This 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.

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When 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).

I 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.

We 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.

One 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.


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Best location was right - it was absolutely idyllic with the sun shining in the middle of a beautiful park and families congregating around the cafe.

I 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.

My 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.

I 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 us.

You 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 somewhere suitable.

I 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.

Please 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!