Clapham Common Station first opened in June 1900 as the southern terminus of the City and South London Railway. Like Clapham North, it possesses the other only remaining ‘island’ platform, serving both north and southbound services. The station building at street level dates from its original opening, the domed roof being similar to the one we saw earlier on the trail at Kennington.
The Common itself is 220acres worth of grassland with sport pitches, childrens playgrounds, ponds and the like. It is also synonymous with the first resignation from Tony Blair’s government back in 1998, when then Welsh Secretary Ron Davies had his ‘moment of madness’ there. In the immediate aftermath, he devised a bizarre cover story that didn’t add up and was subsequently taken apart by the media. That wouldn’t have happened these days, he could have just used Tinder…
The Pub: The Alexandra, 14 Clapham Common South Side, SW4 7AA
You are certainly not short of a few places to drink when you emerge from the tube station here, and given I used to live just down the road from here, I’ve tried most of them. Clapham High Street itself is perhaps best known for the bar Infernos, but like Fez in Putney, I think visiting there is for a different kind of blog..
The Alexandra is right opposite the tube station in a rather imposing building. It’s a large, spacious pub. The interior is decorated with all manner of objects hanging from the ceiling, as well as plenty of old London Underground and transport signs, which felt suitably apt. It’s quite a sporty pub, with Sky Sports, Eurosport and Irish sport channels on the various screens dotted around the pub. It also caters well for the rugby crowd, which you need to do in an area like Clapham, which always seems rammed around Six Nations time.
They also do decent food. Plenty of our group went for the burger, which looked very impressive. I went for the fish finger sandwich which while perfectly nice, may have been a little on the small side for my liking! On the ale front, they have Doombar as well as a regularly rotated guest ale. For those after something stronger, there is also a large collection of spirits and shots available.
The Alexandra manages to get the balance right. It is big enough to accommodate a large group without being soulless and you can enjoy watching the sport without feeling overwhelmed by the screens. Definitely one of the best pubs around Clapham Common and well worth a visit!