6pm on a typical gloomy looking British summer evening a bunch of media chicks were looking forward to an overdue catch-up. We rocked up to No197 Chiswick Fire Station, recently opened in the leafy suburb of Chiswick on the High street. Walking past alfresco diners and drinkers, we were rewarded with a beautifully refurbished historic building.
The cool modern interior, with its neutral tones, high ceilings, contemporary furniture and immense love for cacti had me reaching for my camera in sheer delight.
It exuded a friendly, relaxed vibe. A large central oval bar took pride of place with copper herb pots, bowls of citrus and drink condiments sprucing it up.
Taking a pew at the bar, I began to regale my love of ginger to the bar man. He recommended the Dark and Stormy made with their homemade ginger syrup. How could a girl refuse? Particularly as he swapped the rum for my much preferred vodka.
We were soon ushered to a white washed booth, a perfect spot for our catch up. I loved the eclectic decor and different seating layouts across the restaurants, intimate booths, velvet sofas, communal tables and there’s also an outside courtyard for a bit of alfresco dining.
The menu offers all day dining with ingredients sourced locally and changing seasonally.
After much deliberation Maria ordered the crispy squid with coriander, spring onion and chilli (£7.95).
The plump, crispy looking morsels were quickly hoovered up. She found it delicious!
Torn between a few starters, I was so pleased when Becky ordered the aubergine and sweet potato croquettes with sun blushed tomato, basil and feta salad (£7.50). The crunchy texture pulling together the sweetness and smoky aubergine punctuated with the feta’s tang was right on point.
My own starter was a winner too. The vegetarian tacos with black bean, avocado and sour cream were fresh and flavoursome (£7.50). My only complaint being the size. They were very, very small and barely hit the sides. Good job I had my sights set on a sturdy main.
With a fair few months of yapping to catch up on, it was soon time for our mains. My pan-fried potato gnocchi with burrata, basil and pistachio pesto (£12.95) was certainly a heavy dish. Although tasty I could feel the inches adding on to my waistline with every delicious mouthful of the buttery sauce.
Maria went for a bunless halloumi and courgette burger with mint and cucumber labneh accompanied with fries (£10.95). Although halfway through she wished she hadn’t eschewed the bun.
I think the prize went to Becky for ‘happiest eater’ with her flat iron chicken topped with black bean, heritage tomato, new potato and olive (£14.50).
Being National Chocolate Day we couldn’t leave without sharing the Bitter Chocolate Tart with chocolate mousse and rice krispies (£6.95)
The combination of the different textures from smooth, crunchy to melt-in-your-mouth had us all in chocolate heaven. The perfect choice to celebrate a day dedicated to the glorious stuff. And of course, if you know me well it could only be washed down with one thing…
No, not the waiter. Eyes on the prize: Espresso martinis!
The interiors and decor of No197 Chiswick Firehouse totally won me over. Perfect for a girly catch-up, family brunch or romantic date. The bar also rocked a great ambience as the night went on – the lights dimmed and the music pumped.
Apart from my having to schlep across London to visit, I’m not deterred from coming back again. So Maria and Becky when’s brunch?
Where do you go to catch up with friends? Let me know in the comments box below.
No197 Chiswick Fire Station | 197 Chiswick High Road | London | W4 2DR
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