Hendon Central

Hendon Central first opened on 19th November 1923, at the time serving as the terminus of the then Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway.  This status was shortlived as the line was extended to Edgware the following year.

Design wise, it shares many traits with Brent Cross as both opened on the same day and was also designed by Stanley Heaps. However I’d say Hendon is the more impressive of the two – the station occupies a prominent location on the main thoroughfare with its distinctive Doric columns. It is also a Grade II Listed building.

While it is probably true to call Hendon suburbia, the area around the station could be called anything but quiet as it opens out onto the very busy Hendon Way section of the A41.

The Pub: The Greyhound, Church End, NW4 4JT

As I said, the area immediately around the station is rather overshadowed by the A41, so we decided to head away from there and towards the quieter back streets.  The pub is around a 15 minute walk from the tube stop. Head north up the main Watford Way A41 on the same side of the road as the station, until turning right onto The Burroughs. Head along the road, passing the Middlesex University Building. Finally turn left onto Church End and you’ll find the Greyhound a little way up the road.

The Greyhound is part of the Ram Pub Company, a group of individually run pubs from Youngs. It is a rarity too see anything Youngs related so far North from their spiritual home of Wandsworth and South West London. Entering the main room by the bar, it immediately felt like a traditional country pub with leather backed seats and old photos and mirrors on the wall. As well as the small area around the bar, there are two side rooms. The larger is set out more as dining area in terms of how the tables and chairs were arranged.

We ended up sitting in the smaller room at the back – I’m glad we did because I was really taken with it! The red painted walls combined with comfy sofas and chairs made it feel very cosy. There was an interesting collection of photos on the wall dedicated to planes from years gone by, perhaps no surprise given the proximity of the old Hendon Aerodrome and now RAF Museum.  I also particularly liked the wood panelling on the wall which felt like it had come straight from an old church. This room also had an assortment of board games, including Trivial Pursuit 1995 edition. Excellent for anyone up on current affairs in the mid ’90s.

As a Youngs pub, there were their standard range of ales on tap. Food wise, we were lucky enough to visit on a Wednesday where all burgers are only a fiver. I had one, it was excellent and fantastic value for money. There are similar deals on other nights of the week, such as £5 Pizzas on Tuesdays.

The Greyhound was a cracking pub. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting it. Homely interior, great beers and excellent burgers – what’s not to love?  I’m just sad I don’t live closer otherwise I think I’d be here all the time!

Visit their website

 

 

Brent Cross

Brent Cross first opened as simply Brent on 19th November 1923 as part of the extension of the Hampstead and Highgate Line to Hendon,  It gained its current name in July 1976 to coincide with the opening of the nearby Brent Cross shopping centre, one of Britain’s first US-style shopping malls.

The station itself is a pleasant building, designed by Stanley Heaps, with a terrace frontage containing a number of small shops. Its architectural appeal was recognised by English Heritage in 2011 when it received Grade II listed status. By the side entrance there is also a small station garden.

The Pub: The Hendon,373-377 Hendon Way, NW4 3LP

As seems to be a recurring trend at the moment, the area around Brent Cross tube was also somewhat of a pub desert – some nice suburban streets and the nearby roar of traffic from the North Circular Road. The nearest pub is in fact The Hendon, on Hendon Way and a short distance from Hendon tube.

To reach it, head out of the station onto Highfield Avenue, then turn onto the Brent Cross Interchange.  From there,  head onto Cooper Road, straight on through the roundabout to Haley Road, then left onto Renters Avenue until you reach Hendon Way. Then look for a subway as The Hendon is on the other side of a very busy road.

Inside,  The Hendon is a pretty spacious pub, perhaps best demonstrated by the fact they have enough room for several pool tables! Decor wise its fairly generic. The pub has a Sky and BT Sports licence and was showing the cricket on our visit. On the drinks front, the solitary ale available was Greene King IPA.  Food wise,  it does standard pub grub at incredibly low prices. You can get a rump steak for £5.49 and two main meals for £8.50. The Hendon also has something I’ve never come across before –  a senior’s menu. If you are lucky enough to qualify for this then you get three courses for the knock down price of £5.99.

There is also a quiz machine here, another thing in the pub’s favour. It also has an outside seating area. That said, given it backs onto the busy Hendon Way dual carriageway, I’m not sure how pleasant enjoying your pint outside would be.

I’ll admit my hopes weren’t high for The Hendon. I thought it could be a bit of an unwelcoming locals pub. However I found it amicable enough inside. If you find yourself in need of a pint in these parts, it will do the job.  Don’t go out of your way to go here though.

The Hendon website

 

 

West Acton

West Acton first opened on the Central London Railway on 5th November 1923, the same day as the station at North Acton. The station buildings here date from 1940, the originals having been replaced as part of the ‘New Works’ programme of expansion and improvements to the Central Line.

Both the ticket hall and platform shelters heavily remind me of Charles Holden’s efforts on western Piccadilly Line stations with the tall, box shaped ticket office and long thin windows. It was actually designed by Brian Lewis and is a Grade II listed building.  The platform shelters are in a rounded, art deco style, the curved wooden seating contained within them is also a very nice touch. That said, the inside of the ticket office did look like it could do with a lick of paint.

The Pub: The Chatsworth, 290 High Street (Acton), W3 9BJ

The area around West Acton tube struck me as a very pleasant slice of West London suburbia. Sadly its a complete desert for pubs though. The nearest to here is actually right by North Ealing and I did that when I visited that stop last spring.

We decided to head into Acton itself with the aim of going to one of the first pubs we came across, in order to keep to my own rules as far as possible.  That turned out to be the Chatsworth on Acton High Street – to reach it from the station head south on Noel Road as it becomes Twyford Avenue and keep going until you reach Uxbridge Road. Head east here and you’ll come to the Chatsworth in a few minutes.

It has a smart, modern interior with chandeliers lighting the main section of the bar. There are also various Roman-esque statues dotted around the place. Sadly there are no ales on tap here so had to go for Krusovice, a Czech lager. The food menu here is a mix of pub staples(fish & chips, lamb burger) as well as more restaurant type dishes such as seabass and linguine. There are various midweek deals where you can get two main meals for a tenner.

The Chatsworth has a Sky Sports licence and a couple of TVs. As well as that, live music was advertised on Thursday nights. On Fridays and Saturdays, its open till 2am with DJs, catering for Acton residents who fancy a night out but not a long journey home on a night bus. Talking of music, there were some good 80s tunes playing here on our midweek visit that went down well with me.

It also has a sizeable garden with a fountain in the middle as well as some more Italian style statues lurking around. One of the trees also had some interesting glowing blue lights wrapped around it. It was still light while were were here so I didn’t get the full effect of this!

Overall I liked The Chatsworth – a decent pub with a good atmosphere. Certainly worth a visit if you’re in the Acton area.

Visit their website

Northwick Park

Northwick Park first opened on the Metropolitan Line on 28th June 1923 as ‘Northwick Park and Kenton’, before gaining its present name on 15th March 1937. Perhaps its original name would be more appropriate as the station is very close to the nearby Kenton station – indeed it is one of London Underground’s designated ‘out of station interchanges’, where if you tap in and out between the two it is only counted as one journey.

The station itself is rather run of the mill. A bit of colour is added to the place in the shape of some artwork on display from students at the nearby University of Westminster.

The Pub: The Travellers Rest, Kenton Road, HA3 8AT

The route to this pub is handly signposted from the station – follow the directions to nearby Kenton station and you’ll find it. While it is true the pub is right by Kenton tube but the dearth of pubs in the local area also means it is the closest to Northwick Park too! This is also the reason I went further afield for Kenton station…

From the outside, its hard to tell exactly what this pub is called. Google maps and Beer in the Evening both suggested the name The Travellers Rest, but ‘Beefeater’ is the only signage I saw outside the pub.  Whatever name it goes under, I understand it is linked to the Premier Inn which you can find behind the pub.

Perhaps it is due to its connection to the budget hotel chain, but the interior here is fairly soulless. There is little here which is distinctive, the seating and other decorations are all very generic and I found the lighting a little sterile.  Thankfully, there were a couple of ales on tap here during our visit – London Pride and Pedigree. The food menu is heavily based around steaks, burgers and wings which shouldn’t come as a surprise as its a Beefeater.

To be fair to the place, there were a fair amount of people here on the Friday evening we visited. But as I said before, there really aren’t many options round here. There is also a quiz machine, but sadly it was switched off when we dropped in.

Given there is a University so close by, I am surprised the drinking options here are so limited. It won’t really come as a shock that I don’t recommend a visit here. That is unless you like the idea of a Beefeater linked to a Premier Inn in the suburbs of London.

Visit their website