New Malden may well hold the record for the number of times a railway station has had its name changed. When it first opened in 1846, it was called Malden, 13 years later it was renamed New Malden and Coombe. Within 3 years it had changed again and was Coombe and Malden. There then followed a period of stability until 1912 when it became Malden for Coombe. In 1955 they went back to the start by returning it to its original name of Malden before promptly changing their minds 2 years later when it finally became New Malden. So its name has been changed 5 times, even if it isn’t the record, it must certainly be up there.
It has four platforms, although only two of them are in use. The central island, platforms 2 and 3 respectively, look as if they are being reclaimed by nature with grass and weeds covering the platform surface. They do have next train indicator boards which must only be several years old at best, yet the the overgrown platform suggests they’ve been derelict for longer than that.
The Glasshouse, 14 Coombe Road, KT3 4QE
Thanks to the fact New Malden station is situated on a railway bridge across Malden Road, you can actually spot the pub I went to here from its platforms. It’s called The Glasshouse and is situated a minute’s walk north of the station on the main road. There are several Korean restaurants nearby, a curious feature of an otherwise atypical South West London suburb is the fact its home to around 10,000 Koreans. According to this article from a couple of years ago, the tensions from the island have been exported here too between North and South Koreans.
The Glass House is a spacious modern pub with a light and airy decor. The back area is laid out as the designated dining room with candlesticks in wine bottles and snazzy lights.On the walls throughout the pub, there are pictures of various glass houses such as one of the conservatories at Kew, the old Crystal Palace as well as the Grand Palais in Paris. Evening events in the pub include a book club(there is a small bookcase here with plenty of books) as well as an art course and a wine appreciation society, booking is essential according to the chalkboard. The same board also mentioned live music but there were no events listed – the pub does have its own piano for these occasions.
The pub also has a large back garden. Its mainly tarmac but there are some plants dotted around to add a bit of colour. It also has an excellent view across to the railway, so brightly liveried South West Trains services will be a regular sight on the horizon.
There were six ales available on tap when we visited, a decent selection encompassing Butcombe Bitter, Atlantic Red, Over the Bar, London Pride, Ghost Ship and finally Tribute. I went for the Tribute which is always a great pint. The food is a mixture of the classics like sausage and mash to more restaurant-esque dishes like mushroom risotto and moules marinlere. Prices are around £12 to £14 for a main – plenty of people were having their lunch here on our Saturday afternoon visit.
I enjoyed our time in The Glasshouse. It’s a smart, modern pub with a decent beer selection and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for good pubs in the area.