Latest opening for Soho House puts comfort and easy luxury in among the Chiswick chains.
They've already taken Somerset, Soho, Mayfair, Notting Hill and Manhattan's Meatpacking District and now they're taking the high road – Chiswick High Road.
Ushering in a rapid period of expansion for the Soho House Group (they're opening in Shoreditch by the end of the year and in Miami around this time next year), High Road House is, in keeping with the philosophy of many of their other operations, a multifaceted beast.
It encompasses a private members club with its own dining room, bar and lounge, 14 hotel rooms, a ‘Cowshed' spa and – what we're focussing on here – an 80-cover allday brasserie, with another 30 seats outside under the duck egg bluecanopied terrace.
Ostensibly an unlikely destination for the hip Soho House brand, Chiswick, suburban West London epicentre of yummy mummery where every mid-market restaurant chain of note has a presence, High Road House occupies the sprawling, run-down, four-storey site that was Foubert's Hotel, restaurant, bar and ice cream parlour, all run by the same family since 1979.
Local residents Ant and Dec initially approached Soho House about the property, which eventually led to the company purchasing the freehold and the Showbiz Geordies getting a finder's fee that included a place on the company's board in return. Meanwhile, in a nice piece of community-minded continuity, all the ice cream for the premises will be made by the man who ran the old Foubert's parlour for 26 years until it closed last year.
Open from 7am until Midnight (1am on Friday and Saturday), the brasserie offers, as elsewhere in the group, a typically easy-eating menu of comforting British, American, French and Italian classics. The day begins with a Breakfast menu that includes Grilled Kippers on Toast, Porridge with Summer Berries, and Crumpets and Nutella. The All Day menu includes Steak Tartare, Potted Shrimp (from a recipe supplied by Racine's Henry Harris), Whole Dressed Dorset Crab, Pea and Pecorino Risotto, Mutton Chops with Parsley and Caper Sauce, Summer Pudding with Clotted Cream, and Floating Island. Running the kitchen is Duncan Impey, who cut his teeth on a similarly demanding all-day menu at the company's Electric Brasserie in Notting Hill.
Meanwhile, the interior has again been put together by company creative director Ilse Crawford, and features a coloured patchwork of Belgian tiles on the floor, antiqued mirrors on the walls, a marble-topped bar, pewter-topped tables and the usual mixture of leather banquettes and wooden chairs. There's nothing remotely groundbreaking about the whole package (the free WIFI access aside), but then the Soho House aim is comfort and easy luxury, delivered with style, and once again that's what they have achieved.
Where? | 162 – 166 Chiswick High Road, London W4. 020 8742 7474. www.highroadhouse.co.uk