Archway brings to a close my Northern Line adventures for now. It first opened on 22nd June 1907 as Highgate, the terminus of the branch of the same name on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway. When the Northern Line was extended up to East Finchley and via a new stop also called Highgate, it was renamed Highgate(Archway) in 1939 then Archway(Highgate) in 1941 before gaining its present name in 1947.
The station building itself is sadly rather drab having been rebuilt in the 1970s. It’s now based under a bleak tower block dating from the same era. It had been rebuilt once before in the 1930s,when the original Leslie Green structure was replaced by a Charles Holden construction when escalators were installed at the station.
The Pub: St. Johns Tavern, 91 Junction Road, N19 5QU
St Johns Tavern is based a few minutes down the road from Archway station, on Junction Road. The pub is based in a typical Victorian townhouse esque building.
Inside, I got a distinctly European vibe to the place. The main area around the bar is decorated in a rather minimalist way with white/cream coloured walls, with little or no decoration on them. It’s also uncluttered with the wooden tables and chairs arranged in such a way the whole place place feels spacious. We propped up the bar during our time here. The dark coloured Venetian blinds add further to the continental feel of the place.
There was a decent selection of ales on offer when we visited here including Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Wandle. In keeping with some of the other North London pubs I’ve visited recently, St Johns food menu – displayed on a chalk board – is aimed towards the higher end gastro range with dishes such as ox liver and rare breed sausages. They’ve even added a refined twist to classic pub snacks, with posh pork scratchings and scotch eggs available as bar snacks. Someone near us got the scratchings and they looked pretty impressive!
Shortly before we left, I stumbled on the pub’s dining room to the rear of the bar. With its chandeliers and vibrant green walls decorated with a whole host of paintings and portraits, it serves as a real contrast to the stripped back vibe of the main bar.
Summing up, St. Johns Tavern is another fine Northern London boozer. There is something slightly classy and refined about the place, but at the same time they have a good range of ales and serve pork scratchings. What’s not to like?