Dusky pink velvet sofas and white floorboards, concrete and cacti: No197 Chiswick Fire Station scores highly in the style stakes.

A large, calming space, this glamorous bar and restaurant in a former fire station on Chiswick High Road was recently voted “best place for a mums’ night out” by The MotherHood readers and it’s easy to see why.

First impressions are striking. Entering through the high arched doors—fire engines used to get through here—you’ll find equally lofty ceilings housing a network of silver pipes. This epitome of industrial chic is softened with those pretty pink sofas, wooden tabletops, white walls and floors as well as brass lights and a few framed pictures.

A large oval bar takes centre stage; beyond it lies an open kitchen at the back next to the small open-air courtyard. On a beautiful summer’s day, you can sit out here, working on a laptop, sipping a colourful cocktail and make believe you’re in the Balearics.

this glamorous bar and restaurant in a former fire station on Chiswick High Road was recently voted “best place for a mums’ night out” by The MotherHood readers and it’s easy to see why.

On the cold March 2017 evening we visited, we opted for a cosy booth for two and took comfort in a Rose Sour cocktail (£9.50) made with Bathtub Sloe Gin, dry vermouth, lemon and a pinch of rose, sprinkled on top for a pretty-as-a-picture drink.

Soon came a cob loaf and butter (£3.95), well presented with the butter wrapped in greaseproof paper—a lovely handmade touch. Next were starters of oh-so-crispy, piping hot peppered squid (£7.95) and butternut squash pâté (£7.50) served with salted candied tomato and walnut bread. Both delicious.

Main courses brought ‘wonky veg’ (great idea to use less-than-perfectly-shaped veggies) aubergine curry (£9.95), which came with coconut chickpeas and flatbread. My grilled sea bass (£17.50) was meant to come with chips but, at my request, was instead accompanied by a side of chilli lemon guacamole salad (£4.50). The verdict: excellent quality fish, superbly cooked, while the avocado was zesty and spicy in just the right proportions.

We didn’t leave room for pudding but I’ll certainly be back for a piece of the delicious-sounding sticky toffee pudding (£7.50) with warm butterscotch sauce and brandy cream… next time.

After our meal I caught up with the manager, who explained that No197 Chiswick Fire Station aims to be a new kind of pub, replacing dark, dingy and old-fashioned drinking dens with a light, bright and modern bar.

Weekends are when the party vibe really kicks in. On Friday and Saturday nights a DJ plays until 1am so you can glam up, dress up and enjoy late-night drinks without leaving W4.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station gets 10 out of 10 for style. And, I’m happy to report, it’s not a case of style over substance. There’s something comforting about those covetable interiors. The atmosphere is laid back and welcoming while good food and classy cocktails help create a destination bar worth putting your best dress on for.

For opening times and menus, visit Chiswick Fire Station’s website.

Francesca Young
Author

Francesca started out as Beauty Editor of IMAGE magazine, after four years swapped make-up for London as a specialist subject. She freelances and regularly writes for LondonTown, runs the social media for Wendell Park Market and is mum to young twins.

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