Hassrale Trips: St John's Wood

Date: Monday 17th July 1989

St John's Wood was originally part of the Great Middlesex Forest, and passed to the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem in mediaeval times. Later it was part of the royal hunting ground of Marylebone Park.

Apart from the rather up-market houses, the area is well known for Lord's Cricket Ground, but fortunately the Aussies won't be thrashing us again this week.

To get there, take the Jubilee Line from Charing Cross, or Baker Street, and it's only about 5 minutes from the latter. St John's Wood Station has only recently reopened following refurbishment of the escalators, so these should still be working at the moment.

Those who prefer to travel above ground can do so on bus routes 13 from the Aldwych or Oxford St, 113 from Oxford Circus, or 82 from Victoria or Oxford St, getting off at the stop before St John's Wood station.

The station has what must be a rarity for the Underground - a real ale bar. However, ignoring such delights, leave the station, go down Wellington Road, and turn along the first road on your left.

(Departure times given after each pub)

1. Duke of York - 2 St Ann's Terrace [18:45]

Beers: Websters Yorkshire, Ruddles Best & County

Comfortable, one-bar corner pub, with the almost obligatory library at one end and a collection of plates and prints on the walls. Extensive range of food avilable until late. Though rather pricey, it has a "happy hour" until 19:30 when all draught beers are £1.00 per pint.

Turn left out of the pub, along St John's Wood Terrace to:

2. The Star - 38 St John's Wood Terrace [19:30]

Beers: Charrington IPA

Quite attractive pub, with plenty of seating space and outside terrace. Friendly, tries to retain country atmosphere. Bar snacks likely to be available.

Retrace your steps a little, turn up Ordnance Hill (opposite side of the road).

3. Ordnance Arms - 29 Ordnance Hill [20:15]

Beers: Charrington IPA, Bass

Large pub with plenty of seating in plush sofas, cane chairs, all rather 'Raj'. Numerous military memorbilia on the walls, probably due to the proximity of the Artillery Barracks. May do food.

Continue up Ordnance Hill, pass the Barracks and you will get to:

4. Rossetti's - 23 Queen's Grove [21:00]

Beers: Fullers London Pride, ESB

Long established pub, that is rather different from this brewery's usual style. Basically its an expensive restaurant (upstairs) with a bar below. Lots of cane chairs and marble table tops. For some reason most of the bar staff are Spanish.

Turn left again along Queen's Grove to Queen's Terrace.

5. Knights of St John - 7 Queen's Terrace [21:45]

Beers: Charles Wells Eagle, Bombadier

Friendly and probably quiet. Has most local feel to it. Central serving area, split level, with the upper section containing dart board, but beware of the arrows when going to the men's room. Good jukebox with plenty of oldies records. Serves a good pint of the cheapest beer generally available in London.

Go back to the Grove and turn (yes, you've guessed) left. Cross Finchley oad and take the road almost opposite. Proceed to the second turning on the right and the next pub is about 5 mins.

6. Blenheim - 21 Loundon Road [22:30]

Beers: Greene King XX (Mild), IPA, Abbot

The presence of Mild is a bonus. Quite an ordinary one bar pub, bearing in mind the area - posh houses and smart cars, mainly foreign. Lots of prints and a frieze commemorating the family of the person in the name of the pub.

Returning to the station, or buses, is easy, by following Loudon Road down to Grove End Road and turning left.

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