There’s more to Chiswick than the High Road but it’s a good place to start. Live as the locals do and pop into Artisan for your morning coffee, No 197 Chiswick Fire Station for lunch and pick up a 20 inch pizza from Pizza Street for your dinner. That’s before we even start on riverside drinking spots, farmers markets and gin. Here are 11 reasons that make Chiswick well worth the trip west.
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station
Turnham Green (0.4 miles)
What: Interior Inspo
Why: Chiswick’s newest addition, but no less of a stellar staple to locals, No197 Chiswick Fire Station follows in the neighbourly footsteps of sites in Richmond, Clapham and Pimlico. The ideal venue for pretty much any time of day and with any companion with its airy interiors and quirky furnishings – it’s basically a walk-in Pinterest board. With Caravan coffee from a local roastery, freshly squeezed juices and hangover-busting Bloody Mary’s, you’ll just have to justify visiting more than once.
Where: 197-199 Chiswick High Rd, London W4 2DR, United Kingdom
The Food Market Chiswick
What: Charitable Farmers Market
Why: You’re not a true local until a trip to the farmers market is added to your weekend ritual. 25 producers from across the country gather in the suitably farmyard-like setting of the Grove Park Farm House every Sunday from 10am to 2pm. You’ll find everything from purple cauliflowers to Portuguese custard tarts to eat on site but also take home for later. It’s run by Dukes Meadow Trust who reinvest profits into maintaining the surrounding meadows and the riverside – so far they’ve raised £1 million which has gone towards wildflower meadows, children’s play areas and an orchard.
Where: The Pavilion, Market Drive, Chiswick, W4 2RX
What: Extra Large New-York Style Pizzas
Why: There’s pizza and then there’s Pizza Street. The New York-style pizzas are so big they call them ‘pies’ – grab it by the slice or large (13-15 inch) or X-large (18-20 inch) to eat in, takeaway or have delivered and savour every mouthful of the chewy yet thin crust. If you go for the XL – and why would you not – you can get a half and half so make the most of lamb meatballs, Wagyu beef, pepperoni and 6-hour slow-cooked pork to name but a few of their toppings. Still hungry? Try the nutella and cinnamon sugar beauty. As if £15 for an XL isn’t good enough value already, if you visit on a Monday you can buy one and get one absolutely free.
Where: 63 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, W4 1RP
What: Community Coffee
Why: Artisan is a coffee shop with a difference. Allpress Espresso beans and baristas all with at least two years’ experience make it stand out but it goes further than that – self-proclaimed coffee geeks work hard in a ‘fun and funky’ environment as well as sharing their art with Home Brew Coffee Masterclasses. Other sites in Putney, Ealing and East Sheen mean Chiswick isn’t the only place with a great neighbourhood coffee shop.
Where: 372 King Street, Chiswick, W6 0RX
What: Parisian Patisserie
Why: The cakes, tarts and pastries under the glass counter at Chateau Dessert wouldn’t look out of place in a Parisian patisserie. Do as the Parisians do and order your birthday cake but be warned, you’ll have a hard time trying to fob it off as your own. Gluten and dairy free treats are available and they are happy to cater for weddings, parties and even VIP flights. Alright for some.
Where: 213 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 2DW
The City Barge
What: Riverside Boozer
Why: One of the main draws to Chiswick is the Thames, and the great boozers that sit on the banks. The City Barge is one of our favourites – stand by the water, pint in hand in the summer or settle in to a tweed tub chair with a burger in the winter. Beware of the spring tides which often flood the towpath. The food menu is sophisticated but satisfyingly so, the wine list substantial (60 from around the world) and 7 rotating ales are available on tap.
Where: 27 Strand-on-Green, Chiswick, W4 3PH
High Road House
What: Members Club Chic
Why: Strictly speaking, High Road House is less of a local draw than it is somewhere you’d go for a stylish home away from home. The Soho House hotel and members’ club is made up of cosy rooms to tap away on a laptop by day and a gorgeous copper bar for a cocktail by night. Local members can benefit from access to the club spaces including the swimming pool and Cowshed spa, as well as members-only events. All-day dining in the brasserie means you can graze on mac and cheese, burrata and small plates all day long.
Where: 162-170 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 1PR
Chiswick House and Gardens
What: Historic Gardens and Art Collection
Why: The gardens at Chiswick House make for the perfect weekend outing. The house was built by the third Earl of Burlington as a home for his art collection and a huge £12 million restoration project a few years ago brought it back to its former glory. Stroll around the 18th century villa and admire the art, take a picnic and sit in the gardens or keep an eye out for what’s on – in the summer Luna Cinema takes to the lawns for screenings of cult classics.
Where: Chiswick House and Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2RP
What: Cheap and Cheerful Vietnamese
Why: Chiswick has its own take on the new wave of Vietnamese restaurants that has taken over London in the past year or so. Ngon may appear small and unassuming but it’s a case of best things come in small packages with punchy flavours and authentic dishes – pho, summer rolls, banh mi (baguettes) and bubble tea. Cheap, cheerful and fresh.
Where: 195 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 2DR
What: American Pastries and Comfort Food
Why: American bakery Outsider Tart was opened by New Yorkers David and David in 2005. Fast forward 11 years and the hype around their cheesecake and whoopie pies hasn’t slowed down. Selling freshly baked cakes daily including brownies, cupcakes, cookies and whole cakes for any occasion – anything from apple chocolate to prune to peanut butter. But that’s not where it ends – Outsider Tart has recently added an onsite restaurant serving up good old-fashioned comfort food (as if the cakes weren’t enough). The soul food joint next door offers an all day munch menu, weekend brunches and special dinners on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We’re marking chili night on our calendar as we speak.
Where: 83 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 2EF
What: Much-Loved Local Bistro
Why: Beloved bistro, Charlotte’s is the type of local people dream of. Lucky W4 residents are faced with a solution to every food or drink dilemma, whatever the time of day. Staff are super friendly, the atmosphere is pretty unbeatable – and all this is on top of sophisticated food and perfectly made cocktails. The first Monday of every month sees a Gin School – completely free to attend, a different craft producer is in focus each time which pretty much justifies going every month.
Where: 6 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, W4 1QP
Whilst you’re in the area…
Check out the Sipsmith gin distillery – they do tours. It’s so at home here now that it sits unassumingly in a residential street. We wouldn’t mind being neighbours with a gin factory…