Tolworth station first opened on 29 May 1938. Design wise, it is identical to the previous stop I visited, Malden Manor, with the same art deco architecture throughout. The station briefly served as the terminus of the branch line until its extension to the two Chessington stations almost exactly a year later on 28 May 1939.
Broadway Bar Cafe, 43-51 Tolworth Broadway, KT6 7DW
Tolworth also proved to be barren terrain for pubs. While it may be Zone 5, it still really didn’t feel like London at all here, something further emphasised by the 22-storey 1960s ‘Tolworth Tower’ which dominates the skyline here. Croydon aside, it is rare to see a building this tall in the suburbs. In January 2016, planning permission was granted for four additional towers to go here, so it looks like it will have some high-rise company soon.
The pub we ended up going for, ‘Broadway Bar Cafe’, is part of the low-rise building that is attached to the Tolworth Tower, on Tolworth Broadway a short walk north from the station. It has a curious look from the outside, a design which looks reminiscent of a concrete ’70s carpark.
Inside, the Broadway Bar is a big place. It’s one large open plan room with the bar at the back. The fact it was pretty quiet on our Sunday afternoon visit made it seem even more cavernous. Combined with the bland decor, squirly carpet and stark lighting, it felt like a bar you might encounter in an airport waiting lounge.
The Broadway Bar does food, and cheap food at that. Ham, egg and chips is just £4.95 while sausage & mash is only £5.25. They also do curries which are listed as ‘homemade specials’, a chicken curry complete with rice and poppadom comes in at £7.50. On the beer front I was pleasantly surprised they did three ales, Doombar, Greene King IPA and Bombardier Burning Gold. It will come as no shock that I went for the Doombar, it was an alright pint.
The pub has two pool tables, after all – they’ve got the space for it. They also had a quiz machine but after our recent success at the Earl Beatty, we decided it was best not to try our luck here too. They have a couple of TVs here and have Sky and BT Sports.
The Broadway Bar Cafe fits well with the rather soulless character of the building it is based in. While my pint here was ok, I wouldn’t advocate coming here unless you enjoy soaking up the experience of an airport lounge without having to get your passport out. There are also no other pubs round here, so if you do find yourself gasping for a drink in Tolworth, then you have no alternative but to check in to the Broadway.
(The pub has no website)