Given the fact that Hammersmith is a major travel hub, it is unsurprising that you can explore the culinary world in a day with the area's restaurants. They feature a wide range of cuisines, from Keralite food (from an area in southern India) at Shilpa and eclectic vegetarian fare of The Gate to Saigon Saigon's Vietnamese and Polanka's Polish menus. Perhaps more surprising is how well priced it all is.
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From their bucolic riverside home in nearby Chiswick, Fuller’s local influence stretches far. A fair few of their pubs, including the nearby Stonemason’s Arms and George IV on Chiswick High Road, have been given makeovers, scrubbing them up until their rough edges are replaced by smooth, clean lines, expansive food menus and, dare we say, slightly less soulful places for a drink. Not so, the Andover Arms. Here, in a villagey spot (known locally as Brackenbury) complete with pretty terrace housing, a butcher’s and a café-deli, you’ll find a Victorian pub offering plenty of room for drinking as well as dining. What’s great is that it feels like a proper boozer: there’s a wood-panelled bar that looks like it’s been around since the pub’s early days, creaky chairs, faded carpets and a roaring fire (during the winter months at least). Cheery staff only add to the snug, friendly vibe. Craft beer might continue to boom across the capital, but there’s no chalkboard listing all the special brews here (they chalk-up their malt whisky selection instead). A slightly disappointing selection of three ale pumps provide Fuller’s ale staples, and the only nod to ‘craft’ is their own Frontier lager. They do know how to pour a good pint of Guinness (£4.50), though, and their wine menu’s worth exploring. There are pies, cheese boards and smart fish dishes but thankfully, the food doesn’t upstage the drinking, with plenty of nooks and crannies to settle in for a sesh. Long may that continue.