High Road House, Chiswick
19 October, 2018
Easygoing and informal, the vibe at High Road House is positively horizontal. For those looking to ease into London life, Chiswick is a great starting point. Slow-paced, local living in the carpus diem and at a zippy 20-minute drive to Heathrow Airport, it's a great incoming (or outgoing) London posting.
Plotted right in the middle of Chiswick High Road, the Georgian terraced townhouse lives up to its "home away from home" reputation. Ilse Crawford was the original designer here, so Scandinavian-influenced interiors are par for the course. In the clubhouse, scout the contemporary art collection, with pieces by Elizabeth Price, Ryan Gander, Mark Wallinger and a host of emerging British artists.
Running over three floors, the hotel is shoe-box sized but packs in all the essentials - brilliantly British food classics, super-friendly staff and a Cowshed shop conveniently located next door - proving home is a moveable (and purchasable) thing.
High Road House
Comprising of 14 bedrooms, guests can choose from three room sizes. The Tiny Room is intimate and cosy with just the bare essentials, while the Small Room, is, despite its name, quite sizeable and airy; seafoam-green walls add to the sense of space. For those whole really like a lot of space, the Play Room will not disappoint. All rooms come with the same amenities - Cowshed products, styling iron, minibar, Marshall radio - plus king-size beds fitted with Egyptian-cotton sheets. Other in-room staples include Eames chairs, butcher-tiled bathrooms and some of the best homemade salted caramels we've ever tasted - ready for devouring on arrival.
What's for breakfast?
Choose from hot breakfasts (think pancakes or a full English) pastries and a variety of bowls - from acai to bircher muesli. There's also a fairly extensive drinks menu to work your way through - choose from house press juices and some great smoothie combinations (the vegan beet and charcoal blend has brought people back from the brink).
How about lunch and dinner?
Enjoy lunch or dinner in the clubhouse or at the public brasserie downstairs. The former is designed in a retro-modern style, combing industrial elements - think exposed brick, gold accents and velvet finishes synonymous with Soho House.
Serving classic, British-style dishes, the menu features Blythburgh pork chop with hispi cabbage and apple alongside fish-finger sandwiches and macrobiotic bowls (cauliflower rice, vegetables and turmeric cream). The latter offers a similar menu with an interior that is slightly punchier than upstairs thanks to bulbous lighting and brightly patterned floor tiles. If you want a calmer dining atmosphere, the club is the way to go.
Is there a bar?
On the second level, you'll find the bar lounge-cum-dining-room. Come after 9pm, when all cocktails on the "9 After 9" menu cost £6. Choose from nine classics - we opted for the pisco sour to start and chased it with an espresso martini.
In the basement, there's an addition bar/lounge space with DJs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays making for a club atmosphere.
This is a compact hotel so amenities are limited. Schwarzenegger-types can avail of a local gym, 10 minutes down the road, free of charge. On certain nights, movies are played in the basement, but if the screening is booked out, grab a spot on one of the low-level sofas and play board games until the early hours (or at least 9pm when the drinks offer chimes into action.)
Things you should know
Close proximity to Heathrow airport makes this a great alternative to heinous airport hotels - even if you have a red-eye flight to catch.
High Road House often run a series of offers - from multiple night stays to bed and breakfast offers - so planning your stay in advance is advisable; particularly for the bougie set, who can't resist a bargain.
Within a short walk you can find…
Next door there is a Cowshed shop, so stock up on all those lotions and potions you've self-identified with over the course of your stay (yes, I am quite the "moody cow"). One door down from High Road House is The Old Cinema, a deceptively large antiques shop that's worth scouting if you've a room that needs an upcycle. From kitsch Americana to period antique, Mad Men-style rosewood to hardcore industrial, you're unlikely to leave empty handed. For a change of scene, No 197 Chiswick Fire Station - a cacti and velvet couch brunch spot and cocktail bar - is a great option. Also open for lunch and dinner, starting or ending your day here is to see this place at its best.