When Aretha Franklin sang ‘Chain, chain, chain’, she probably didn’t have Chiswick High Road in mind, but they’re everywhere you look on the area’s sedate high street. So, on the face of it, this venture replacing an All Bar One seems like a good thing. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find this new bar and all-day eatery comes from Darwin & Wallace, whose venues may not all have the same name but which certainly share a certain style. And they appear to have spent an absolute fortune turning it into a gleaming all-white bar and restaurant straight out of a glossy interior design magazine.
Cocktails take centre-stage on the drinks menu, with prices on the steep side (£9.50 for an Aperol spritz). A rhubarb and ginger cobbler arrived in a tin with mountains of crushed ice and tasted like overly sweet boozy cordial. Food is an all-day affair, stretching from breakfast and brunch through to dinner. Unfortunately, the chilli squid had so much thick greasy batter the nearby chippy would have been ashamed.
Add to these gripes some disappointing service: our drinks order was taken by a waiter who was so uninterested he couldn’t even muster a grunt during the one-way exchange. It’s clear that beyond the aesthetics, this bar must try harder.