Seamless Simplicity At Shackology
We savour the shack chic of the High Road's new 'gastro-cafe'
The Oxford English Dictionary states that a shack is a “roughly built hut or cabin” however I can report that Chiswick’s version is the antithesis of this. Undeniably chic with its muted décor and skillfully mismatched furniture - reminiscent of a Provencal cafe I know - I damned if I could find anything rough about Shackology.
Lunching there with two girl-friends in this their opening week, we agreed that the interior was appealing if a little sparse. The ‘home from home’ concept is evident however we felt there was a distinct need for more clutter and perhaps a plant or two to create a greater sense of warmth and comfort.
However all the shack chic in the world doesn’t detract from the fact that the Grade II listed building still has the Crown & Anchor name emblazoned across its frontage. According to one of the ‘Shackologists’ there have been a number of comments along the lines that it's hard to see that they are no longer a traditional pub. They had hoped to have an awning over the new corner entrance but the application was turned down which explains their exceptionally discreet signage on the windows.
Anyway enough aesthetics, on to the business of food. We ate baked Cumbrian ham with green salad and piccalilli (£9.00), grilled marinated chicken on a thick slice of toast with little gem and mustard mayo (£9.00) and sautéed lemon sole with wilted spinach and tartar sauce (£12.00) and a green salad (£3.00). We particularly liked the salad portions which came in sizes ‘quite hungry’ or ‘pretty hungry’. All the dishes were well executed and refreshingly simple – in fact the only clue that we weren’t eating in a friend’s kitchen at this point was the price tag.
We shared a 500ml carafe of Heuser Reisling (£10.00) slightly diluted (we still had the school run to do) with sparkling mineral water (£3.50 for a litre). Jugs of iced tap water were offered and replenished without having to ask. Coffee (medium or dark roasted options offered) presented in cafetieres (£3.00) finished the lunch perfectly leaving us with a bill of £55.50 excluding the service which was faultless.
A quick peak at the ‘Weekend Room’ on the first floor revealed a large homely sitting room with a few dining tables, sofas and a DVD player.
Shackology is open for coffees, pastries and breakfast from 8.30am during the week and from 9am at weekends. Lunch is served from about 12, tea and cakes in the afternoon, supper later and the bar is open all day.
Emma BrophyApril 26, 2007