Maida Vale

Maida Vale first opened on 6th June 1915 on the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway.  Architecturally, the station is a real gem thanks to its ticket hall. Within it, there are mosaics of the early ‘Bullseye’ style Underground logo. The exit to the street is a level up from the ticket barriers so you have to go via staircases that further draw your attention to the impressive mosaics. This whole section of the station interior feels really unique.

The exterior of the station building is similar to the one at Kilburn Park, essentially a modified version of the classic Leslie Green oxblood red frontages but without the distinctive semi circular windows.  The station first opened during World War One and according to Ed Glinert’s very thorough London Compendium, was initially staffed solely by female staff as a result.

The Pub: The Elgin, 255 Elgin Avenue, W9 1NJ

Like Warwick Avenue, the stop that precedes it on the Bakerloo Line, Maida Vale is a well-heeled and affluent area. The Elgin, which is just across the road from the station, is certainly equipped for the locality.  Its based in a grand old Victorian building and you can’t miss it with its well lit, sleek signage.

Inside its got a very modern vibe with a stripped back interior. On our evening visit, the mood lighting was further enhanced by candles on the tables for added ambiance. Several tables towards the back of the pub seem to be reserved for diners but I’m not sure if this is a hard and fast rule.  There are also comfy sofas in this section too. Traditional elements have also been preserved such as the etched glass at the front and the tiling towards the front of the pub could also date from a previous incarnation of The Elgin.

On the beer front the selection included offerings from Meantime such as Yakuma Red, the Hackney Hopster and Fullers Wild River. The beers are listed at the bar by way of electrical style tape lettering which isn’t the easiest to read in mood lighting conditions! I think on balance, pump art is easier to read and work out.

The Elgin’s menu is one towards the high end of the gastropub market with dishes such as ‘Chicken, Pancetta and Leek Crust Pie’ for £15. Being the adventurous type that I am, I unsurprisingly went for a Burger. It cost £12.50 but I certainly got my money’s worth with the hearty offering that arrived.

The Elgin is a very chilled place to come for a pint and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. If you’re anything like me, you may have to ask whats on tap though!

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