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Welcome to the London Borough of Hounslow, one of the capital’s hidden gems. We’ve got lots of fantastic things for you to see and enjoy. Fabulous shops, Michelin-starred restaurants, lively bars and gastropubs, at prices more reasonable than in the city centre. The area is steeped in history and has some amazing open spaces. You might want to visit our stately homes and museums, enjoy a picnic in our parks or take a stroll along the River Thames. We have something to suit everyone. We’re a Proud Host of Rugby World Cup 2015, which takes place on our doorstep. So if you’re here for the Tournament, enjoy the games. We hope you have a really great time. And if you want to see the capital’s tourist sights, it’s just a short journey from here into central London. But don’t overlook the myriad of local attractions. This pocket guide will give you lots of ideas for fun days out, we hope you find it useful. And you can also go online to for suggested daily itineraries. We want to show you a London you never knew existed.

Cllr Steve Curran Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow

Cllr Nisar Malik Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow



CONTENTS Introducing Hounslow


Hounslow 15 Brentford & Isleworth


Osterley 27 Chiswick 29 Borough map


Cranford & Heston


Bedfont, Feltham & Hanworth


Things to see & do

46 The Russian Orthodox Church, Chiswick

Author Audrey Thompson Communications Department, London Borough of Hounslow.

Publishers FHW Events & Marketing Ltd. 1 Times Square, High Street, Sutton, SM1 1LF

Copyright Š 2015 London Borough of Hounslow & FHW Events & Marketing Ltd. Map Š Crown copyright. All rights reserved. London Borough of Hounslow 100019263 2015.

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The author and publisher have done all they can to make sure the information in this guide is correct. However, they cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, harm or difficulty experienced by the reader as a result of the information or recommendations it contains.



INTRODUCING HOUNSLOW THIS GUIDE highlights some of the hidden and not so hidden treasures in Hounslow. Its manors and stately homes, its award-winning parks and open spaces, its fabulous restaurants and markets and its

varied, vibrant and diverse cultures. People from all around the world have made Hounslow their home and brought with them their festivals and traditions, their music and their food.

The London Borough of Hounslow stretches 23 square miles from the edges of Heathrow Airport in the west to Chiswick in the east. It is made up of 10 districts, two of which were towns – Hounslow and Brentford – while the rest were once villages in rural Middlesex.

All have their own distinct histories and identities. The borough has both a town and country feel to it, featuring modern housing estates and quiet suburbs alongside grand parks, great open spaces, heath and scrubland.

LOCAL HISTORY The Grand Union Canal

INTRODUCING HOUNSLOW Much of the borough used to be market gardens growing flowers, fruit and vegetables that supplied central London. The area was considered a retreat from the busy capital, with many of the nobility building stately homes such as Boston Manor House and Syon House, and successful professionals buying country homes in Chiswick and the villages beyond. In 1965 the borough’s boundary was set as it is today, and in 2015, Hounslow celebrates 50 years of being part of Greater London.

The borough has always been very well-connected, regarded as London’s international gateway, with its intricate network of roads, rail, tube trains and buses and its close proximity to Heathrow Airport. As far back as the Middle Ages, Hounslow was a staging post on the route to London. Located at the junction of Bath Road and Staines Road, Hounslow town and its neighbouring villages grew by meeting the needs of travellers journeying between London and the west of England. The Bell, a pub at the western end of Hounslow High Street is the successor to the Bell Inn, once one of many coaching inns on the High Street. In 1650 a parliamentary survey found 120 inns within a mile of Hounslow and that up to 500 coaches and 1,500 horses passed through the town every day. In 1805, the Grand Union Canal, following a section of the River Brent, connected Brentford to Birmingham to carry freight from the Midlands to London.

The section of the A4 also known as the Golden Mile



The Great West Road – a by-pass for Brentford and Hounslow – was opened in 1925 by King George V and Queen Mary. The stretch between Chiswick and Syon Lane soon became known as the Golden Mile as illustrious

Hounslow’s prosperity suffered a severe setback when coach travel gave way to travel by train in the 1840s when the Great Western Railway was opened. Its economic fortunes were only rekindled when a branch line of the Waterloo-Windsor railway at Acton (now the Piccadilly Line) opened in 1883.

corporations such as the Firestone Tire Company and Gillette built factories there because of good transport links and cheap land. Gillette’s grand Art Deco factory still stands, as do some of the others, but the factories were closed long ago and the buildings adapted to modern business needs.

The Old Toll Gate in Hounslow High Street, 1864

Today, the main road through the borough heading west is the M4 motorway whose elevated section through Brentford begins at the Chiswick flyover. Hounslow’s seven railway stations provide a quick route into London Waterloo, its eight underground stations, five on the Piccadilly Line, connect Heathrow and central London, and there are plenty of buses to take you over the borough’s boundaries into Southall, Twickenham, Richmond and Kew Gardens. Find out about all the ways to get around the borough at Hounslow is known for its historic connection to air travel. In 1916 Hanworth Park, in the south west of the borough, was made into an airfield to help the First World War effort.



INTRODUCING HOUNSLOW As London Air Park, it operated throughout the 1930s and 40s and was a hub for private flying and the manufacture of aircraft. The Zeppelin passenger airship also visited it twice, in 1931 and 1932. Heston Aerodrome, in the north east, became London’s airport in the late 1930s. And in 1915, the Royal Flying Corp turned Hounslow Heath nature reserve in the centre of the borough, then a military training ground, into an aerodrome for training pilots and defending London. As aviation expanded the flat plain of the area became the site of London’s Heathrow Airport, built on agricultural land beside the once extensive heath. One of the busiest airports in the world, Heathrow is also Hounslow’s most significant employer. It’s perhaps not surprising then that the borough has attracted many communities who have settled here. During the 1950s and 1960s, Indian and Pakistani immigrants supplied cheap employment to local factories and now have long established

The Zeppelin airship


Hounslow is known for its history in aviation

communities. They brought with them their delicious tandoori, karahi and masala foods, their religious festivals and celebrations such as Diwali, Vaisakhi and Eid, lively bhangra music and a love of Bollywood films. The borough has several temples and mosques all of which are welcoming to visitors. Along with its major Asian influences the borough has become home to a range of peoples, including Afghans, Iraqis, Sri Lankans, Somalians and Poles. The Russian Orthodox Church built in Chiswick in the late 1990s is an indication of the borough’s continued multicultural nature, as is the fact that more than 140 languages are spoken here. That being said, the largest single ethnic and religious groups in the borough are still white and Christian, and a recent census revealed the population to be youthful, with around half of residents under the age of 35. The borough is nothing if not diverse.



DID YOU KNOW? • Hounslow comes from the AngloSaxon words Hund’s mound, Hund being a person’s name and mound the word for small hill or burial site.

• After eating bread made by wheat grown in Heston, Elizabeth I insisted on having a supply of the bread for her own personal use.

• Hounslow Heath was once a Roman camp and Oliver Cromwell stationed an army there during the English Civil War.

• The Virginian Indian princess Pocahontas lived in Brentford with her husband and son from 16161617. And the sixth US president Quincey Adams also lived there from 1815-1817.

• Edmund II, also known as Edmund Ironside, fought Canute and the Danish invaders at Brentford in 1016. He won that battle but his sudden death left Canute as king of England. • Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, was taken to Syon and held captive for several months before being beheaded in the Tower of London for treason. She was accused of committing adultery with one of the King’s courtiers. • Syon was also where the coffin of Henry VIII rested on the way to Windsor. Overnight his decaying corpse burst, as did the coffin. It’s said some parts spilled out and were eaten by stray dogs, fulfilling a Franciscan Friar’s prophesy that dogs would lick his blood.

Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife



• International civil aviation began at Heston Aerodrome in 1919 with scheduled flights from London to Paris, and the pioneering first flight to Australia. Trams in Chiswick High Road

• Satirical artist William Hogarth is buried in St Nicholas Chiswick, his tomb recognisable by the ornate urn that tops it. • In 1741, the children of Frederick, Prince of Wales, were released after being held up by highwaymen on Hounslow Heath. • JMW Turner lived in Brentford for a year as a child and later returned to live in Isleworth and Twickenham to paint watercolours of the River Thames. • The Feltham Pea was a popular variety of pea named after the place it was first grown, and Isleworth’s Michael Keen grew the first English strawberry, Keen’s Seedling, in the 1820s. • In 1889, Brentford Football Club was founded by a rowing club seeking a winter sport. Some say they tossed a coin to decide whether to choose football or rugby! • In April 1901, London’s first electric tram service began in Chiswick.



• British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew from Heston to Germany for talks with Adolf Hitler in 1938 and returned with the piece of paper he referred to in his Peace for Our Time speech. • The Chiswick flyover was opened in 1959 by Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield. And it’s rumoured the notorious gangsters, the Kray Twins, buried bodies of their victims under its concrete pillars. • The annual Oxford Cambridge Boat Race has its finishing line on the Thames at Chiswick. The blue plaque to the painter Turner



The “lady in white of Osterley” reputedly haunts Osterley Park House. The mysterious woman has been seen near the left-hand arch under the main stairway that leads to the house’s grand entrance. An attendant heard stories that the lady “used to appear about 4.30” in the afternoon, and two workers renovating the building also claimed to have seen the phantom. Two of Oliver Cromwell’s daughters are said to haunt St Nicholas Chiswick in Church Street. Though the current church dates from 1882, there is thought to have been a church on the site from as far back as 1181. When Cromwell’s body was taken from Westminster Abbey by King Charles II and thrown into the Tynburn burial pit with the criminals, Cromwell’s daughters, Mary and Frances, apparently arranged for his body to be spirited away and hidden in the family crypt at St Nicholas. The daughters are said to haunt the churchyard where their graves lay, now unmarked. Walpole House in Chiswick Mall was once the home of the courtesan Barbara Palmer, first Duchess of Cleveland. Her threatening apparition appears on stormy nights apparently angry and bitter because the dropsy (swelling of the hands, legs, ankles and feet) ruined her looks. William Hogarth’s Grave at St Nicholas Chiswick



WHO’S WHO: PAST AND PRESENT English poet, Alexander Pope, lived near Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick in the 1760s. His blue plaque is on the Mawson Arms in Mawson Lane. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the great 19th century engineer, lived in a house in Cranford while working on the Hanwell railway viaduct.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens frequently visited his long time friend and solicitor, Thomas Mitten, who lived in Lampton Road, Hounslow. It’s perhaps why the borough features in several of his stories. Oliver Twist is taken by Bill Sykes through the borough to commit burglary in Surrey. A tailor from Brentford appears in Hard



Times, and Martin Chuzzlewit makes a stop at a coaching inn in Hounslow. The connections don’t stop there. Jack Wild, the child actor best known for playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver, the musical film of Oliver Twist, grew up in Hounslow. Vincent van Gogh, the genius Dutch painter, lived in Isleworth when he taught at a local boys’ boarding school. A blue plaque marks his home, which now sits opposite Isleworth Leisure Centre. Naturalist and broadcaster, David Attenborough was born in Isleworth. Actor Hugh Grant, who found fame in the hit romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral, lived in Chiswick and went to Hogarth Primary School. Colin Firth, who won the Oscar for best actor for The King’s Speech in 2011, lives in Chiswick. Oscar Winner, Colin Firth

INTRODUCING HOUNSLOW London Olympics, the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 European Championships, lived in Hounslow from the age of eight. He went to Feltham Community College where his talent was spotted by his sports teacher.

Athlete Mo Farah at the London Olympics 2012

Long-distance running star Mo Farah, who won gold medals at the 2012

Sebastian Coe, now Lord Coe, who won four Olympic gold medals for middle-distance running and helped orchestrate the 2012 Olympic Games, was born in Chiswick.

MUSICAL WHO’S WHO You wouldn’t believe the borough could lay claim to such an array of musical stars.

Freddie Mercury

Queen’s Freddie Mercury lived with his family at 22 Gladstone Avenue, Feltham, where today you can see a commemorative plaque. His band mate Brian May also lived in the area.

Pete Townsend and John Entwistle of The Who were born in Chiswick and met at secondary school. Ian Gillan of Deep Purple was also born in Chiswick, while lead singer and

drummer of Genesis, Phil Collins was born in Hounslow. Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello went to secondary school in the borough and singersongwriter, musician and producer Nick Lowe lived in Brentford. Channi Singh OBE, known as the ‘godfather’ of bhangra music, received his honour for his services to charity, the community of Hounslow and bhangra music. He was the first British Asian musician to be so recognised. Channi Singh


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The town of Hounslow has existed since the 13th century and lies in the middle of the borough where the roads from Bath and Staines meet. Its Anglo-Saxon name can be found in the Domesday Book. The town is perhaps the most multicultural part of the borough, with temples and mosques joining the area’s churches. Off Hanworth Road in Alice Way is the welcoming Sikh temple, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha. It opens its doors to all visitors but you must remove your shoes and cover your head to go inside, and if Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha you go into the prayer hall you must sit with your legs crossed not stretched out in front of you. Its community kitchen provides visitors with free vegetarian lunches. Just collect a tray and food is served at the service hatch.

Hounslow High Street as it once looked

The Laxmi Narayan Temple, at 60 Neville Close, is a modern-built temple with its open hall elaborately decorated with Hindu gods and goddesses. The temple trustees are on a mission to raise funds to complete the second phase of the building works, and the temple is open to all comers, serving free vegetarian lunches and laying on community activities and events.

Hounslow High Street as it is today


HOUNSLOW The Hounslow Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre, at 367 Wellington Road South, has its recognisable tall minaret and colourful lights that illuminate its dome at night. The mosque has a friendly, open-door policy offering ‘tea and tour’ open days that give non-Muslims a guided tour of the mosque, a chance to taste Halal food and view Islamic antiques, art and calligraphy works, and get an explanation of the role of the mosque within the community. In the centre of Hounslow High Street is the Holy Trinity Church. Rebuilt in 1963 after a fire totally destroyed the 1828 original, the church has two angular angels adorning its tower.

Holy Trinity Church, Hounslow High Street



Hounslow Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre

The Hounslow War Memorial, unveiled during the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 2014, stands near its entrance.

Hounslow War Memorial

HOUNSLOW Hounslow High Street and London Road have a string of Asian restaurants, small shops and stallholders selling lots of tasty street foods, saris and everyday bargains. And if you prefer to shop at department stores, the Treaty Centre is the large shopping centre near the middle of the High Street that is also home to Hounslow Library, the borough’s library headquarters.

Treaty Shopping Centre

BELL SQUARE This is the new permanent outdoor space where anyone and everyone can see some of the best outdoor performers in the world – for free.

summer months, performances are held there most Saturdays allowing people to shop in between enjoying a show. A variety of acts have performed there, from circus acts and street theatre to dancers and acrobats. Go online to: for details of performances. Throughout the rest of the year the square is also used as an open space for religious and non-religious festivals and celebrations. On non-event days, it is home to a weekly street market that stretches part-way down the High Street and is open Tuesdays to Sundays.

One of the acrobatic acts performing at Bell Square

Situated at the western end of the High Street, the large square has seating and standing spaces. Throughout the

You can get to Bell Square from Hounslow East and Hounslow Central Tube stations. Plenty of buses stop there too, and parking is available at the Treaty Centre and the Blenheim Centre.



HOUNSLOW HEATH To the west of the town is Hounslow Heath, once a seven-mile stretch (4,000 acres) of grassland and a favourite spot of highwaymen. They robbed the stage coaches of the wealthy travelling to the West Country and of courtiers on their way to Windsor. For more than 200 years during the 17th and 18th centuries the heath was considered the most dangerous place in Britain. Because they usually picked on the rich, the highwaymen became popular heroes. Only the victims grieved when, for example, the dukes of

Hounslow Heath


Dick Turpin stayed at many of the inns in Hounslow

Š National Trust Images/James Dobson. Registered Charity Number 205846.

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HOUNSLOW Northumberland and St Albans were ambushed at the end of the 1600s. It is believed to be a sometime haunt of the infamous Dick Turpin in the 1730s, who has been credited with staying at most of the old pubs in the Hounslow area. Some highwaymen gained a reputation for gallantry. Frenchman Claude Duval, danced with a beautiful victim only releasing her rich husband when paid ÂŁ100 ransom. When caught and hanged the bodies of these highwaymen were often



brought back to the scene of their crimes. Over time so many hanging gallows sprinkled the heath that they were considered landmarks and recorded on 18th century maps. The remaining stretches of the heath that exists today is a designated nature reserve with its heathland and grasslands protected. The different species spotted there include sparrowhawks, kestrels, tufted duck chicks, grass snakes, weasels and azure damselflies.



The River Brent at Brentford

Brentford and Isleworth sit on the north bank of the River Thames across from Kew Gardens, and for those who want culture and history slightly off the beaten track, it is well worth a visit. The area is steeped in Tudor and Jacobean history, with Syon House and Boston Manor House both located there surrounded by their own expanse of parkland. There is also the Grand Union Canal, Brentford Lock,

two local museums and a very popular arts centre. Brentford grew up as a market town where the River Brent meets the Thames. A Roman road originally forded the river at Brentford Bridge. Isleworth, a small Anglo-Saxon village, has the Duke of Northumberland River flowing through it and overlooks the teardrop-shaped islet of Isleworth Ait, a sanctuary for plants and wildlife.


BRENTFORD & ISLEWORTH Isleworth envelops Syon, once the site of a very wealthy abbey destroyed during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. Syon House was built on its ruins. After coming into the hands of the Percys, the dukes of Northumberland, Syon House has been the family’s London home for more than 400 years. The house’s magnificent castle-like structure largely depicts its Georgian past with grand Robert Adam interiors and an exterior resurfaced in Bath stone. The house contains several van Dyck’s and an array of other great works of art and antiques collected by the family over the centuries. The domed Great Conservatory is thought to have been the inspiration for Crystal Palace, and you can wonder around the gardens designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. The beauty and splendor of the house and gardens have been the location for many films, and it is a popular venue for weddings and special events.

situated (see also p48). The grounds are home to the Syon Park Garden Centre, which boasts one of the largest collections of English roses, the London Hilton Syon Park Hotel, and Snakes and Ladders, a children’s indoor adventure playground. On a smaller scale is Brentford’s Boston Manor House, a fine Jacobean manor house built in 1623. Set back from Boston Manor Road, the three-storey building is situated in parkland containing a lake and ancient cedar trees. The 17th century state rooms, with their magnificent plastered ceilings on the first floor and the dining room on the ground floor, can be enjoyed at weekends, April to September, for free.

Syon Park is the 200-acre oasis of countryside in which the house is Boston Manor House

Syon House




The London Museum of Steam and Water, in Kew Bridge Road, is based in a Victorian water pumping station. It’s easily recognisable by its tall brick tower still just about visible in Brentford’s increasingly crowded skyline. See how Londoners got their drinking water and where used water disappears to with a trip to the sewers. The museum boasts a triple expansion steam engine, several Cornish beam engines and the waterworks railway, which runs every weekend from Easter to the New Year. You can’t help but be impressed by the elegance and power of these working machines, whether you think of yourself as a fan or not. The museum is open all year round, seven days a week, 11am until 4pm.



Nearby, The Musical Museum, in Brentford High Street close to Kew Bridge, is a little independent museum telling the story of how people listened to music before the days of microphones and electronics. It houses tiny clockwork musical boxes, orchestrions – machines that play music to sound like an orchestra – and the ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ an Art Deco electric organ played in cinemas during the silent era of film. It’s highly recommended you take the tour to soak up the passion for the subject from the volunteers and visit the museum’s cinema to see the Wurlitzer in action. Open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holiday Mondays, 11am until 5pm, last entry 4pm. The Watermans Arts Centre, 40 High Street, Brentford, is the local hub for the arts. Its popular, though



The Mighty Wurlitzer at the Musical Museum

small, cinema shows both mainstream and “art house” films. Book to make sure you get a seat. It has a theatre, an exhibition space and drop-in classes and activities for children and families. From its riverside terrace and the indoor tables of its café, bar and tandoori restaurant, you can overlook the Thames and enjoy stunning views across to Kew Gardens and Brentford Dock. Open from 10am, you can relax on the comfy sofas and take advantage of the centre’s WiFi whether you’ve come to see a show or not. Recently revamped, the Brentford Sunday Market is a great source of high-quality, locally sourced foods (see p57). Based in the square in front of the magistrates’ court, it’s a lovely spot to sit, snack on a pastry and load up your bags with delicious delicatessen nibbles. Open 10am until 2pm.

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THE GOLDEN MILE This small section of the Great West Road (or A4), north of Brentford town centre, was so called because of the high concentration of companies that based their factories there in the 1920s and 1930s. Syon Lane Railway Station was built especially for the workers at these factories. Though most of the original companies – Firestone Tire Company, Gillette,

Pictured: Two of the Art Deco buildings on the Golden Mile HOUNSLOW 26

Pyrene, Macleans (known for its toothpaste), Smith’s Potato Crisps – are now long gone, replaced by more modern businesses such as GlaxoSmithKline, many of their striking Art Deco buildings remain. In particular, the Gillette factory, the Curry’s factory, now occupied by JCDecaux and Coty Cosmetics, now the home of the Syon Clinic.

OSTERLEY Osterley is an affluent district north of the A4 (the Great West Road) built on land that once belonged to the Osterley Park and House estate. Its name means sheepfold clearing, an area of woodland where sheep were penned. Built in the late Victorian and early 20th century era, Osterley expanded rapidly during the 1930s, after the completion of the Great West Road. Many homes sprung up to form ribbon-like residential areas, which were served by Osterley’s Piccadilly


Line Tube station opened in 1934. Naturally, the area is most famed for its park and mansion. The original building on the site was an Elizabethan manor house built in 1570 for the banker Thomas Gresham. Elizabeth I is known to have visited. Gresham was so wealthy he also bought the neighbouring manor of Boston. Two hundred years later and fallen into disrepair, Osterley House was bought by another banker Francis Child as a country retreat and he employed rising star, architect Robert Adam.

Osterley House


OSTERLEY Adam’s red-brick mansion has white stone detailing and turrets in the four corners of the building. His neoclassical interiors are among his most notable works, with rooms characterised by rich varied colour schemes. The entrance, with its large semi-circular alcoves at each end, is one of the house’s highlights, as is the Etruscan dressing room and the opulent domed state bed also designed by Adam. The expansive park is one of the largest open spaces in west London. Its ponds and streams were designed to form three long lakes that lend wonderful vistas of the house and the area’s serene landscape is considered perfect for a relaxing stroll. Today

State bed at Osterley House



Inside Osterley House

both park and house are managed by the National Trust, whose café and shop are housed in the surviving Elizabethan stables.

CHISWICK Once a riverside village, Chiswick is now a densely populated, though upmarket, suburb with lots to recommend it. First recorded in the 11th century, Chiswick means dairy farm or cheese. The bustling Chiswick High Road is crammed with modern and vintage furniture shops, and gift and home accessory stores that cater to the chic and fashionable – with prices to match! But there are also popular chain stores for those with lighter purses. Many of its cafés and restaurants have pavement seating that gives the district a distinctive


cosmopolitan feel. Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road, just a stone’s throw away, are also great shopping streets filled with quaint boutiques, delicatessens and cafés. One of the area’s jewels has to be Chiswick House and Gardens, a glorious example of 18th century architecture in grounds considered the birthplace of the English landscape movement. It was built in 1729 as a Roman-style Palladian villa by the third Earl of Burlington. Inspiration for the design was drawn from ancient Rome and the Italy the Earl saw on his grand tours.

Chiswick House and Gardens


CHISWICK The house has always been a showcase for great works of art and a venue for grand parties. Inside, get a feel for the luxury of the times in the Blue Velvet Room with its opulent blue and gold ceiling depicting the goddess of architecture, or from the gallery’s splendid apses, half-moon features copied from the Temple of Venus and Roma. There’s a whole list of interesting and beautiful sculptures, paintings and furniture on show, including the eight paintings of the garden by Dutch artist Pieter Andreas Rysbrack, a statue of England’s first significant architect Inigo Jones and the Chiswick tables, carved gilded figures supporting ornate marbled tops. The house has a long and complex history. It was a country retreat to successive members of the Burlington family, including Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, an ancestor of Princess Diana. She welcomed dozens of important guests to the house over the years, from the German composer George Fridreric Handel to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. However, despite such an eminent past, by 1892 the house was used as a mental institution before being passed to the Ministry of Works in the 1950s for some much-needed restoration.



Hogarth House, once the quiet country retreat of the famous English painter and engraver William Hogarth, now has the noisy A4 right alongside it. Built in the 1700s, in the corner of an orchard, Hogarth bought the house as a weekend and summer home to escape the noise of his London house in what is now Leicester Square. You enter this grade I listed house via a pleasant walled garden and as you step through the gates you see an ancient mulberry tree. It’s said the Hogarths made mulberry pies from the fruit of the tree that they then fed to the abandoned children who stayed with them.

A self-portrait by William Hogarth


Inside Hogarth House

One of Hogarth’s extensions to the house was the very characteristic bay window you see as you walk down the garden path. The house’s most recent restoration was done to reflect the colours used in the 18th century and the rooms laid out with the type of furniture in circulation at the time. A few of Hogarth’s possessions, such as his snuff box and his prayer book, are mixed in amongst them. Hogarth and his wife lived in the house for 15 years and he had a painting room at the bottom of the garden which he used until just days before he died. Many of his most famous works are on display, including his cartoon series A Rake’s Progress, A Harlot’s Progress and Marriage à la Mode. Hogarth House is free to visitors.

Hogarth House



St Nicholas Chiswick

When he died, Hogarth was buried in the graveyard of St Nicholas Chiswick, in nearby Church Street. His tomb is inscribed with an epitaph poem by his friend the actor David Garrick. Other people buried there include William Kent, the eminent English architect and landscaper, James Whistler, another famous painter best known for his portrait, Whistler’s Mother, but also Richard Wright, the bricklayer to Lord Burlington who built Chiswick House. Inside St Nicholas Chiswick



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CHISWICK Much of the current church was rebuilt in 1882 with money donated by Henry Smith of the Fuller, Smith and Turner Brewery. The brewers began their partnership in Chiswick in 1845 but beer has been brewed at the Fuller’s Griffin Brewery site, in Chiswick Lane South, since the days of Oliver Cromwell. Its most famous beer is arguably London Pride. You can take a tour to see how Fuller’s makes its beers, soak up a bit of history and sup a few samples at the finish. There are up to 20 tours a week, each lasting around an hour and a half but you have to book in advance. Tours cost £10 and must be booked online. For a taste of how life was and is still lived in Chiswick walk down Chiswick Mall, part of the old village and famed for its 200- and 300-year old mansions. Or swing northwards to Bedford Park at the very edge of the borough, The iron gates at Fuller’s brewery


The brewing team at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery, 1908

a suburban development, now a conservation area, described as the world’s first garden suburb. If you fancy some fresh air, check out the award-winning Dukes Meadows, a riverside park in southern Chiswick with a water play area and an adventure playground. Another award-winner, Turnham Green, on Chiswick High Road, often has community events including a travelling funfair and charity table-top sales. And, the Strand on the Green has a very picturesque riverside walk, popular with those visiting its well-known pubs (see p62-p65).


GUNNERSBURY PARK Just to the northwest of Chiswick and the M4 is Gunnersbury Park, a huge estate containing a large mansion, a small mansion, an 18th century temple, the Potomac fishing lake with its boathouse folly, an orangery and, not forgetting, a castle-styled Gothic bathhouse. The estate is managed jointly by the London boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing. The large mansion is a grade II listed Regency house once the home of the Rothschilds. Since 1929 it has been the home to the Gunnersbury Park Museum, a showcase for local history and archaeology, costume and fine art. Some of the Rothschilds’ possessions are still there, including a few of their horse-drawn carriages.

The Museum has grand reception rooms and a servants’ wing with its original Victorian kitchens, and is also home to the local South Asian archive. However, while the extensive grounds remain open to the public, the museum is closed until summer 2017 for major restoration and refurbishment works. In recognition of the diversity of Hounslow and Ealing, since 2003, the park has been the site of the London Mela, which takes place every August. This is a major celebration of South Asian culture with live music, dance, fashion and market stalls (see p52-55). The Victorian kitchen at Gunnersbury Park

Gunnersbury Park Museum undergoing £21m of restoration works




St Dunstan’s Church, Cranford

Cranford was once known as “the prettiest village in Middlesex”. It stands for heron or crane. Before the Norman Conquest, it was completely surrounded by Hounslow Heath. Today it is bounded by Heathrow Airport and the River Crane to the west and the M4 motorway to the north.


New Heston Road in 1907


CRANFORD & HESTON Cranford Park and its mansion was one of the area’s largest One of only two surviving properties. ‘lock ups’ in London The house was demolished in 1945 but historical features such as the 18th century stables, cellars and river bridge remain within this beautiful green space. It’s now a public park jointly owned by the London boroughs of Hounslow and Hillingdon. The parish is notable for the beautiful St Dunstan’s Church, which dates from the 15th century. Its tower and the nave survived a fire in 1710. The oldest bell in the church, cast in 1338, is believed to have been rung on every occasion of national importance since being first chimed. The village which clustered around St Dunstan’s still has some distinguished houses, including the listed 17th century Stansfield House.

housing developments. Today it is a large residential suburb. The village church of St Leonard’s, dates from the 14th century though there are records of a priest in Heston from the 7th century. Today, the church’s white stone tower and the lych gate survive. Private John White, who died in 1846 at Hounslow Barracks after being lashed 150 times, is buried in the churchyard. The national outcry that followed his death caused a reduction in the maximum number of lashes allowed, before the practise was eventually outlawed altogether. On the borders of Heston and Cranford, remnants of Heston Airport can still be found (see p5-p8) and one of the area’s most well-known landmarks is the Heston War Memorial that commemorates local residents killed during the two world wars.

The area also has one of only two surviving ‘cages’ or ‘lock ups’ in Greater London, built in 1838 to hold drunks and vagrants overnight. For centuries Heston, once a Saxon settlement, was a small agricultural village. When the Great West Road was completed, the farming and market garden lands around the village were snapped up for industry and

St Leonards Church, Heston


Fresh adventures on your doorstep Bring the family to Brentford’s bustling Sunday market for tasty street food and space to relax. Find more great local spaces the Mayor’s improving at #LDNgreatoutdoors


These three neighbourhoods make up the west of the borough. It is one of the greenest areas in Greater London boasting three rivers, part of the vast Hounslow Heath, the Bedfont Lakes Country Park, and one of London’s first airfields, Hanworth Park.

Bedfont Lakes Country Park


Bedfont, also informally known as north Feltham, is served by both Feltham Railway Station and Hatton Cross Tube station on the Piccadilly Line. As well as the vast country park that was created from converted gravel pits, to which it gives its name, the area lays claim to some of the oldest buildings in the borough.


BEDFONT, FELTHAM & HANWORTH The medieval St Mary the Virgin Church, on the edge of the village green, is the borough’s oldest surviving church. It has a Norman chancel (the part of the church near the altar reserved for the clergy and the choir), a chancel arch and doorway, wall paintings from 1250, and wonderfully dominant topiary made from yew trees of more than 300 years of age. Today they are considered the largest sculpted examples in London. St Mary’s Church, Bedfont

The grade II listed Pates Manor, which stands behind the church, is the oldest house in the borough with one wing dating from 1496. And, Fawns Manor, on the south side of the Green has been converted into flats and dates from the 16th century. Two man-made rivers flow past Bedfont. The Duke of Northumberland’s River, which provided power to run the gunpowder mills at Baber Bridge, and Longford River, excavated 400



years ago to feed the fountains and ornamental ponds of Bushy Park and Hampton Court Park. Feltham, like many areas in the borough, was built on market gardening until well into the 20th century. It was it’s main economy. From the 1930s onwards, the gardens were replaced with light industry, gravel extraction and new housing. The village green and pond continue to provide a focal point for the ever changing Feltham High Street. In 1784 General William Roy set out the baseline of what would become the Ordnance Survey across Hounslow Heath, passing through Feltham. Today, he is commemorated by a local pub of the same name (see p62-p65). The Ministry of Defence’s Defence Geographic Centre still has a base here, producing detailed maps used by the armed forces.

Feltham Pond

World Rugby Muse um & S t a dium Tours


the HOME of


t 020 8892 8877 e w /museum 10% discount for groups of 15+

The shopping centre, known simply as The Centre, was built in 2006. As well as more than 60 retail outlets, restaurants and cafés, The Centre houses a hotel, 800 homes, Feltham Library, a medical centre and a Piazza used for performances and community events. It’s also home to Feltham Arts, a community project providing a range of children’s activities and events. In Air Park Way a few minutes’ walk from Feltham Railway Station is the Leisure West entertainment complex, a retail park with more shops and restaurants, a 10-pin bowling alley and Cineworld, the local multiplex cinema. Longford River continues its journey through Feltham and into Hanworth to the south. In Tudor times, Henry VIII enjoyed hunting in Hanworth Park, which was at the time heathland surrounding the tiny village. He gave the manor to Anne Boleyn for life, but after her execution and the King’s own death, Hanworth became the property of his sixth wife, Katherine Parr. During the Second World War the park was used as a grass airfield, Hanworth Aerodrome, and for building aircraft. Today its lowland dry grassland is an important biodiversity habitat. It is also well used by local residents for sport and recreation. The greenery and rich body of nature conservation continues just to the east of the neighbourhood with the River Crane and the Crane Park Nature Reserve (see p48-p49).


The propeller is symbolic of the area’s ties to aircraft manufacture

Visit Hounslow

A truly diVerse destinAtion Visit, stAy, meet, sHop, eAt And drink Visit historic buildings and beautiful open spaces Explore the cultural diversity, festivals, temples and churches Wide range of interesting meeting and event venues Easy access to central London and London Heathrow Airport



With Heathrow practically on the doorstep, lots of hotels and B&Bs have set up in Hounslow, so it’s not surprising it’s often the first stop for business people and holiday-makers. The huge variety means you’re bound to find something in your price range. All the major hotel chains are here, including Premier Inn, Travelodge, Ibis Budget and Best Western, with a string of hotels clustered around central Hounslow for the convenience of its many buses and Hounslow Central Tube station. Easy to find and 50 metres from Hounslow Central Tube station is the four-star family-run Crompton Guest House. Based in a tall Victorian town house, at 49 Lampton Road, this comfortable and cosy B&B has rooms with free internet access, private bathrooms, hairdryers, kettles, TVs and DVD players. Reception is open

The Kings Arms Bar and Hotel

24 hours and guests can get private parking for up to 15 days. Just across the road is Days Inn, a three-star hotel at 8-10 Lampton Road, offering free Wi-Fi, room service, a restaurant and late-night lounge. It is accessible for disabled people and offers some parking for a fee. The Kings Arms Bar and Hotel at 19 Boston Manor Road, Brentford, was a coaching inn from the 1840s. The building was extended in 1920, and today is both a hotel with seven en-suite rooms and a traditional pub serving three regular beers, including Fuller’s London Pride. Still in Brentford, the Holiday Inn Brentford Lock overlooks the picturesque waterways of the Grand Union Canal. Built in the shape of a



ACCOMMODATION boat, it has opened up its lobby so you can hold a meeting if you need to with access to free Wi-Fi, or wind down with a drink and a game of table football. For out-and-out luxury there is Hilton London Syon Park in Isleworth where you can get a swanky service in the best traditions of an English country house estate. At 626 Chiswick High Road, the Chiswick Moran Hotel is a four-star hotel offering luxury accommodation. Set in a modern glass-fronted building it is just a three-minute walk from Gunnersbury Tube and train stations. High Road House, at 162-170 Chiswick High Road, is a Georgian town house with 14 light and bright rooms with stylish, sophisticated

Chiswick Moran Hotel

Holiday Inn Brentford Lock

interiors. It boasts a club room with comfy sofas, a club bar serving cocktails into the night and even an art collection displaying works by emerging British artists. The Wellness House is two minutes walk from Turnham Green Tube station at 75 Thornton Avenue. This family-run, four-star B&B in a beautiful suburban home offers three compact rooms, simply furnished with their own bathrooms. As its name implies your stay here is meant to be calming and stress free. There’s a cosy lounge with TV, Wi-Fi and access to a garden terrace. Complimentary vegetarian or vegan breakfasts are served in the home-style Wellness House kitchen-diner.



EXPLORE… Altogether Hounslow’s parks and open spaces represent the highest percentage of green space, in relation to the borough’s size, of any London borough. Several of its parks have been rated among the best in the country and given prestigious Green Flag status. This national award recognises and rewards quality and is a sign that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities. Gunnersbury Park, in the north of the borough, is recognised as one of the most important parks in the country, containing some of the top 10 per cent

Gunnersbury Park



of historic buildings in England. It has playing fields, wooded areas, spaces for cycling and quiet walks, children’s play areas and a café. Syon Park borders the River Thames, in the south, and has a tidal meadow that high tide floods twice a day. The park has around 200 rare trees and hosts many sporting events throughout the year, including cycle fun rides, paddle boarding and fun runs. Towards the centre of the borough is Hounslow Heath, which is recognised for its conservation excellence. It supports one of the best heathland insect populations in London with


Crane Park

many rare spiders, bees, wasps and beetles. It’s a great place for enjoying the feel of the countryside in the middle of the city.

Just east of Hanworth is the Crane Park Nature Reserve, a nature conservation area once the site of Hounslow gunpowder mills. Straddling the boroughs of Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames, the reserve is a mosaic of woodland, scrub and reed beds. The park takes the name of the River Crane, which flows through it, with riverbanks home to thriving colonies of woodpeckers, kingfishers, marsh frogs and the rare water vole. The borough has many more parks and open spaces. Search for more details.

In the west is another multi awardwinning park, Bedfont Lakes County Park, a designated nature reserve. It hosts Walks for Health and community events, and every week free, timed 5km park runs. In 2015 a new children’s playground opened on the north side of the park. Hanworth Park is another local nature conservation site measuring 165 acres. It’s great for long walks, jogging, cycling, playing football and rugby. The Longford River flows through part of the site.

Lampton Park


WATCH… Hounslow is very proud of its sporting links. Home to Brentford Football Club, the site of the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race finish line, and awarded Proud Host status for Rugby World Cup 2015, there’s little doubt the borough is a good location for sports fans.

Brentford FC grounds at Griffin Park

Brentford Football Club, nicknamed the Bees, began in Hounslow in 1889 and is often the first stop for football tourists landing at Heathrow. Griffin Park, which still has standing only terraces, has been its home for more than a century but the club is set to move to a new 20,000 seater stadium on Lionel Road South, beside Kew Bridge Railway Station, in the next few years. Situated just a stone’s throw from Twickenham Stadium on the borough boundary, it’s not surprising that Hounslow plays host to thousands of rugby fans whenever there’s a big match on. With accommodation, pubs



and restaurants at more reasonable prices than other neighbourhoods, and no greater distance to travel, it makes perfect sense for sports fans on a budget. In recognition, Hounslow’s Proud Host status provides the borough with official Rugby World Cup 2015 association. Rugby at Twickenham


…AND PLAY The borough has around 160 sports clubs which welcome men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds to watch or play. Hounslow’s most successful sports clubs include football, rugby, netball and gymnastics which compete at regional and national levels. Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre, at 658 Chiswick High Road, hosts

several national competitions in volleyball, basketball and netball and, along with the borough’s five other leisure centres, provides swimming pools with flumes, health suites, fitness studios and fantastic soft play areas – all activities to enjoy on a rainy day. For more information on sports clubs and leisure centres, visit:

Oxford at the end of the Boat Race, Chiswick

The world renowned, annual rowing contest between Oxford and Cambridge universities is a huge draw, whether you’re into rowing or just looking for a free perch from which to see the action. In 2014, for the first time, the women’s eight competed

on the same course on the same day as the men’s. So now there’s double the fun to be had. Each race starts in Putney and ends at Chiswick Bridge, next to Dukes Meadows, arguably the best place to be when the contests reach their peak.




Camellias at Chiswick House

The Chiswick House Gardens Camellia Festival is believed to be the oldest collection of camellias under glass in the western world. Housed in the conservatory, the display is at its best during February and March and includes both rare and historically important camellias, all of the Japonica variety, in pink, red, white and striped. Throughout the year, Chiswick House Gardens plays host to open-air operas, open-air cinema screenings, the Chiswick House Dog Show, a pumpkin party to celebrate Halloween and pop-up sculpture exhibitions in its grounds.



Every April, thousands of local people parade through the streets of Hounslow for Vaisakhi, considered a highlight of the Sikh calendar. It’s a spectacle of sound and colour. The procession often attracts more than 7,000 people who make their way from the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Alice Way (see p15) to Gurdwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha at 142 Martindale Road. The sounds of their beating nagara drums can be heard reverberating as they go. The festival celebrates the founding of the Sikh community and also marks the arrival of spring.

FESTIVALS & ENTERTAINMENT The Vaisakhi Mela held in Lampton Park, Hounslow, also in April, is a celebration of Punjabi culture that aims to strengthen community cohesion. With live entertainment, comedy, bhangra music, a funfair, trade stalls and lots and lots of food, this largely dry and non-smoking event is a great day out for the family. Beside Christ Church on Turnham Green, there’s often a traditional fun fair and special performances during spring and summer to be found, known as friendly and relaxed affairs. Bedford Park Festival is an annual event held in June on the very edge of the borough in Acton Green Common, opposite Turnham Green Tube station. There is a bandstand featuring live music, craft exhibits, children’s fancy dress competitions and junior five-aside football tournament, a cycle zone teaching people how to ride bikes safely, a cake competition, one for jam and chutneys, and lots more. Also in June is one the newest festivals in the borough, EatChiswick An opera performance at Brentford Lock

celebrating all kinds of foods and drinks available locally. There’s walking tours of the local pubs and bars, tours for coffee and sweet foods, a street food market in the High Road and special cut price mealtime deals available. The day-long London Mela held in Gunnersbury Park in August is Europe’s largest outdoor South Asian festival. Some 70,000 people go for the live music, theatre, dance and visual arts and for the wonderfully tasty food. The event, which features home-grown talent as well as artists and musicians from abroad, is hosted by the London boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing, and supported by the Mayor of London. Shop owners in Chiswick’s Devonshire Road hold a street party in September, to raise money for charity and give something back to the community. Last year saw lots of live music, cookery demonstrations, a dog agility course, face-painting and a design a T-shirt competition. In the past 10 years the Brentford Festival has grown into a major community event with over 10,000 visitors. Held on the first Sunday in September in Blondin Park, this is a free community event of live performances, a dog show, fairground attractions, food stalls and a real ale bar for real ale enthusiasts.


THINGS TO SEE AND DO September also sees the Chiswick Book Festival, five days of authors and readers brought together in celebration of books. Past speakers have included Michael Palin, Jacqueline Wilson, Antonia Fraser and Kate Mosse. In the past six years it has raised over £30,000 for three readingrelated charities and St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, which hosts and underwrites the festival. Other festival events take place at Chiswick House, Chiswick Library, the Tabard Theatre and the Arts Educational Schools. The holy Hindu festival of Diwali is a five-day celebration in October and November, known as the festival of lights. It is marked in Hindu homes Winter Lights performance in Bell Square


by earthenware lamps lit up in rows all over the house. Many households set off fireworks, which can be heard across the borough for days. The festival, which is also celebrated by the Sikh and Jain communities, represents a victory of light over darkness and is particularly associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Every October or November there is the switching on of Hounslow High Street’s festive lights signalling the build-up to the Christmas holiday. The occasion is often celebrated with performances and last year’s Winter Lights event at Bell Square saw a fusion of cultures that included Christmas lights and lanterns, bhangra music and Punjabi dancing.

FESTIVALS & ENTERTAINMENT A trail of trees in Syon Park are lit up with different coloured lights to create the Enchanted Woodland in November and December. As the days get darker much earlier, it is a truly magical experience for children and Summer entertainment on Turnham Green families to walk the trail and get into the and a cinema that shows the latest spirit of Christmas. Make your way to movies, independent releases, and the northeast corner of the car park theatre and operatic productions and just look out for the lights. broadcast live from the National Theatre and Glyndebourne. For entertainment throughout the year there is the Tabard Theatre, If films are your thing, a much bigger based above the 19th century Tabard cinema venue is Cineworld in Feltham pub by Turnham Green Tube station. Leisure Park, a short walk from This 96-seat venue, founded by a Feltham Railway Station. It has 14 group of writers, is known for staging cinema screens where you can watch new works. It acts as a receiving the latest blockbusters as well as films house, accepting works from around from Bollywood. the world, hosts a variety of live entertainment, a mix of its own and Watermans Arts Centre co-productions, and is also a comedy venue where comedians such as Al Murray, Chris Addison and Dara O’Briain have performed. Watermans Arts Centre, in Brentford High Street, is a high-profile arts centre on the banks of the River Thames (see p26). It has a children’s theatre, two purpose-built galleries


Hounslow High Street Market

Tuesday – Saturday every week Hot food, fruit & veg, clothes and general goods.

Plus, visit the new look Hounslow High Street…


Hounslow Council has spent the last few years renovating and promoting its great street markets. New paving, lighting, seating and trees in Hounslow High Street has rejuvenated the look and feel of Hounslow Market. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays at the western end of the High Street, the market sells hot and cold foods, fruit and veg, clothing, accessories and more. A similar overhaul has been given to Brentford Market, in the Market Place in the High Street, with the help of the Mayor of London. The site has been spruced up with new wooden seating


and an artistically designed fountain. You can shop leisurely for artisan breads, cheeses, fruit and veg, rare meats and fresh fish while snacking on homemade pies and pastries. The market is open every Sunday from 10am until 2pm. If you’re in the east of the borough, pick up all your delicatessen needs at Chiswick Food Market, open Sundays 10am until 2pm at The Pavilion, Market Drive, next to Dukes Meadows. Twenty-five top producers from around the country come to the market to sell their goods.

Top left to right: Olives and cheese at Brentford Market, Artisan bread at Chiswick Market Bottom: View of Brentford Market



Western International Market, Hayes Road

The Western International Market, in Hayes Road on the border with Southall, is a huge market of wholesalers selling direct to the public. Always busy, it has exotic fruit and veg, flowers, plants and more on offer. The market is open Sundays, 7am until 3pm. In Jersey Road, Osterley, is Osterley Park Farm Shop selling home grown fresh produce at really good prices. For flowers, plants and garden furniture visit the Syon Park Garden Centre. The first garden centre of its kind, it’s another reason to make a trip to this fabulous park. If you’re looking for something for the home, there is plenty to whet your appetite. At 192 Brentford High Street is Naked Grain, a shop offering French rustic furniture, wall art, lighting, mirrors, and all manner of shabby chic home accessories.



The Old Cinema at 160 High Road, Chiswick, is like Doctor Who’s Tardis with rooms stuffed full of antique, vintage and retro furniture: armchairs, cocktail cabinets, clocks and jewellery. And Decorexi, at number 58, specialises in hand-crafted upholstered, mirrored and boutique furniture, with a good amount of accessories and some quirky stag, horse and hound-themed items. Ever fancied a chandelier made out of stags antlers? If you love the theatrics of an auction, then try Chiswick Auctions at 1 Colville Road. Every Tuesday it has sales of furniture, fine art, antiques and collectibles and is praised for being less snooty than some auction houses.

SHOPPING 2 Turnham Green Terrace, you will find a great range of paints, pastels, canvases and brushes. For something special Marmalade Jewellery, at number 23, has an unassuming frontage but inside is a stunning array of engagement, wedding and eternity rings.

Frivoli Gallery

At 14 Devonshire Road, is Wild Swans selling Scandinavian fashion for women. It covers everything from casual to party wear, jeans, boots and jewellery. With its funky, romantic and feminine designs, there is a cool sleekness to what can be found here. While at number 7a is Frivoli Gallery, a contemporary art and craft gallery that showcases the work of many known artists. Paintings, ceramics, glassware and more are on show with idiosyncratic pieces that can make unique gifts. If you’re looking to exercise your own creative side then take a look in Turnham Arts & Crafts, selling high quality art materials. Based at

Sumptuous, dairy free, artisan chocolates can be found at Bianca Marton Chocolates at 9 London Road, Brentford. The shop sells 20 different chocolate truffles, sea-salted caramels and homemade cakes all made on the premises in the shop’s basement kitchen. And for a real bargain try Chiswick Car Boot Fair. Open the first Sunday of every month (except January) in the grounds of Chiswick School, in Burlington Lane, this fair is a wellestablished and popular institution. The vintage sellers, offering all sorts of vintage, industrial chic and antique items, are stationed mainly on the playing fields, with the more traditional car boot wares around the back of the school. It’s £1 to enter and selling starts from 7am. Arrive early to get a parking spot in the surrounding streets.

To help you shop more leisurely look out for those streets where you can Stop and Shop, a council scheme that gives you 30 minutes free parking on meters Visit: for more information.




Food is a big deal in Hounslow. There’s plenty of choice courtesy of the borough’s many varied immigrant populations. Indian and Sri Lankan foods are perhaps the most noted but those who prefer a British, Italian or Spanish menu can find lots here, too. Aside from the cafés, bistros and restaurants, do try the street foods in Hounslow, Brentford and Chiswick markets. There’s enough to suit every palate. Bansuri, at 368 Staines Road, Hounslow, specialises in south Indian cuisine, with plenty of options for vegetarians, alongside the classic curry favourites. Its décor is bright and airy, if a little cosy, and its customers rave about the good food, friendly service and warm atmosphere.

Pappadums, at 1 Ferry Quays, in Ferry Lane, Brentford, offers a contemporary Indian dining experience with lots of choices for vegetarians and a great view of the Thames. You can also sit outside in good weather. Traditional home-cooked Italian food is served at La Rossetta, at 201 Brentford High Street. The fish dishes are said to be particularly good. Many of its customers have been eating there for years, returning for the friendly customer service as well as the yummy food. The Osterley House Stables Café, situated in the old Tudor stable blocks with its feeding troughs and cobblestones, serves fresh seasonal foods, home-made cakes and cream teas. It has high chairs and colouring books for the kids, hot water for babies’ bottles, and provides gluten free and vegetarian menu options and decaf tea and coffee.

La Rossetta, Brentford


At Mantra, 253 Bath Road, you can expect an inventive Indian cuisine in three dynamic spaces. Its glass house, perhaps the most dramatic, is covered in glass and mirrors. It has a lounge bar serving cocktails and mocktails, and a spacious crystal room for private dining.


The Café at Chiswick House serves good modern British cooking, soups and sandwiches. Seating 80 indoors and 60 outside, this contemporary space has a fabulous view of the gardens and the house.

Inside Fouberts

The award-winning La Trompette provides excellent modern European cuisine served by friendly staff. It is fine dining without the stuffiness or prices of central London restaurants. Completely refurbished in 2013, it’s now bigger and offers the option of private dining, too. Another Michelinstarred restaurant Hedone, at 301-303 Chiswick High Road is recognised as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Its modern European menu stands out for using the best ingredients coupled with intelligent cooking.

try Franco Manca. A branch of this sourdough pizza outlet is at 144 Chiswick High Road. Or if you fancy something Spanish, next door at number 142 is La Mancha offering some of the best tapas around. After all that, if you still have room for dessert, a couple of dozen flavours of Italian ice cream are served at Fouberts at 2 Turnham Green Terrace.

If you’re looking for something a little cheaper but still satisfyingly tasty,



…AND HAVE FUN If you’re looking for a place to have a drink, eat good food, be entertained, or to simply watch the match, then there are some great pubs in the borough that fit the bill.

The London Apprentice, Isleworth

In the west is The General Roy, 7 Poplar Way, Feltham. Named after the man who set the original Ordnance Survey baseline (see p41-p44), the pub is known for its sizzling skillets and reasonable prices. It’s family-friendly, too, and has outdoor seating. For a more traditional pub The Beehive, at 333 Staines Road, Bedfont, has a choice of lagers and real ales and serves Thai food in its restaurant annex. The Royal Oak, at 128 Worton Road, Isleworth, is just 10 minutes’ walk from Twickenham Stadium. It has a log fire



for cold evenings and outdoor seating near the Duke of Northumberland River when it’s warm. Well known as a rugby pub, it offers special services on match days such as an outside bar with barbeque, and dining for groups of up to 60. If you don’t have a ticket for the match you can always watch the action on the big screen TV. The Royal Oak, Isleworth

THINGS TO SEE AND DO The Hare and Hound in Wyke Green, Osterley, is surrounded for the most part by green fields giving it the feel of a country pub. You can eat outside in good weather and it has a play area to keep the children entertained. On the banks of the Thames and a stone’s throw from Syon Park is The London Apprentice at 62 Church Street, Isleworth. It’s a great location to go for a drink and take in the wonderful scenery of the Thames as the ducks and swans float by. At 22 Market Place, Brentford, is The Weir Bar, the place where landscape painter Turner lived as a child. Situated beside the River Brent, this gastropub has a heated riverside garden and offers tables for both the casual drinker and the formal diner. Its menu boasts of its ethos for using locally sourced, seasonal produce and of its wide range of European draught lagers, ales and beers.

The Weir, Brentford



The Old Fire Station, Brentford

The beautiful red-brick building that is The Old Fire Station, at 55 Brentford High Street, has a Cuban bar downstairs and a Persian restaurant upstairs. The restaurant serves typical Persian food of rice with grilled meats and fish flavoured with saffron, lemon and cinnamon and bread freshly baked on the premises, while the bar serves great mojitos. Look out for its Spirited Sundays when it offers two spirit drinks for the price of one and the same deal for its cocktails on Thirsty Tuesdays. In Chiswick, at 15 Strand on the Green, is the Grade II listed, pretty Thames-side pub the Bull’s Head. Rumoured to be the site of Cromwell’s headquarters during the Civil War, the newer 18th century pub that now


The Bull’s Head, Chiswick

stands there has beamed rooms, creaky floorboards and nooks and crannies. Part of the Chef and Brewer chain it serves twists on classic dishes as well as traditional pub grub. Just along the road at number 27 is City Barge, the historic 14th century pub with a panelled dining room, traditional bar and seats beside the river. Known for its great food, British fish and seafood is its main focus with craft beers and lagers on tap. The Italian Job, at 13 Devonshire Road, is Britain’s first Italian craft beer pub. It offers a dozen micro beers in not just halves but three-quarter pint measures too as a countermeasure to the strength of some of its brews. Its growing popularity often sees its customers spill out onto the pavement.

The Roebuck, at 122 Chiswick High Road, is a bright, modern gastropub with rustic wooden tables and comfy sofas. Serving European cuisine, it offers a budget lunchtime menu and is particularly popular for its Sunday lunches. Down the road at number 185, the George IV is a large pub with outdoor patio and upstairs seating. With its wooded decor and original etched glass, this is considered one of Chiswick’s best pubs in the heart of the community. It has comedy on Friday and Saturday nights in its 200-seater Headliners Comedy Club tucked away at the back of the building. Just a few minutes’ walk from Turnham Green Tube station, it’s well worth a visit.


Picture credits London Borough of Hounslow would like to thank the following organisations for graciously allowing their photographs to be reprinted in this guide. Key: t - top; b - bottom; l – left; r – right; c - centre Alamy Images: p9, p12, p13 tl, bl, p18 cr, p51 Brentford Football Club: p50 t Channi Singh: p13 br

Chiswick House & Garden: p52

Dennis Gilbert / National Trust: p28 t England Rugby 2015: p50 br

Fuller’s Griffin Brewery: p36 Hogarth House: p30, p31

Hounslow Library: p7 bl, p8 bl, p10 tl La Trompette: p61

London Museum of Steam and Water: p23 The Musical Museum: p24 Barges on the River Thames at Brentford

Vipul Sangoi: p54

Visiting Hounslow on business? We are here to help.

Tel: 020 8326 6416

With a beautifully refurbished bar, dining room & riverside terrace, the Royal Oak is a hidden gem in Isleworth and the perfect place to relax over a meal or a leisurely drink.

Delicious seasonal menu using fresh ingredients sourced locally where possible. Great range of guest ales, craft beers and quality wines.

Rooms & areas available for Meetings, Parties, and Private Dinners. The perfect spot to enjoy Rugby days and only 7 mins walk from Twickenham Stadium.

Please contact us to book a table or to discuss all your function needs. The Royal Oak, 128 Worton Road, Isleworth TW7 6EP | 020 8560 2906 theroyaloakisleworth

This out&about Hounslow pocket guide is a great introduction to one of London’s hidden gems. Featuring: · Fabulous days out at stately homes and heritage sites · Amazing parks and riverfront locations with all sorts of festivals and entertainment on offer · Some of the best shopping, markets, restaurants and pubs around · Profiles of the varied neighbourhoods that all make up the London Borough of Hounslow


Brentford Docks


Osterley House

The Thames at Brentford

NOT FOR RESALE Jacket images: All cover images are the copyright of the London Borough of Hounslow Cover picture: Syon House conservatory Published by FHW Events & Marketing Ltd, July 2015. All rights reserved E&EO

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Hounslow Pocket Guide 2015  

Published in partnership with the London Borough of Hounslow. 20,000 copies printed and distributed in July/August 2015.

Hounslow Pocket Guide 2015  

Published in partnership with the London Borough of Hounslow. 20,000 copies printed and distributed in July/August 2015.