Canary Wharf

There is something rather epic about Canary Wharf tube station. The sheer size and scale of the construction underground is incredible and has lead many to compare its interior to that of a cathedral. It was designed by Sir Norman Foster and there is even something a little space age about the entrances with their curved roofs alongside all the silvers and metallic finishes which are seen throughout the Jubilee Line extension.

It opened on 17 September 1999, the second phase of the Jubilee Line extension whereby trains could now run from Stratford through to Bermondsey before it was extended to Waterloo a week later and then linked up with the existing line at Green Park on 20 November 1999.

A YouGov poll in 2011 found this to be Londoners favourite Underground station. I’m not sure if it’s mine. I have a weakness for some of the Charles Holden classics even if the pubs around then weren’t always great!

The Pub: The Cat and Canary, 25-27 Fishermans Walk, E14 4DH

I’ve always found it strange around Canary Wharf – the fact virtually all the buildings are new and their height has always meant its never quite felt like London to me and instead feels like an enclave of a US City. From a book I own on London pub walks, I had found that there was a pub based in a building  – the North Pole – that pre-dated the 1980s/1990s developments here. I was all set to head there only to discover it had sadly closed in the last year!

As a result, we had to go to a pub in a modern building. From the station, you need to get to Fishermans Walk – probably the easiest way is to go through the shopping complex attached to the DLR station across to North Colonnade and then continue straight along the path to reach the waterfront where you’ll find The Cat and Canary.

Inside its a spacious pub – the seating has been set out in a way that leaves a fair bit of open space around the bar which must make it easier to navigate when it gets rammed with office workers from the office blocks on a Friday night. There are a few seating areas which are either raised or set slightly off from the main bar space which I’m sure get reserved for leaving do’s and other staff bashes!  Despite being in a new building, Fullers have done a decent job in stopping the Cat and Canary from feeling soulless. The area we were sat in had a few nice paintings of various Bridges across the Thames on the wall. They also have an outside seating area looking onto the water.

There are a good few TVs here – they were showing Cricket on Sky Sports on our visit. The pub also has a dart board and not one but two quiz machines. I think its the first time I’ve seen two quiz machines in a pub since a Student Union bar!

As a Fullers pub, it has their standard range of ales plus a couple of guests including Prop Hop and the marvellously named Mad Squirrels APA. The food menu was cheaper than I thought it might be around here – £10.95 for Fish and Chips/Burgers is less than I’ve seen charged in pubs which are further out than this. I’m not sure if this was solely to tie in with the Dads Army film coming out, but don’t panic as ‘Corporal Jones Sausage and Mash’ is on the menu.

The Cat and Canary was definitely a pleasant surprise as I expected something far more expensive and soulless in these parts. Certainly worth a visit if you find yourself in Canary Wharf.

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