Branching off Station Road, in the middle of the North London suburb of Edgware, is Edgwarebury Lane, lined with elegant thirties houses.
It crosses the busy A41 Edgware Way, otherwise the Watford by-pass, where pedestrians are provided with a very grand footbridge.
North of the A41 the houses eventually give way to tennis courts and a cemetery, and the road diminishes into a bridleway, though the bridge over the M1 motorway is built to main-road dimensions.
Edgwarebury Lane then climbs steeply past the Dower House, and eventually reaches what is now the Edgwarebury Hotel [http://www.corushotels.co.uk/elstree].
The name, and the persistence of the route against the grain of the modern road-system, suggest that Edgwarebury must have been at least as important as the once-rural village of Edgware.
This is, of course, not a sensible or practical way of reaching the Edgwarebury Hotel. It’s reached via Barnet Lane and the last few hundred yards of the old lane.
The hotel was originally Edgwarebury House, the residence of Sir Trevor Dawson (1866-1931), managing director of the armaments company Vickers Ltd.
As an essay in Victorian or Edwardian black-and-white revival, it has one attractive show front, looking south across a gently-sloping garden surrounded by trees and looking across to distant views of London.
Within, the major rooms are embellished with antique carved timber and stained glass. It has all the hallmarks of a late nineteenth-century interest in collecting architectural antiques.
It served as a location for the Hammer horror film The Devil Rides Out (1968), the rather more cheerful Stardust (1974) and much else.
It’s my favourite place to stay in the London area, whenever its special deals are cheaper than Premier Inn.
I like to walk down Barnet Lane, where the local motorists often drive at absurd speeds, to the crossroads and eat at the Eastern Brasserie [0208-207-6212], which serves the sort of Indian meals where you savour every mouthful, from the popadoms at the start to the slices of orange at the finish.
It’s my favourite start-of-the-weekend-in-London experience.
Update: The Times, March 30th 2012, reports that Corus has sold the Edgwarebury Hotel to the Laura Ashley group as a "brand showcase".
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