Well now I’m very near the end – Southwark is the third newest station on the Tube Network. It opened on 20 November 1999 as the last phase of the Jubilee Line extension began operating when trains started running through to Green Park and onwards to Stanmore.
As with the majority of these stations, its another really impressive design. Instead of having a set of three escalators next to each other, each escalator is set on its own and it felt like we were heading up into a portal. You then get into the concourse level with its stunning blue glass wall. Its another design triumph and won BSkyB’s building of the year award in 2000. If you’re an architecture fan, its well worth having a walk along the spacious upper concourse yourself to take it in – its great!
The exterior of the station building is rather small yet still remains an impressive building.
The Pub: The Ring, 72 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8HA
When I’ve been doing this blog, sometimes people ask me if its about going to pubs opposite tube stations? It isn’t, although in this case the criteria would certainly fit as The Ring is right opposite the station exit. You really can’t miss it.
The pub is filled with Boxing Memorabilia, this is due to its location opposite what was was the home of British Boxing – The Blackfriars Ring Boxing Arena – which was destroyed during the Blitz in 1941. The Arena had a fascinating history and you can find out more from this excellent article about it. Now on the site is the modern office building The Palestra. Some of the trinkets on the wall include boxing gloves hanging from an antler(as you can see from the gallery), as well as plenty of photos of boxers from the Ring’s early days in the 1910s and 20s. These old photos contrast nicely with the light, modern décor.
The Ring had a variety of ales on tap on our visit although sadly no Doombar but the barman said they usually have it on. The selection was more amber and porter based, I went for the Calif-oregon Amber from the Belleville Brew. Although I generally prefer Bitters, this was a pleasant, refreshing pint – I’m not sure I could have a session on it though. They also had a Milk Stout if you’re into that kind of thing. On the food front, they are known for their hot dogs. On their menu it says food critic Giles Coren went so far as saying they are the best in London. After high praise like that, I decided I had to try one myself. I went for the Big Frank – a Frankenfurter – which was very tasty! They also do other food like burgers and sausage and mash. Their chips are great too, nice and chunky, as I tried some of the ones my friend ordered.
It was pretty busy on the Saturday afternoon we visited as the Six Nations was on but we were able to get a seat. By the time of England’s match though, it was very much standing room only! The pub has a wide selection of board games including Connect 4, if you want to while away an afternoon on a quieter day here! The Ring also sell their own t-shirts for £15 a go, it’s definitely the first pub out of the 268 I’d done up to this point to do that.
The Ring is an excellent pub. Its very well situated as its very close to Blackfriars Bridge as well as Waterloo and London Bridge/Borough market aren’t far off either. I definitely recommend visiting here, especially if you’re a Hotdog fan.