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Ben Reynolds of Limey London chooses five secret London spots

Posted at 6:00 pm, March 22, 2013 in Secret London, Top 5
Ben Reynolds - Limey London

Chiswick’s positively dripping in cool. Head down to its epicentre in W4 and you’ll fall off your metaphorical chair when you seen how bone-acheingly trendy its reclusive inhabitants are. Or perhaps not. Ben Reynolds of LimeyLondon.com has lived in W4 for quite a few years, and yes, it still needs a place to drink AND dance (don’t refer to it as a ‘nightclub’ or the W4 massif will block planning permission) but it’s still a damned fine place to live with some cool little gaffs. Here are Ben’s five favourite Chiswick spots.

Charlotte's Bistro

Charlotte’s Bistro
‘There are two reasons to go here; food and drink. I’ll elaborate. Alex Wretham has created a catch-all place here that’s it’s difficult not to go to. The food is good. Very good, in fact. The ingredients are sourced from as many local suppliers as possible including Macken Brothers for meat and Andreas Veg for, errr, veg, both suppliers being a stone’s throw from Charlotte’s. Then there’s the drink, and this is where Alex has given Charlotte’s an unusual twist. The bartender is a ‘real’ bartender, not some work experience dude that they’ve spent numerous days teaching how to decant diet coke not real coke from the multi-headed nozzle. This means he can knock up whatever you want. More interestingly, he’s chosen to specialise in gin which gives the place a unique feel, especially if you head along to their free Gin School on a Monday night and the chap from Hendricks waves his floppy cucumber at you as he did to us.’

Outsider Tart

Outsider Tart
‘Considering the fact that www.LimeyLondon.com gives hints and tips to our pals from across the pond who are coming to London, I couldn’t not include the American bake shop that is Outsider Tart. Set up by a pair of of Davids (fact, not belittlement) who moved from NYC to London and failed to find whoopies of a good enough standard to satisfy their sweet desires. This place has got everything that appeals to me; great cakes and brownies  (you’ve GOT to try the Snickers cake), a genuine passion for something that they clearly love, and an eye for creativity that’s seen in both the food and the surroundings. As well as being full of tarts (unusual for Chiswick), they also stock authentic US ingredients and have just opened up a café next door where they serve up Americana grub.’

Hack & Veldt Delicatessen, 94 Turnham Green Terrace, W4
‘This brand-spanking new deli, owned by Maike Hachfeld, is totally independent and totally tops. Sitting proudly on Turnham Green Terrace, it’s fighting the corner of the independents who are trying to stop the marauding estate agents in their attempt to turn the street into one big window display of homes. Hack & Veldt sells unusual deli-style products from many small and passionate producers, whilst also selling the best coffee in Chiswick. Period. They make their own fresh sandwiches every day and whilst it’s a deli not a café, there are a few tables and chairs where you can buy a glass of wine or beer on your way home from work then sit in the window overlooking Chiswick Back Common. It’s got a great feel to it and has already established itself as a Chiswick favourite. I like. A lot.’

Old Cinema

The Old Cinema
‘I love a good rummage. So much so that my ideal Sunday would involve swinging by Hack & Veldt to fuel up to my eyeballs on coffee then head round the corner to The Old Cinema to start inspecting their wares. Although it’s got a little shop-front, this old picture palace from the 1890’s has bucket loads of space out-back, rammed full of antiques, retro and vintage products. The staff are uber-helpful so give them a shout if you can’t find what you’re trying to hunt down.’

Bedford Park Open Gardens
‘Considered the world’s first garden suburb and with many of the stunning houses designed by Norman Shaw, about 15 or so garden-owners (who also own the associated houses obviously), open up their lawns for the day to let you have a good old nose around. It’s not the expected W4 mass of financiers and lawyers, but quite an eclectic bunch whose creativity appears to have rubbed off in their gardens.  Top tip: If you take your Dad along, don’t let him take a dictaphone (as I did). Dads are inclined to make verbal notes of their fave plants but so as not to cause a scene, do so very surreptitiously whilst facing a garden wall. The result is that either (i) the garden-owners think they’re a judge or (ii) they think he works for MI5. Both are best avoided.’

For more from Ben, visit LimeyLondon.com or follow @LimeyLondon on Twitter.

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