same day – 3rd June 1889. Like East Putney before it, it was also served by mainline rail services until 1941 and owned by British Rail right up until privatisation in 1994.
Southfields Station is listed as the most convenient for those wishing to go to watch the Tennis at Wimbledon. As well as no doubt being packed full of people who still think it is witty to shout ‘come on Tim’ during those two weeks, the station platforms are also redecorated in adverts each year.
Earlier this year it was the turn of washing powder brand Ariel, who coincidentally used Tim Henman in their TV ads a few years back, who installed a whole host of tennis related fun and special effects . That’s according to the CBS Outdoor press release anyway – I think I was up in Willesden Green and Kilburn as the tournament was going on! I have to say I do like the sound of the crowd cheering as the tube pulls in…
The Pub: The Gardeners, 268 Merton Road, SW18 5JL
This was only my second visit to Southfields. My first hadn’t been a particularly happy time – it was towards the end of a rather jinxed flat hunt in October 2012 and the place I viewed here hadn’t solved my problems either…
The pub we visited, Gardeners, is a fair walk from the station. Before entering, I noticed its impressive green tiled exterior. I don’t think you find too many tiled pubs these days, I certainly don’t recall finding many on the crawl. With the well lit, spacious interior combined with comfy seats, the pub has a welcoming atmosphere which suits the vibe of a suburban pub well.
As a Youngs pub(no surprise given their former brewery was only up the road), you get their usual strong ale range. Like a number of pubs I’ve visited recently, it has a good selection of board games. I spotted a ‘Goldenballs‘ offering, based on the now defunct ITV show with Jasper Carrott. I only hope the board game is better than the TV show was.
While we didn’t eat here, The Gardeners has a hearty looking menu with themed food nights during the week. Who could go wrong with ‘Spice Night’ or ‘Pie and Pint Night’? With both a dog water bowl and bones available at request, it also seems like a canine friendly pub. Although I missed it, the pub also has a garden.
Like I’ve said with a few suburban/outer London pubs recently, I’d be glad to have The Gardeners as as my local! Certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area.