Northfields first opened on the District Railway as Northfield Halt(Ealing) on 16th April 1908. In December 1911, it was renamed Northfields and Little Ealing. In 1932, the station gained its current name and was rebuilt ahead of the introduction of Piccadilly Line services through here onwards to Hounslow. District Line services were removed in their entirety in 1964.
Architecturally, the station serves as another fine example of Charles Holden’s work on the Underground. The platform structures all feel very art deco. The ticket hall, one of his typical tall block designs, is made more striking by the rather European-esque open precinct right in front of it. According to Ed Glinert’s fine London Compendium book, the station used to use kestrels and hawks to kill pigeons that had begun roosting in the station. I didn’t spot any on my visit mind you…
The Pub: The Forester, 2 Leighton Road, W13 9EP
The Forester is a little bit of a walk from the station but it’s a relatively straightforward route. On leaving the station, head north up Northfields Avenue for about 10minutes until the road forks, turn onto Seaford Road and you’ll see the Forester right in front of you.
The pub was recently restored which you can tell from its impressive exterior, with both the green tiles and the wooden balcony/awning looking particularly pristine. The interior also feels like it has been recently spruced up. As a rarity for pubs these days, The Forester still has a separate ‘saloon’ and ‘public bar’ which you can only pass between externally, there is no internal link between the rooms. The saloon bar is very spacious while the public bar is suitably intimate. The building itself is Grade II listed by English Heritage.
Its a Fullers pub and their standard range of ales were available on our visit – Pride, Chiswick Bitter and ESB to same but three. On the food front, we dropped by on a Sunday and they were doing a roaring trade on roasts. I decided to go for a burger which was very tasty. A couple of people near us plumped for the pies which also looked suitably hearty. The pub also has a fully fledged carvery in the back room.
As we’re getting further away from Central London here, it is perhaps not surprising the pub has a decent sized back garden. They also have a Sky Sports licence, with a number of TVs dotted around both rooms of the bar. There are also regular quiz and poker nights at the pub. There are even six guestrooms available to book above the pub.
The Forester clearly has pedigree, as demonstrated by the number of CAMRA awards its picked up over the years. I really liked it here – it’s a great suburban pub and another I would be glad to call my local! If you ever find yourself drifting west on the Piccadilly Line, check it out!