No need for a brief encounter in Grove Park

Edward Prescot finds the Burlington restaurant to his liking


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Restaurants in and around train stations aren't always famed for their quality. Perhaps the proprietors hope that their customers will be too anxious about catching their train to linger over the inadequacies of the fare that is put in front of them.

The recently opened Burlington on Station Parade certainly does not fit into this category. Perhaps we have South West Trains to thank as it is quite easy to enjoy a good quality three course meal whilst waiting for one of their very occasional trains to turn up.

So good was the food at the Burlington that it made me muse on the possibilities for a less self-denying conclusion to Trevor and Celia's romance in Brief Encounter. Surely, if they waited for their respective trains in this first class restaurant, as opposed to slightly functional station tea rooms, they would have been more attuned to life's pleasures rather than its responsibilities and, so to speak, got it on with each other.

Certainly there is no question of restraint at the Burlington. This is food cooked by someone who likes food and lots of it. Portion wise locally only Southey's seem to match it and at the Burlington quality is not compromised by quantity. The goat's cheese I had to start was also available as a main - it may be that they sent the larger portion by mistake but it was certainly warmed to melt in the mouth perfection.

My dining partner had a dish with salmon and gravlax which was reported to be delicious. For mains I was provided with a leg of duck served with mash and puy lentils. This duck must have been quite formidable when alive judging by the part of it that appeared on my plate. It was a bird that never suffered the hospitality of Cherry Valley, was fabulously cooked and rivalled the duck with morello cherries served by La Trompette which is one of my all time favourites

In describing the meal as good value I anticipate being ticked off by some kind soul on the Chiswick discussion forum who will advise me that I could have a meal for a fraction of the price at a pub in Lincolnshire or possibly recommend the delights of a KFC bargain bucket. For not much more than £60 a friend and I had a stunningly prepared meal served by solicitous and discreet staff and drank a sensible amount of good quality wine. Perhaps it is possible to save twenty quid by going to Nandos or Gourmet (sic) Burger Kitchen although that is one economy I choose not to bother with.

When the premises was occupied by Christian's this restaurant was more akin to eating in somebody's house and the eponymous host made you feel he was cooking for you and a small group of friends. Restaurants like this are a dying breed and for all the Burlington's brisk professionalism it hasn't yet got that uniqueness that made Christian's a viable business as well a great place to eat. It is exceptionally good at doing things that 5 or six other restaurants in Chiswick do quite well but location may play against it.

At least they have avoided the faddishness of Infuzion but they will need more covers than they had on the night I last ate there. It's all very well having undiscovered local gems if they close just as they are becoming an essential part of your life. So please fellow W4 residents take the trip down to Station Parade and visit the Burlington, even if you live in the rougher parts of Bedford Park the E3 bus will take you to its doorstep.

Edward Prescot

The Burlington is owned by Redmond and Pippa Hayward who also run Redmonds in East Sheen.

Redmond started his culinary life at The Connaught Hotel, thereafter progressing to his appointment as Head Chef at Anna’s Place in London in 1980. Within a year he was rated as one of the top twenty chefs in London by The Good Food Guide. He was later recruited to open Calcot Manor in Gloucestershire, where he earned a “Red M” in the Michelin Guide. In 1987 he opened his first restaurant in Cheltenham with his wife Pippa. He received his first Michelin Star in 1992.

July 30, 2004