I really do feel I am traipsing the tourist trail at the moment, and Marble Arch is no exception. The station itself first opened on 30th July 1900. At platform level, there is some rather garish yet endearing 1980s artwork by Annabel Grey It reminds me a bit of Embankment’s coloured lines,also from the decade that taste forgot. The station itself doesn’t really have a street level building as the original was demolished in the 1930s as part of upgrading the station from lifts to escalators. That said, it hasn’t done at all bad for itself as it benefits from having its exit underneath the rather grand art deco building.
Marble Arch itself is a key transport hub in London. As well as being a key bus interchange, it is also served by a number of longer distance coaches bound for nearby airports as well as Oxford and other cities. The iconic Arch itself is teeming with visitors heading to Oxford Street, Hyde Park or countless nearby hotels.
The Pub: The Carpenters Arms, 12 Seymour Place, W1H 7NE
The Carpenters Arms is another central side street job, so to speak. To reach it from the station, head up Great Cumberland Place, turning onto Seymour Street and heading west until you reach the quiet Seymour Place, where the pub is located. It’s got a suitably classic ‘corner pub’ exterior, complete with numerous hanging baskets to lift the spirits.
The Carpenters lives up to its name, with plenty of tools you would associate with that trade being dotted around the wall. Interior wise, it’s very much in the Victorian vibe with its wood panelling and classic wall lamps. It also served up plenty of favourites on the ale front, given its home to the London branch of CAMRA, it doesn’t really come as any surprise. As well as my home county favourite Harveys Sussex Best, there was also Trumans Runner, Tipster and topical Rugby inspired(I would assume!) ‘Try Time’ from Wales. On the food front, it specialises in pork pies, a classic pub snack that is sometimes forgotten in this gastro era.
I was very impressed with The Carpenters Arms. Once again it was so reassuring to find such a solid pub in a tourist area I had previously assumed would be barren on that front. In a number of respects, it reminds me of the Leinster Arms in Queensway. And again, like that pub, it is definitely worth a visit.