Knightsbridge first opened on 15th December 1906 on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. The station buildings date from the 1930s, when extensive reconstruction work took place both to deal with congestion and allow the replacement of lifts with escalators.
Additional exits were also installed at this time to allow easy access to the nearby retail emporiums of Harrods and Harvey Nichols. The station remains very popular to this day with tourists for that very reason. The station was refurbished fairly recently, as you can tell from the gleaming white tiles in the ticket hall.
The Pub: The Wilton Arms, 71 Kinnerton Street, SW1X 8ED
Given the area around Knightsbridge Station is best known for high-end shops, I didn’t have high hopes for finding a good pub in the area. Fortunately I was proved very wrong on this occasion!
The Wilton Arms is about a five minute walk from the station. Head East along Knightsbridge in the direction of Hyde Park, turning down Wilton Place until you reach Kinnerton Street where you will find the pub. From the outside, it looks like a classic mews pub, complete with hanging baskets in full-bloom.
The interior is also pretty traditional, with a red painted ceiling and one of those old-school pub carpets. Seating wise, there are a couple of wooden booths in the main bar as well as a conservatory that acts as the function room. There are various nik-naks and trinkets on the walls, as well as several paintings of ducks.
The pub is run by the Kent-brewery Shepherd Neame, so ales on tap include Whitstable Bay and Spitfire. The food menu is very much solid pub grub with pies, burgers and the like. There are a couple of TVs here, one was showing Channel 4 Racing and the other a World Cup game. The Wilton also has a Sky Sports licence for when the football season starts again.
The Wilton Arms has all the hallmarks of a solid old-school boozer. But what makes it even better in my eyes is its location. Given all the flashy consumerism of the shops on nearby Knightsbridge, not to mention the high-end hotels, the last thing you’d expect to find just down the road is a traditional pub with frosted windows showing horse racing on the telly. But that’s exactly what you get at the Wilton Arms, long may it continue!