West Finchley was first served by the Northern Line on 14th April 1940, a mainline rail station having opened here seven years before on the LNER line to High Barnet. The rail services stopped the following year with the station exclusively served by the tube thereafter.
Wikipedia states that many of the station structures here were taken from stations in the North of England. It is said the footbridge, which looks very much the Victorian rail structure, came from a station in Yorkshire that closed in 1930. In contrast, the ticket office is a modern non-descript brick building.
The Pub: The Elephant’s Inn, 283 Ballards Lane, N12 8NR
The pub is just over 10minutes walk from the station. Head out onto Nether Street, walking up the road until reaching Moss Hall Grove, head down the road and turn left onto Ballards Lane. The Elephants Head will then be a few minutes up the street.
The Elephant’s Inn is a traditional pub that has been well maintained, its wood panelling and stained glass windows are both in good condition. Its a spacious pub that has been subdivided into a number of areas flanking the main bar. Its a Fullers pub so has their standard range of ales – London Pride, ESB and Olivers Island being some of those on offer on our visit. There was also the Rugby themed ‘Front Row’, to tie in with the World Cup which was at the time still in full swing. Talking of sports, there are multiple TV screens dotted around and they have both Sky and BT Sports.
On the food front, The Elephant’s Inn has an extensive Thai menu with a selection of curries, stir fries, noodles and sea food. The upstairs of the pub is set aside for the Thai restaurant. There are also a few English dishes available too including bangers and mash and fish and chips. I’d had a Thai meal the day before coming here so went for the Burger which was excellent with proper chunky chips!
An interesting feature I noticed was plaques to former regulars on seating in the pub. Much in the way you see benches in parks and public places dedicated to people who had a connection with that area, there are little plaques here to commemorate deceased regulars. I’ve not seen it in any other pubs before but thought it was a really nice touch.
The Elephant’s Inn is another fine pub – from my other stops on the trail, it seems like Finchley has a good little selection. I’d definitely be keen to head back here again soon and its certainly worth a visit if you’re based nearby!