Stepney Green brings to a close the Eastern leg of my journey for now. Like Bow Road, it also opened on 11th June 1902 on the Metropolitan District Railway’s ‘Whitechapel and Bow’ venture.
The station itself has been preserved well over time, with few modern alterations. It feels particularly atmospheric at platform level with the arched brickwork roof supporting the road above. I was also rather taken with the decorative pillars on one side of them.On the stairs down to the platforms, there is a very old looking ‘To The Trains’ sign painted on the wall. I can’t make my mind up whether it really is that old or is a contemporary copy of those signs from way back when. Have a look in the gallery and tell me what you think!
The Pub: The Half Moon, 213-223 Mile End Road, E1 4AA
The Half Moon is a couple of minutes from Stepney Green Station, heading East along Mile End Road. It is a Wetherspoons, the second I have visited on the crawl so far. The pub itself is based in an impressive building – part of it being in a former Methodist Chapel. This area of the pub is called the ‘Chapel Bar’ and its domed roof certainly conveys the air of a place of worship. The Half Moon spans out into a modern extension, which is kept light and airy thanks to its glass frontage. There is also an outside patio seating area which is fairly pleasant and helped by the fact it is set back a little bit from the main road.
The Half Moon is within walking distance of Queen Mary University, and there were plenty of students here on our Friday evening visit giving the place a lively and friendly vibe. In terms of drinks, it has a decent selection of ales – Ruddles Best, Otter and a South African IPA among others on our visit. They are also currently riding the craft beers wave, with bottles of Brewdog Punk IPA and Brooklyn Lager. It also has the usual Wetherspoons menu, beer and burger, curry club et all. I’m sure both are popular with the nearby student population.
As I said on my last visit to a Wetherspoons (at Finchley Road), the chain they divide opinion and comes in for a significant amount of stick. There is no denying some are grim and depressing, especially those attached or nearby railway stations. Equally there are plenty of decent offerings within their pub stock and The Half Moon definitely falls into this category. It’s a good pub and certainly worth a visit if you live in the vicinity.