THINGS TO DO IN CHISWICK
On my trip to London in April 2019, I ended up going to a town called “Chiswick” (pronounced ‘cheezik’), coincidently, approximately 30 minutes from central London. You take the Picadilly Line to South Kensington and transfer to District line to get off at Stamford Brook station. Before this day, nobody told me anything about it until I met 'Mariko', a Japanese woman on a bus in London. This is where fate(universe) played it's hand. If she hadn't told me, I would have gone to Chiswick and not bought myself good food. She told me there were a lot of good restaurants I must try in Chiswick. I asked her, “What cusine?” She said, “Any. Food is delicious there”.
I went online and researched popular restaurants like The Dove, Michael Nadra Chiswick, Charlotte's Bistro, La Tarantella, The Roebuck, Chiswick, and Kalamari. First night, I decided to check out The Dove since it is a very well-known old English pub with a view of the River Thames. It dates from the early 18th century and has hosted many elites. This cozy pub, beautiful in ambience set on the River Thames, is something you don’t want to miss.
It was a 15-minute walk from my hotel in Chiswick. The Dove is tucked away in a narrow alley. It has hosted many famous figures like Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Dylan Thomas and William Morris. Willam Morris lived next door.
As you walk in, you see a very small bar area with wooden interior. To sit at an outdoor table (You must!), you have to order food at the bar with the bartender. But they bring the food to your table.
They have traditional English menu items such as fish & chips, lamb shepherd pie, etc. Since I was not super hungry, I ordered pan-fried salmon with creamed leek, watercress, caper & fennel salad. It was perfectly cooked, crispy outside but not dry inside. The creamed leak side was delicious with watercress/fennel salad. I got potted duck starter but wish I had gotten pan seared scallops. The young handsome bartender told me they were very good.
I sat at the outdoor deck decorated with colorful flowers overlooking the River Thames watching the row boats go by occasionally in dusk. There were small groups of locals drinking beer. Maybe some of them were poets, who knows... After all, the poets, Alexander Pope and W. B. Yeats lived in Chiswick. I eye the warm apple crumble the two girls at next table are having for dessert. It looked great. But I was too full and thought... that’s what I would order next time... Pan-Fried Salmon finishing with apple crumble would constitute a perfect dinner.
After dinner, I stroll along the river. I run into English pubs, boat shops and Ravenscourt Park along the way. It was a perfect night with mild weather for a lazy evening walk along the river.
The next morning, I look for a coffee shop. There are a number of them on the main street, Chiswick High Road. I went to Artisan Coffee, a hip hangout, on King St. But there are other cute ones. Afterward, I walked around the neighborhood exploring. Chiswick has a village feel with picturesque 18-century homes and greens. As I walk down the main street, I see indie shops, restaurants, cafes, local fruits & vegetable stands and a very old church situated in Turnham Green Park.
After my morning walk, I was very conflicted on where to have lunch. There are many to choose from. Debating between Villa di Giordano and Côte Brasserie, I choose Côte Brasserie simply because I felt like steak. The place was outstanding and I was quite happy having made the right choice. - a very nice & affordable French brasserie on Turnham Green Terrace. They offer 2- or 3- course menu for lunch. I had frisee salad with poached egg and steak frites. The steak was pounded out thin, tender and full of flavor. The total meal costed around 15 British Pounds, which is a deal if you are from New York like me.
If you are a foodie, this town will satisfy you with delicious food in all varieties like English, French, Italian, Indian, Vietnamese, etc.
I can be lost indulging in good food, strolling peacefully in the pretty scenery or writing sitting at an outdoor café as Hemingway perhaps did and savor life at a slow pace.
In fact, I might just do that at some point in my life if universe allows me.
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