Surbiton station stands out as an excellent example of art deco architecture. The building dates from 1937, designed by James Robb Scott and was grade II listed in 1983. With its box-like ticket hall and tall clock tower, it has many similarities with Charles Holden’s London Underground stations of the same period. I think it looks in great condition at the moment, looking very classy in its smart white coat of paint.
The station first opened way back in 1838, at which point it was called Kingston as the initial attempts of the railway company to place a station in Kingston itself was blocked by the Kingston Corporation. The station was subsequently resited 700 metres west in 1845 renamed Kingston Junction in 1852, Surbiton and Kingston in 1863 and assumed its present name in 1867. Surbiton is also the only station on South West Trains in Greater London which has services that bypass Clapham Junction. The lucky commuters here have four trains an hour that run direct into Waterloo.
The Antelope, 87 Maple Road, KT6 4AW
If you can tear yourself away from admiring the architecture at the station, The Antelope pub is a short five minute walk away past some grand suburban townhouses which I imagine come with eye-wateringly high price tags. Its on Maple Road which is reached from the station via St.James Road.
Inside, The Antelope is a smart, modern gastropub. The dark colours and ambient lighting gave it a cosy atmosphere when we were here and is a nice contrast to some gastros where the lighting is really bright and stark. There is a small seating area around the bar when you come in, the pub itself stretches back a fair bit with additional seating at a lower level which in turn opens out into their back garden.
A key selling point of the The Antelope is its big selection of beers, ten were available on tap when we visited. It’s an interesting range too, from the ’10 Storey Malt Bomb’ from Alechemy(puntastic!) through to ‘Underworld’, a milk stout and ‘Sun Shower’, an extra pale rye. I went for ‘Dockers Delight’, a bitter which did the job. The food here is primarily burgers and steaks. At £10.50 for a beef burger its better priced than similar pubs I’ve come across recently. If that doesn’t take your fancy, they do also have a selection of ‘smaller plates’ including haddock goujons and cheesy chips with chilli con carne.
The pub has lots of board games as well as plenty of books too. Appropriately for a pub with so many ales on tap, lots of the wall here are covered in beermats, much like the Sussex Arms in Strawberry Hill. It was still fairly busy here even though we got here past 9pm on a cold Tuesday evening, so it certainly seems popular.
I was impressed by The Antelope – it’s a busy, vibrant pub with a strong range of ales. Overall, a perfect trip for ale connoisseurs who also love art deco architecture…