review was contributed by Jeanne Schultz
a visitor to Chiswick from Wisconsin.
She loved the food at the Burlington Cafe but
you won't be surprised to hear what spoiled
her visit there.
you'd like to contribute a restaurant review
send it to scoff@ChiswickW4.com
or if you just want to make a short comment
on a local restaurant post it on the forum.
I told my London-based friend that I was coming
over the best advice she gave me was to avoid
the expense of the center of town and stay
out in the suburbs (or urban villages as she
said I should call them).
took this advice and spent two weeks in Chiswick
and was very pleased we did. The "London
Experience" that most visitors get bears
no relation to the reality of this great city.
Our two weeks in W4 didn't make us experts
but did bring us closer to understanding what
life in London is really about.
did the usual tourist thing but, as our holiday
wore on, more and more we tended to stay in
Chiswick. There was always something to do
locally and the choice of restaurants in this
one part of town puts whole cities in the US
in the shade. It was handy having the excellent
restaurant guide on this site and we tried
5 of your top ten all of which were terrific.
highlight was a trip to Chiswick
House and the wonderful park
that surrounds it. Our plan
was to visit the House and then
have lunch in the Burlington
Cafe as the description
"superb food and the best
location to eat in Chiswick"
was just too good to miss. We'd
heard about English Summers
but the day was just perfect
and we secured an ideally placed
table from which we could watch
the kids play while we waited
for our food.
location was right - it was
absolutely idyllic with the
sun shining in the middle of
a beautiful park and families
congregating around the cafe.
thought the use of flower pots
to signify which orders went
where was both clever and fitting
with the surroundings. The waiter
looked a bit threatening with
all his tattoos but was very
friendly and when our food arrived
it was superb. I couldn't believe
the care and attention that
had gone into preparing the
meals we had.
Normally you'd expect in a cafe like this that
prices would be high and quality would be poor
because people don't really have an alternative
if they want to eat at the park. I guess the
fact that most of the customers seem to be
local keeps them on their toes.
spouse had an excellently cooked chicken breast
which seemed to be properly marinated and prepared
in a middle eastern fashion. There was fresh
fish on the menu but I went for the vegetarian
option. Often vegetarian meals are prepared
as an afterthought just in case somebody comes
in and insists on a meal without meat. Even
my husband (a confirmed carnivore) was prepared
to accept that the lasagne style bake that
I had was far superior to his excellent chicken.
was a bit disappointed with the cakes as the
choice was fairly limited but most of us settled
for ice cream in any case. At this point the
only thing we missed was a nice chilled glass
of white wine but then we made a very grave
error which marred the whole experience for
may think that the greatest fear of an American
coming to England would be terrorist attack,
BSE or foot and mouth but you'd be wrong. What
really makes us lose sleep is the so-called
"european toilet". Up until now I'd
been pleasantly surprised by the plumbing but
I simply couldn't believe the stench and squalor
that I faced when we visited the facilities
at the cafe. My husband assures me the men's
restroom was worse. Admittedly we did get a
warning from the review on this site but we
were still shocked. They were basically unusable
and we had to cut our day out short to find
have travelled in both Eastern Europe and Central
American to countries which are much poorer
than England and certainly than Chiswick. I
don't think I've ever come across anything
as bad as this. It certainly didn't spoil our
visit which was wonderful but it will become
an enduring memory.
do something about this - I was brought up
on a farm and I'm less obsessive about hygiene
than most Americans but if you really want
more of us to come then this is important.
Or maybe you don't and this restroom is especially
for tourists to stop us coming back!