Goodge Street marks the start of a stretch of stations for me on the Northern line – the second busiest on the Underground and probably the one I’ve used most throughout my time in London.
The station first opened as Tottenham Court Road on 22nd June 1907 on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway. The line opened with two branches, one heading to Golders Green, the other archway. This stop was soon renamed as Goodge Street in September 1908 following construction of an interchange between the Central London Railway’s Tottenham Court Road station with the CCEHR’s stop, at that time called Oxford Street.
The station building is a typical Leslie Green ‘oxblood’ red affair, with plenty of offices above it. The whole complex was covered in scaffolding on my visit so you couldn’t see much of the structure! A deep level air raid shelter was built by the station in World War Two – this ended up being used by the US General Eisenhower. One of the entrances has been renamed the Eisenhower Centre. These days it seems to host a business called ‘Recall’, although hopefully not the one in the Arnie film…
Pub: The Draft House, 43 Goodge Street, W1T 1TA
The Draft House is a couple of minutes walk from the tube, heading along Goodge Street until you reach the junction with Charlotte Street where the pub is located. The pub’s name isn’t immediately distinctive from its sign mind you!
Inside, The Draft House has a rather stripped back ambiance, epitomised by the lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling. The light brown walls help to give it the feel of a European bar, while seating comes in the form of church-pew like benches, which remind me of many pubs from my hometown of Brighton.
One of the main selling points of The Draft House is its range of beers, both on tap and in bottles. Ales available on tap on our visit included the marvellously named ‘3 Weiss Monkeys’ from the London Fields Brewery and one of my old favourites, Wandle. The bottled beers include Belgian offerings such as Kriek and Kwak, the latter of which is famous for its test tube like glass. I didn’t get the chance to try the food here, but the pub is reportedly well regarded for its burgers.
I think the Draft House is the first ‘craft beer’ pub I’ve visited on the crawl. I like it here and think it works well. I do view the overall trend towards craft beer pubs with caution thouugh. It can be done well, as The Draft House proves. However, like gastropubs before them, its easy for rather lazy imitations to jump on the bandwagon and jack up the prices without offering anything original. Overall, The Draft House is a good pub and worth checking out.