Once upon a time, Chiswick wasn’t a fancy west London suburb known for Bugaboos, media types and shifty‑looking celebrities in sunglasses. It was a riverside village that got its name, rather unglamorously, from the Old English for ‘cheese farm’ because of an association with an annual cheese fair. Funnily enough, that’s also the kind of event you can expect to stumble across in modern-day Chiswick.
The area around Chiswick High Road is an undeniably posh but very friendly bubble, mostly in Zone 3. It champions creativity and community spirit. Street parties aren’t out of place and it’s home to a lovely literary festival each autumn.
And then there’s the High Road itself. Running straight through the centre of the area’s rambling residential sprawl, it’s a hub of activity dotted with leafy green spaces, laidback pubs and the fancier high-street chains. There are plenty of independent ventures too, and countless cafés. On a sunny day, tables and chairs spill out onto the pavement, making the vibe almost European.
All in all, this long and bustling road has enough charms to tempt any visitor westward. And there’s a reason the locals look so happy to call W4 home.
A Sipsmith gin and tonic (distilled in Chiswick) in The Roebuck’s garden.
A cherry-spiked old fashioned at No197 Chiswick Fire Station, a busy bar full of squishy sofas and succulents.
Liver-cleansing fresh juice from smoothie bar Wild Bunch.
Squid ink spaghetti and traditional tiramisu at Villa di Geggiano, which feels less Chiswick, more Chianti.
Avocado on sourdough at Soho House offshoot High Road Brasserie. Bag a pavement table.
Budget-friendly banh mi baguettes at NGON, a punchy Vietnamese deli.
Hefty peanut butter brownies you just know aren’t good for you at jolly bakery Outsider Tart.
The flawless French tasting menu at Hedone, a Michelin-star restaurant so unassuming you’d miss it if you didn’t know it was there.
Watch a movie at La Luna Cinema, a big screen in the basement of Brew café. Your film ticket includes a beer or wine and an ace wood-fired pizza.
Learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch at Borough Kitchen’s in-store Cook School.
Hunt for vintage treasures whenever London Auctions opens its doors to the public.
Laugh (or cringe) the night away at The George IV pub, which hosts Headliners Comedy Club every Friday and Saturday night.
Rare tomes from Foster Books: a tiny must-visit for any self-respecting bookworm.
A bottle of the house claret from west London’s independent wine merchants Lea & Sandeman.
New yoga gear from little London-based activewear brand Zakti.
Wholemeal rolls and epic custard pastries at Bread Shop.
Your next Sunday roast from Wyndham House butchers, which started as a Borough Market stall.
And if you only do one thing…
Spend all your wages on immaculate antique furniture, upcycled homeware and weird knick-knacks in The Old Cinema. The former movie palace is now a roomy shrine to all things retro.