After starting at the UK’s busiest rail station and following it up with another in the top 20, it’s a quieter pace at my third stop, Queenstown Road. The station first opened on 1 November 1877 as Queen’s Road(Battersea). The station building still shows the name Queen’s Road. It became Queenstown Road(Battersea) on 12 May 1980, although most maps now refer to it as simply Queenstown Road.
It currently has two platforms in operation and a steady eight trains per hour into Waterloo. Opposite the island platforms is the slightly ghostly looking(at night anyway) derelict platform 1. This is due to be brought back into use as part of the wider capacity upgrades into Waterloo and on the Wessex Routes to allow the segregation of Main Line services from those on the Windsor Line.
It will be interesting to see how this and nearby Battersea Park station fare when the new tube station at Battersea opens on the Northern Line.
The Victoria, 166 Queenstown Road, SW8 3QH
There are quite a few pubs on Battersea Park Road, however as you might expect these are all closer to Battersea Park Station. So we headed South out of the station down Queenstown Road to visit a pub that is very familiar to me, The Victoria. Across the course of the first leg of the blog, I reckon well over half of the pubs I visited I’d never been to before, and imagine the fact will be even higher this time around. However I’ve certainly been to The Victoria before, probably more times than I can care to remember.
I first stumbled upon it in 2008 when exploring the area around Clapham Junction and Battersea Park with a friend while I was still living in North London. On my first visit, I remember the then owners dog Boogie befriending me as I think he wanted my burger! I liked the place from the start and found various excuses to visit it over the next couple of years. In a nice twist of fate(much like happened later with Zeitgeist), it then ended up being my local for two years as I lived a few minutes walk away. I’m now back nearby so it has returned to being at least a semi-regular haunt for me.
It’s a fairly large, spacious pub and has quite an open feel to it. There are a few quirky decorations here, like a few old typewriters on one of the back walls. As well as the main seating area, there is a smaller back room. This currently has both table tennis and a pool table as well as a few seats, although you do risk getting the occasional stray ball coming your way there, depending on the calibre of the players. There is also a quiz machine in this area too, another bonus. It also has an outside seating area at the front of the pub where they’ve packed a fair few tables in.
The Victoria has quite a few TV screens and often will show more than one sporting event at the time, catering to both football and rugby/cricket fans(depending on the season) at the same time. This also extends to showing Championship games, so has been a good spot for me to watch Brighton games, albeit occasionally on the TV in the table tennis area but the staff have always been happy to put it on for me. They also have some board games too if you’d prefer a game of Scrabble instead.
They typically have around three to four real ales on tap, on the particular time I visited for the blog there was Tribute, Hobgoblin and Deuchars. I naturally went for the Tribute. They have a decent food menu with all the usual pub staples. Most of the prices are north of £10 – the range of burgers are £12.50, but the portions are massive so you get your moneys worth. They have various offerings during the week so you can get a burger and a drink for a tenner on a Monday and drinks offers on cocktails on weekend evenings.
Although it was later in the evening on the Wednesday we visited, it was still pretty busy here.It is open till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and seems busy throughout the week on my visits. In something I haven’t seen in many other pubs, it seems to do particularly well on Monday nights, even if there is no football on. The burger offer clearly pulls in the punters it seems!
The Victoria is a cracking pubs. It’s really good to see somewhere I think is independent of the usual gastropub chains doing so well. So next time you’re visiting Battersea Park, why not visit The Vic for a pint afterwards?