St. John’s Wood first opened on 20th November 1939, the same day as its neighbour Swiss Cottage. It was initially served by Bakerloo Line trains until being transferred to the Jubilee Line along with the rest of the Stanmore branch of the line.
Its opening lead to the closure of two nearby stations on the Metropolitan Line. While Lords station was demolished in the 1960s, Malborough Road’s, ticket office building is still standing as you can see from the gallery. St John’s Wood was Grade II listed in 2011 and has an interesting, curved station building. It was designed by Harold Stabler who was also behind the decorative tiling patterns seen at Swiss Cottage, Aldgate East and elsewhere.
The Pub: The Lord’s Tavern, Lord’s Cricket Ground, St. John’s Wood Road, NW8 8QN
For many, St. John’s Wood station is synonymous with cricket, being the closest stop to that iconic ground. With that in mind, I decided to visit The Lord’s Tavern which is part of the ground complex. To reach it from the station, head straight down Wellington Road until you hit St John’s Wood Road(by this point you will be able to see the ground). Head along here to find the pub at the end of that section of the ground.
Despite Lord’s itself being built in 1814, the Tavern is in a modern building without any real historical merit. The Old Lord’s Tavern was demolished a number of years ago during ground redevelopment, it can be viewed here. On our visit here, it felt a bit like a corporate lounge as a local estate agents were having some sort of do here, so suits everywhere. There is obviously plenty of cricket memorabilia about the place – I think the most interesting touch here though is their cricket themed cocktails, including LBW – Long Buffalo Whiskey rather than Leg Before Wicket! On the beer front there was Bombardier Golden Dawn, Marstons EPA and Pedigree – the latter is perhaps no surprise as they used to sponsor the England cricket team.
The Tavern also does food with a menu of standard pub dishes. There is also a outside seating area to the front of the pub protected by an awning. They also have a Sky Sports licence too.
While the Lord’s Tavern was perfectly acceptable, it seemed to lack a bit of character to me – I think this was due to it being in a modern building. I had visions of visiting an old inn steeped in history and tradition. I suppose semi-crashing a party of estate agents probably didn’t help either. That said, I assume it could be an entirely different experience after a hot summer’s day enjoying the cricket!