Wood Green

Wood Green continues my run on the Piccadilly Line. It first opened on 19th September 1932. It’s another excellent Charles Holden design with an impressive curved frontage, flanked by two totem-pole esque ventilation shafts.

There are again more Harold Stabler designed grilles, both at platform level and also as you ascend the escalators into the ticket hall. In 2011, it was awarded Grade II listed status.  Wood Green will always be a station that has personal significance to me – it was my Dad’s local station when he was growing up in London. More recently, I used it everyday when working very close by!

The Pub: The Starting Gate, Station Road, N22 7SS

Getting off the tube here, you see that the Post War period hasn’t entirely been kind to Wood Green. The 1970s ‘Shopping City’ looms large, a mall bisected by a major road, as does the large 1990s grey cinema building. The shopping area does boast a footfall rate that is only marginally behind Oxford Street – Haringey Council are developing a masterplan for its regeneration.

But back to the task in hand. The pubs immediately round the station are a bit bleak so we took a walk up Station Road to The Starting Gate, which is just under 10minutes up the hill.  The Starting Gate is based in a Grade II listed building. Inside it has retained many traditional features, especially in the main room surrounding the bar with the old cut glass and wooden fixtures and fittings. The area towards the back is more modernised and has been painted in a mural of various colourful plants and flowers growing underneath what looks like the main hall in Ally Pally. It also has a small back garden too.

Given the pub’s proximity to Alexandra Palace, its not surprising there are plenty of pictures of the palace from back in the day decorating the walls. There is also a painting of Ally Pally looking over an unspoiled, rural landscape. I think this might just be an artist’s imagination as I’m sure there was already some development in these parks when the palace was built, but I’m happy to be proved wrong.   On the beer front, both Doombar and London Pride were available on our visit. Its a Geronimo pub so has their standard range of pub food and sharing platters. It wasn’t rammed on our Thursday night, but there were a fair amount of people here.

The Starting Gate is another solid North London pub. It could be a good spot for pre-drinks before heading to to a gig at Ally Pally!

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