Lancaster Gate Station opened on 30th July 1900 on the Central London Railway. Sadly the original Lancaster Gate station building, designed by Harry Bell Measures, was demolished in the 1960s. As with many buildings of that era, the replacement is pretty uninspiring. It was dark by the time we visited, so I couldn’t capture the ’60s drabness in all its glory. This daytime photo from Wikipedia perfectly highlights the lack of architectural merit.
Again, like Queensway, this is mainly a tourist area with many hotels located on the surrounding streets and indeed, above the station itself It is also only a short walk from Paddington too.
The Pub: The Victoria, 10A Strathearn Place, w2 2NH
The Victoria is a short walk from the tube station. To reach it, you head along Stanhope Terrace until you reach Strathearn Place, where you will find The Victoria in all its glory. The exterior of the pub is perfectly in keeping with the grand white Victorian houses we passed en route from the station. The interior is no less impressive. The centrepiece of the main room downstairs is the grand old wooden bar, with a series of traditional spherical lamps running along it. The walls are perhaps unsurprisingly decorated with maps, drawings and photos of the Victorian era. On the back wall, there are three ornate mirrors. It’s a Fullers pub so you are well served by their strong range of ales. There is also a full standard pub menu, as well as bar snacks available like sausage rolls.
The upstairs ‘Theatre Bar’ also has plenty of charm to it, with a pseudo ‘balcony’ , decked out akin to one you’d find in a theatre, just below the ceiling. It was while we were up here that I inadvertently got into a discussion with some QPR fans about the merits of Joey Barton. I am happy to say, unlike many episodes from Joey’s career, it all ended amicably.
According to the pub’s own website, The Victoria is steeped in history and dates back to 1838. Charles Dickens also frequented it during his time writing ‘Our Mutual Friend’. It is even rumoured that Queen Victoria herself once popped in and this lead to the pub being decked out in such an impressive fashion.
I had been waiting to come to the Victoria for the best part of a year. It had come up on my research for Paddington when I was planning the first visit. I had always kept it in mind for Lancaster Gate and it was definitely worth the wait. I can easily see why it won Fullers London Pub of the Year in 2007 and 2009. I heartily recommend popping in!