No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Restaurant and Bar

Chiswick is awash with chains and cafes that provide little inspiration when it comes to delicious food and stylish surroundings. I love La Trompette for smarter occasions and Chief for coffee and breakfast, but there was definitely a distinct lack of reliable bistros and bars until No 197 Chiswick Fire Station came along.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

I first noticed this new opening  on Instagram, where my feed was filled with pictures of the most beautiful looking restaurant, complete with pale pink sofas and giant cacti. I instantly wanted to visit.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

I visited for lunch on a radiantly sunny day, which made this establishment look even prettier, casting atmospheric shadows across the white-washed walls. My sister and I decided to make the most of the weather and sit outside in the lovely back terrace.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

No 197 are currently offering a Peroni Spritz cocktail, a special collaboration with the beer brand. The vibrant orange drink was refreshing with a touch of alluring bitterness, perfect in the heat. My little sister opted for the more child-friendly housemade elderflower and cucumber lemonade.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

The menu is long, a little too long perhaps, filled with British delights and a few international inspired dishes. After spotting the rotisserie chicken whirling round in the oven, I couldn’t wait to try it for lunch, along with truffle macaroni cheese, garlic french beans and housemade fries. We definitely weren’t planning on fitting into bikinis any time soon! The chicken was tender with a caramelised skin, macaroni cheese was as decadent as it should be with just a subtle hint of truffle, and the green beans were buttery and garlicky, though in my opinion a little undercooked.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

After the rich main courses I needed a light dessert, and Roast Pineapple ticked every box. Served with agave syrup and passionfruit sorbet, it is suitable for anyone with any food allergy, and the taste didn’t suffer for it. An extra sweet but tangy pudding with the tart, exotic accompanying sorbet. We also sampled the Maple Banana Toffee Crumble, a take on Banoffee Pie which exceeded expectations. Soft and gooey with a crunchy topping and served with banana ice cream, it was finished off in minutes.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is a great place to eat, drink and hang out. The space is extremely pleasant to spend time in and the staff will ensure you have everything you need.

Book a table at No 197 Chiswick Fire Station here.

Mustard, Brook Green

There is a strange part of London, in which I used to live, in-between Shepherd’s Bush, Holland Park and Kensington. This pretty residential area has huge potential and yet there is a real shortage of nice cafes, restaurants and shops. So recently when I was alerted about Mustard, a new bistro on Shepherd’s Bush Road, I was keen to visit and try the food as soon as possible.

Mustard is housed in an old butchery building, the glorious interiors offer charming hints to its previous use, with the original tiles and features still intact. We made use of the small terrace at the front of the restaurant, and sat outside enjoying the springtime sunshine while having lunch.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is particularly popular at the weekend with the locals, who must be delighted with this stylish new neighbourhood hang out. The menu focuses on fresh, seasonal British produce from land and sea, and there is also a great selection of vegetarian options. The Express Lunch menu is available daily, a reasonable £9.95 for two courses or £12.95 for three.

To quench our thirst we opted for a couple of glasses of the Furleigh sparkling wine from Dorset. It was a delicious, light bubbly wine with subtle fruity notes of peach and lime… refreshing and very easy to drink. Just-out-of-the-oven fennel and linseed bread arrived alongside crispy pork belly soldiers with apple dipping sauce.

In the mood for spring we chose summery dishes from the a la carte menu. The free-range half roast chicken for me, and pan-fried woodland mushrooms with braised lentils and pearled spelt for my veggie guest. The chicken was divine, with irresistible crispy skin, a faint charcoal grill smokiness and a rich dill and wheat berry gravy. I was particularly happy devouring it alongside the lusciously smooth creamed potatoes. The mushrooms were very tasty too, perfectly seasoned and cooked, with a light but filling risotto-like lentil and spelt mix.

I had just enough space, and more than enough greed, to agree to a taste of dessert. The almond and blood orange cake was dense but moist, accompanied with a dollop of sweet soft cheese. Though I liked the flavour, I found the hefty slice too big for pudding and would have preferred something a little more refined, especially considering the £5.50 pricetag.

As we sat sipping on fresh mint tea, I realised how relaxed and at ease I felt. Unlike chaotic central London venues, or tiny trendy locations in East and South London, Mustard manages to maintain a lovely low-key and local feel. So you can really relish your meal out and enjoy the company without worrying about a thing.

More information and book a table at Mustard here.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 239

I have been a West London girl for my entire life, but next week I move down South to Peckham. So to celebrate the highstreets of West London I thought I would post about a few of my favourite shops in this homely neighbourhood. I have focused on the Golborne Road and Portobello area, which has a host of hidden gems that will keep you occupied all day.

Erno Deco – This lovely shop specialises in affordable vintage design furniture and decorative collectable objects. We admired all the furniture in here, imagining it in our new home.

Ally Capellino – British designer of classic mens and womens bags and accessories. I loved the design pieces and timeless leather handbags.

Pedlars – Selling wonderful stuff for the home and the great outdoors, Pedlars’ varied stock ranges from pieces produced here in Britain to vintage items from across the globe.

Ollie & Bow – A dusty den of antiques where you can pick up bizaare and whimsical retro pieces for your home. You will get lost in the beautiful chaos.

Les Couilles Du Chien – Suppliers of unusual antiques and decorative items, I particularly liked the brightly coloured butterflies which would look radiant on the wall.

Look out for my South London shopping suggestions soon!