Fulwell

Fulwell station first opened on 1 November 1864. The route into London was initially only via Strawberry Hill, the link to Teddington opened as a freight route in 1894 and for passengers seven years later. These days only a handful of services each day go from here to Strawberry Hill, virtually all services head on to London via Teddington.

It is located very much in the midst of suburban housing and feels fairly well hidden as its off the main road here. There is a small Victorian station building at street level and a nice nice wrought-iron footbridge which links the two platforms.

The Bloated Mallard, 147 High Street, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NJ

There is not much by Fulwell station, so we took a 10minute walk south down Wellington Road to reach The Bloated Mallard. It struck me as a unique name for a pub and its sign outside depicted a very jovial looking duck.

From first glance, it looks like a fairly small place, with a compact area around the bar. However the pub stretches back a fair way, including a dining area in a conservatory-type back room, which in turn opens up onto their large back garden. We sat in the front section, close to the stove fire that was offering warmth on a very chilly evening.

Decor wise, it has a modern feel with light coloured walls and ambient lighting. Rather appropriately given the pub’s name, the small middle room between the bar and the conservatory is decorated with duck themed wallpaper. There was also a copy of a nice old tube map near where we sat, adorned with some white fairy lights. The Bloated Mallard also got top marks from me for its choice of music, they seemed to be playing a compilation of 80s soul, including this classic by Kashif.  They also have live acoustic music at the Mallard on Thursday evenings.It’s also another dog friendly pub, with treats available at the bar.

On the ale front, two were available on our visit – London Pride and Opening Gambit. The food is provided on Thursdays to Sundays by ‘Up In My Grill’, described as street food pioneers. As the name suggests, its mainly steaks really. The prices are alright too, with £10 for a bavette steak, and for what looked like very good meat, There are some sides available, including the ‘House Hash’ for £4.50 – browns I assume! – and onion rings.

Shortly before I started the blog, I visited a pub in Teddington in October 2012 also called The Bloated Mallard after a failed attempt to see ‘Not Going Out’ being filmed in Teddington Studios. This Mallard closed down soon after, so I wonder if its the same team behind it which made the short journey to Fulwell to set up shop again.

The Bloated Mallard was a fine pub, continuing a run of good boozers in these outer fringes of South West London. If you’re in the area, it’s well worth checking out, even just for a flying visit…

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