Itinerary Location: Chiswick | Duration: 7+ Hours
Despite its perception as being like, the end of the District Line, Chiswick has a lot going for it.
For one… it’s the only London neighbourhood to be named after cheese.
And for two, it’s the perfect destination for mooching around on a Sunday – in any weather – thanks to its surfeit of beautiful places to explore, cosy cafés to duck into, and independent shops & markets.
We begin, rain or shine, at Chiswick station (which is, after all, a mere 25 minute ride from Waterloo)…
➊ CHISWICK HOUSE | 10.30am
It probably won’t surprise you to discover that a building named like it’s the only house in the neighbourhood is pretty grand. Chiswick House is a stunningly decorated Georgian mansion that – over its 300-year history – has variously been an aristocratic pad, an asylum, a possible Masonic temple, and a fire station. It was severely bombed during World War II, but the resplendent structure that remains is Grade I listed, and an awe-inspiring place to have a nose around.
To reach it, just take a 10-minute stroll from the station up Burlington Lane, until an archway opens up in the wall to your left. You’ll need to pay for entry to the house itself – and if gilded ceilings, chandeliers and a jaw-dropping collection of art floats your boat, it’s more than worth it – but you can also stroll around the vast gardens for free, filled with statues, sphinxes, and a waterfall grotto. Plus, on the first Sunday of every month the Duck Pond Market hawks gifts and homeware from independent local businesses just in front of the house.
Leave through the other side of the grounds, and take a 15 minute walk through leafy suburbia along Fraser Street, and then left onto Devonshire Road…
➋ URBAN PANTRY | 12pm
Lined with neat Victorian terraces, Devonshire Road suddenly melts into one of the cutest neighbourhood high streets you could ever hope to stumble upon. The awnings and terraces of cafés and wine bars sit shoulder to shoulder with local shops, and right in the middle of all of them is Urban Pantry.
This little café doesn’t take bookings, but trust us when we say that any wait time you have to endure is only going to make more room for their toasted banana bread with espresso butter; the blow-out trio of brunch dishes to share; and their beetroot chutney & bacon baps. The team here serve some of the best brunch in West London, and it’s well worth the wait.
Once you’ve stuffed as much seasonal French toast as you can manage, head left up the street, and you’ll emerge onto:
➌ CHISWICK HIGH ROAD | 1.30pm
Welcome to the beating artery of Chiswick, a road that’s been here since Roman times and has acquired just a couple more independent shops, pubs and cafés since then. You could easily just stroll down here and follow your nose, but a couple of pitstops to look out for include:
Foster Books: one of the most charming second-hand bookstores in London, specialising in rare books, first editions and antiquarian tomes – all tucked behind a facade that could have come from a Wes Anderson movie.
The Old Cinema: this 10,000 sq ft trove feels like a department store, only every item is vintage or an antique. Come in to build your dream home of 1930s cabinets and mid-century sideboards; leave with an antique carousel rocking horse that you’re going to really struggle to get on the tube home.
Chiswick Flower Market: West London’s answer to Columbia Road, this was the first new flower market to open in the city for 150 years. Now going strong since September 2020, it’s a bunting-strewn floral avenue that pops up on the first Sunday of every month.
Fouberts: get a cone of tutti frutti from the best gelateria in town; a family-run institution of over four decades with 24 flavours on the menu – one for every hour of the day.
Chiswick Cheese Market: popping up on the third Sunday of every month outside Planet Organic, the cheese market brings together 150 different British cheeses, live music, and a few other delicious bits to pick up for your cupboards.
Once you’ve exhausted this run of shops, wheel your rocking horse towards:
➍ HIGH ROAD BRASSERIE | 3pm
This relaxed dining room from Soho House is open to all, and it’s beautiful: high-backed velvet banquettes and retro opaline lighting give the interiors a warm, inviting feel, while a sprawling outdoor terrace makes the most of the sun when it’s in town. But most crucially, High Road Brasserie turns out a fantastic Sunday roast: plates arrive loaded with crispy spuds; a giant Yorkshire and your choice of roast – beef (just pink enough), chicken, pork, or hearty mushroom wellington. Then comes the creamy cauliflower cheese to share, the bowls of hot buttered veg for the table, and the (reasonably priced) carafes of house wine.
Take stock, refuel, squeeze in one of the sticky toffee puddings with vanilla ice cream, and head towards your final stop for the day…
➎ CHISWICK CINEMA
© Blake Ezra Photography Ltd.
Set up in the former Rambert ballet studios, the Chiswick Cinema opened its doors in summer 2021 and has rapidly become one of the neighbourhood’s most popular gems. This boutique picturehouse fits in three beautifully plush screening rooms fitted with soft velvet seats, as well as two smaller screens for private hire that seat just 15. The programme, meanwhile, is a varied mix of the big blockbuster releases alongside old black & white movies; streamed shows from the Met Opera, Royal Ballet and National Theatre; musicals; gigs; documentaries; and more.
It’s the perfect spot to wrap up a weekend – cosy, comfortable, just like your own sofa at home… only with snacks from a Michelin-star winning chef delivered right to your seat.
➊ Chiswick House & Garden | Burlington Lane, W4 2QN
➋ Urban Pantry | 15 Devonshire Road, W4 2EU
➌ Chiswick High Road | London, W4
➍ High Road Brasserie | 162-170 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 1PR
➎ Chiswick Cinema | 94-96 Chiswick High Road, W4 1SH
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