Belsize Park first opened on 22nd June 1907 on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway. It’s another well preserved Leslie Green station, both within and outside the station building. The name Belsize actually comes from the French word ‘Bel Assis’ which means perfectly situated. Being between the hustle and bustle of Camden and the rural delights of Hampstead Heath, that still seems very apt today!
Belsize Park is a very well heeled area,something that becomes clear as soon as you leave the station. I was very lucky to live in the area for a year. It also meets with the approval of the extremely well travelled Michael Palin, who I saw at the station during my time here and who I understand lives locally.
Like Goodge Street, there was also a deep-level air raid shelter constructed under the station during World War Two. The entrance building, which is the same design as the Goodge Street one, is located a few minutes down Haverstock Hill.
The Pub: The Roebuck,15 Pond Street, NW3 2PN
The Roebuck is about a 5minute walk from the station. Head up Haverstock Hill until you reach the Royal Free Hospital and Pond Street – the pub is a few minutes down this road. It’s based in a very grand building so I’m sure you won’t miss it. It looks particularly striking at night when lit up.
The pub is divided into a number of areas. By the bar, there is a high ceiling and the area is lit by chandeliers. The area slightly further back has a more cozy feel, the roaring fire certainly helped with that on our visit. Finally there is a small, conservatory-esque back room that looks out over the garden. Talking of the garden, it’s fairly spacious and has a number of covered alcoves for smokers as we head towards the colder, winter months. There are some impressive panoramic photographs of the view from Hampstead Heath decorating the walls.
It’s a Youngs pub – always a pleasure to see these North of the River – so you know you’ll get a good pint. In addition to their standard offering of Youngs Special/Best and Bombardier, there was also Swordfish, a Raisin flavoured beer. Sadly none of us felt adventurous enough to try it mind you. On the food front, you can choose from solid traditional fare like Bangers and Mash, Haddock and Chips and of course, Burgers! The pub also has a Sky/BT Sports Licence, a bonus for all sports fans.
On balance, The Roebuck is a very homely pub. Well worth a visit if you’re in this salubrious part of North London!