Ahh Cockfosters, a station that tends to reduce many American tourists on the Piccadilly line into fits of laughter – can’t think why? It first opened on 31st July 1933 as the north eastern terminus of the Piccadilly Line.
The Charles Holden station has many similarities to his design at Uxbridge, primarily the roof over the platforms which is reminiscent of those at European rail stations. At this is the end of the line, there are buffers here – interestingly one has been decorated with some garden gnomes. The buildings at street level are fairly basic and a departure from Holden’s typical striking style – if it wasn’t for the roundels you could easily miss it.
The Pub: The Cock Inn, 14 Chalk Lane, EN4 9HU
It’s a lovely rural walk to The Cock Inn. To reach it, turn down Chalk Lane which is opposite the BP petrol station. The walk along this quiet street took us past a bowls club, cricket pitch and football club – another one of those moments where it didn’t feel like we were in London at all! It’s based towards the end of the lane.
The pub changed hands earlier this year, undergoing a full refurbishment in the process. It certainly all feels ‘fresh’ inside with that still new sparkle. Its all very smart and contemporary, in some respects reminding me more of a boutique hotel. There are some nice touches, I especially liked the sun mirror above the fireplace. The pub has been divided into two seating areas either side of the bar. Most people here were eating and the seating was laid out to reflect it. Equally though, it didn’t feel the kind of place where it would be frowned upon if you just came here for a pint – and a good thing too! There is also a dining room at the back of the pub which can be hired out for birthday parties and functions.
The ale selection was strong here with decent variety on tap including London Pride, Broadside, Autumn Red from Caledonian and the marvellously named Silver Stallion. As you might expect, the food menu is pretty high end with prices towards the upper end of the pub scale, with around £12.50 being standard for a main. Dishes include pub staples like fish and chips alongside restaurant cuisine like Duck Leg confit. There are also a couple of pizzas and I went for the carne(meat) option – it was very tasty.
I was a big fan of the pub overall. As I said, in many respects it feels more like a restaurant but you can still come here and have a fine ale! A fitting venue for the Northern limit of the Piccadilly Line and well worth a visit if you’re based in these parts.