Living in Chiswick: area guide to homes, schools and transport
Wed 14 Oct 2015
Evening Standard Homes and Property Article on Chiswick, written by Anthea Masey and published on the 14th October 2015:
Chiswick just keeps getting better. It is a testimony to its enduring appeal that even when the children leave home, eventually, couples who downsize stay in the area.
It has something of everything and history to boot. Three strong characters continue to stalk the streets of the well-heeled west London suburb: Lord Burlington, William Hogarth and John Bird Turner.
Lord Burlington (1694-1753), known as the architect earl, designed Chiswick House, a fine Grade I-listed Palladian mansion with a garden of such historic importance that it launched the English landscape garden.
The second, William Hogarth (1697-1764), the painter who satirised 18th century London, lived in Chiswick from 1764 until his death in Hogarth House, now a museum, next to the Hogarth roundabout and its rickety flyover. In 2001, two of Britain’s most famous artists, David Hockney and Peter Blake, a Chiswick resident, unveiled a statue of Hogarth and his pug dog Trump in Chiswick High Road.
The third is John Bird Fuller, the businessman who went into partnership with John Smith, who invested on behalf of his son Henry and son-in-law John Turner in a local brewery that in 1845 was renamed Fuller Smith & Turner. More than 150 years later, the three families remain involved in the Griffin Brewery, which also stands next to the Hogarth roundabout and that since the Fifties has been churning out millions of pints of one of London’s best loved brews, London Pride.
Chiswick has Tube stations at Stamford Brook, Turnham Green and Chiswick Park on the Ealing Broadway branch of the District Line and Gunnersbury on the Richmond branch. The first two stations are in Zone 2 and an annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs £1,284; the last two are in Zone 3, which puts the cost of an annual travelcard up to £1,508. Gunnersbury is on the Overground Richmond to Willesden Junction line. Chiswick and Kew Bridge train stations have trains to London Waterloo, both stations are in Zone 3.
All of Chiswick’s state primary schools are judged “good” or better by education watchdog Ofsted and the following are judged to be “outstanding”: Belmont in Belmont Road, near Turnham Green, where being in the catchment area adds value to house prices, and Grove Park in Nightingale Close. Chiswick School (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) is the neighbourhood comprehensive school which is rated “good”. The other nearby comprehensives are: Brentford School for Girls (ages 11 to 18) in Boston Manor Road, Brentford; and in Hammersmith: West London Free School (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Cambridge Grove, which opened in 2011, with a sixth-form opening next year; Hammersmith Academy (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Cathnor Road, which also opened in 2011; and Sacred Heart RC (ages 11 to 18) in Hammersmith Road; the first three judged to “good”; the last “outstanding”.
Chiswick has many private primary and preparatory schools; Chiswick & Bedford Park (boys, ages three to seven; girls, three to 11) in Priory Avenue; Orchard House (co-ed, ages three to 11) in Newton Grove; Heathfield House (co-ed ages, four to 11) in Heathfield Gardens and Oxford Road North; Ravenscourt Park (co-ed, ages four to 11) in Ravenscourt Avenue; The Falcons School for Boys (ages three to 13) in Burnaby Gardens.
Arts Educational (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) - known as ArtsEd - is a private performing arts school in Bath Road. There are top London private schools in nearby Hammersmith and Barnes. They are in Hammersmith: Latymer Prep (co-ed, ages seven to 11) in Upper Mall; Latymer Upper (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in King Street; Godolphin & Latymer (girls, ages 11 to 18) in Iffley Road and St Paul’s Girls’ (ages 11 to 18) in Brook Green; and in Barnes: Colet Court (boys, ages seven to 13); St Paul’s School (boys, ages 13 to 18) and The Harrodian (co-ed, ages four to 18), all three in Lonsdale Road.
Kew House (co-ed, ages 11 to 18), a senior school in the same group as Ravenscourt Park and Kew Green prep schools, in Capital Interchange Way, opened in September 2013.The International School of London (co-ed, ages three to 18) - also known as ISL London - is a private international school in Gunnersbury Avenue, where pupils can learn in their first language as well as English.
Shops and restaurants
There is a day’s worth of window shopping along Chiswick High Road, all the way from Hammersmith until well past Turnham Green, with further shops along Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace.
There are branches of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose and a good selection of mid-range chains such as Cath Kidston, Jigsaw, , Phase Eight, and East. The chain restaurants – Nando’s, Le Pain Quotidien, Byron, Bill’s and Carluccio’s – are here, too. Iris is a women’s boutique, part of a small chain selling brands such as Isabel Marant, American Vintage, Sessun and APC. The Old Cinema is just that and stuffed full of interesting antiques. Fudge & Sons has been selling bicycles since 1928, while Hatley is the first UK store of the Canada women’s and children’s clothing chain. Neptune is a small chain selling furniture and interior accessories.
Most of the independent shops are clustered around Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace. Devonshire Road has a branch of restaurant Vinoteca and one of Chiswick’s best loved restaurants Michelin-starred La Trompette; Abode is good for modern interior accessories, stocking the likes of Marimekko, Iittalia and Anglepoise. Tamp is an artisan coffee shop and The Italian Job sells Italian craft beer. Along Turnham Green Terrace are more chain restaurants – Maison Blanc and Cote – and the high street brands Fat Face, White Stuff and Oliver Bonas, but also butcher’s shop Macken Brothers, Covent Garden Fishmongers, delicatessen Bayley & Sage and Philip Neal Chocolates.
Chiswick is a foodie destination. As well as La Trompette, Hedone has a Michelin star, Michael Nadra bears the name of its chef, while locals are enjoying the newly opened offshoot of Islington’s Smokehouse on Sutton Lane North. Hawksmoor’s expanding Foxlow chain is moving into the space vacated by Sam’s Brasserie in Barley Mow Passage, while the High Road Brasserie is an outpost of the Soho House empire. There are also local shops in Grove Park along Fauconberg Road, where the Copper Cow is a popular brasserie.
Open space: Chiswick offers picnics on Turnham Green and Chiswick Common, strolls in the grounds of Chiswick House and riverside walks.
Council: most of Chiswick lies in Hounslow (Labour-controlled); Band D council tax for the 2015/2016 year: £1,374.77.