Taking the top spot as my favourite London brunch venue is No197 Chiswick Fire Station, a bright and breezy open plan space on Chiswick High Road. With an abundance of cacti, blush pink velvet sofas, a leafy terrace and statement furniture, it was love at first sight. And when the fresh berry and mint lemonade, Caravan Roastery coffees, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast landed, it was also love at first bite.
Open all day for drinks and dining – but I would recommend a visit during daylight hours to truly appreciate the beauty of the décor.
Not knowing what to expect, my jaw literally hit the floor upon entering No197 Chiswick Fire Station. It’s interior is like something plucked straight out of a John Lewis catalogue. It’s extremely spacious and stretches all the way back to a sunny alfresco area. The chic outdoor space features exposed brickwork, mini marble tables, cushioned seating and a high island-like table perfectly suited for larger groups. Although this is a fab spot for warmer weather drinking and dining, we chose to be seated indoors, which is just as if not more dreamy.
Inside, the high ceilings support dangling lights and the entire venue in wrapped in a neutral colour scheme with the main focus being white. If you, like me, love seeing the bartenders at work, the venues bar is plonked right in the middle of the room and with a collection of luxurious purple high chairs dotted around its circular shape, you’re guaranteed an eagle eye view of all their cocktail shakin’ and makin’.
The kitchen of No197 is also open plan so you’re able to see the chefs work their magic; you just need to seat yourselves towards the back end of the restaurant. Elsewhere, tan coloured button back seats, stripped back wooden chairs, plush couches, and velvet armchairs call from every corner in a bid for your attention. Although the venue can come across as a bit of a blank canvas, large green cactuses spotted in huge vases and wall hangings adorning the walls add a homely stroke to the place.
There is nothing I love more than digging my knife and fork into a hearty brunch come the weekend, and with many clear winners on No197’s brunch menu, it was a difficult decision. If you’re gonna do brunch folks, you gotta do it right.
First up, the Scrambled Eggs & Smoked Salmon on Buttered Sourdough Toast. The bread came out perfectly toasted and was topped with scrambled eggs and chive with salmon on the side. Although I could have done with a bit more salmon on my plate, all the ingredients worked together to bring out a great amount of flavour. My other half dived into the No197 Eggs Royal that comprised of smoked salmon, avocado and spinach on sourdough with homemade hollandaise. I’m not usually a fan of hollandaise, but I must admit, their homemade sauce tasted pretty damn good.
My other half and I arrived at No197 at around 11.30am. Seated inside, we clocked that the place was relatively quiet. But a constant trickle of people entering the venue meant a lively atmosphere and busy tables come 1.30pm. Although the venue became increasingly busy, the service didn’t falter at all; which is a dream come true when it comes to dining in London. Craning my neck around the venue it became clear that this Chiswick hang out caters for a somewhat sophisticated crowd. Families, young professionals and groups of friends gathered around tables for a relaxing Saturday of top notch food and quality catch up time.
I am very fortunate to have been to so many fantastic London restaurants and bars; but No197 Chiswick Fire Station has managed to wiggle its way towards the top of my pile with their freshly prepared dishes, laid-back atmosphere and stylish surroundings. Take a word of advice and book yourself in here ASAP.
Have you visited No197 Chiswick Fire Station? What would you choose off the menu?