Leytonstone first joined the tube network on 5th May 1947, acting as the temporary eastern terminus of the Central Line. The rail station here first opened in 1858 and was operated by the London and North Eastern railway when the route was transferred across to the Underground as part of the ‘New Works’ programme.
While the station isn’t particularly interesting from an architectural perspective, there is still something worth looking out of the shape of a series mosaics commemorating Alfred Hitchcock, who was born in Leytonstone and his many memorable films including ‘The Birds’ and ‘Vertigo’.
The Pub: The North Star, 24 Browning Road, E11 3AR
The North Star is just under a 10minute walk from the station. Exit the station onto Church Lane, continuing on here until reaching Leytonstone High Road. Carry on along up the road until reaching Browning Road where the pub is located. The road itself is a picturesque conservation area, made up of terraced cottages. The pub itself dates backs to 1858.
Inside, The North Star is homely, welcoming East London pub. It feels very traditional with old adverts on the wall(including one for Pears Soap), photos of the area in days gone by as well as lots of paintings of trains. It had a solid few ales available on our visit, including Foundation Bitter and the fantastically named ‘Cow Catcher’ from the nearby East London Brewery, as well as one of my favourites, Tribute.
On the food front, things start to get interesting. The North Star has Thai food available. On top of that, there is also a full Pizza menu,13 to choose from, courtesy of ‘Muga Pizzas’ and their wood-fired oven in the back garden. I went for a Pepperoni Pizza which was huge, tasty and less than a tenner. Muga Pizzas used to be based elsewhere in the area and have only recently relocated to the North Star.
It feels like a pub rooted in its local community and most of the people here on our Saturday afternoon visit seemed to know each other. The TV was on showing BBC Final Score(which in itself feels more traditional than Soccer Saturday!) and there is also a dart board, quizzes and live music.
The North Star is definitely one of my favourites on the trail so far and especially in this part of London. A proper East London pub which I hope remains this way for many years to come!
(The pub has no website)