“The pub round the corner.”
When Jonny Goodman leaves his house to go to The Black Boy pub in series 1 episode 3 ‘The Curtains’ of Friday Night Dinner, these are the words he uses to describe its location. Now, most homes in England have a “pub round the corner”. Typically at the end of the street; sometimes on the next road; usually no more than a five-minute walk away. That is the entire concept of ‘a local’; the pub round the corner.
However, the distance between the Goodman family home in Parkside, Mill Hill to The Black Boy pub (aka the Chandos Arms, Colindale) is 1.9 miles, and a good 40-minute walk.
This is the route: from Parkside, turn right into The Rise; after a short distance, turn left onto the busy, three-lane carriageway called Watford Way; follow the left-hand path along Watford Way until you come to steps down to Bunns Lane; go underneath the subway on Bunns Lane, and then back up the steps on the other side to rejoin the Watford Way, continuing in the same direction as before, but now on the right-hand path. Take the first right-hand fork from the main carriageway, just before the petrol station and then carry on behind the petrol station, until you see a ramp on your right-hand side. This is a pedestrian overpass across the M1 motorway. Traverse the large zig-zagging ramps of the overpass, until you have crossed both the M1 and the railway line, and then take a left-hand turn into Grahame Park Way.
Don’t worry you are already one-third of the way there!
Follow Grahame Park Way, keeping the railway line on your left-hand side and carry on past the sports fields to your right. Shortly, you will be passing the famous Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon on your left. Keep straight on, following the road as it veers to the right, until you reach a small roundabout. Go across the roundabout, onto Colindale Avenue.
Take heart, the end is almost in sight.
Keep following Colindale Avenue, where you will pass Colindale Underground Station on your right-hand side. The road slopes downhill at this point, to speed your steps. You will pass the grounds of Public Health England on your right, and then ahead, on the corner of Colindale Avenue and Annesley Avenue you finally sight the promised land: an attractive red brick and black timbered building. The Chandos Arms (aka The Black Boy).
When Jonny arrives here in series 1 episode 3, he orders two pints of lager. I’m not surprised. All that walking, I’ve built up something of a thirst myself.
However, when he discovers he has only brought £2 with him, he is forced to reduce his order to half a pint of lager. Perhaps just as well. That is no walk to undertake back home when drunk.
The Black Boy pub also appears in series 2 episode 3 ‘The Loft’ and series 4 episode 3 ‘Congratulations’, even when The Bridge Tavern is a good deal closer. But, I’m not complaining: they probably don’t serve such a nice salmon fishcake lunch and G&T there.
© Stephanie Snifter
Celebrity bloodhound Steph Snifter is happy to be a barfly.