If you are a dog owner, the chances are one of the first things you check when deciding if a venue gets the thumbs up is does it take dogs? Here in Chiswick the answer to this question is now much more likely to be positive.
Like our good transport links, local schools and open green spaces, estate agents could add the canine opportunities for dining to their list of reasons to come to this part of West London.
Some even go as far as to provide not just the water bowl, but doggie delights too. You can tell an area is on the up and has taken gentrification to the limit when one of its cafes offers granola for puppies!
But perhaps all these places the humans want to go to have realised that a large section of their customers want to bring the pooch along too, and have seen a commercial opportunity to tap into the growing dog-owning market.
Pubs have always been welcoming for dogs, and the area has plenty of those who allow dogs, not just at the outside tables, but in the bar and some restaurant sections too.
There are too many to mention them all, but a few which deserve a special dog show rosette are The Old Station House by Chiswick overground Station in Grove Park, with dogs welcome inside and out, The City Barge and The Bell and Crown on Strand on the Green where you can combine a walk along the river with a drink and a bar meal. The Pilot on Wellesley Road, allows dogs inside and outside in the patio area, and around Chiswick High Road, there are many dog-welcoming pubs including The Old Pack Horse, The Roebuck and The Crown and Anchor and not forgetting The Swan on Evershed Walk, with its lovely beer garden where children must be off to bed by 7pm but dogs are welcome whenever!. Close to the river by Chiswick Mall, facing the Hogarth roundabout fly over, The George and Devonshire can possibly claim it has been welcoming dogs since 1650. Perhaps even William Hogarth, Chiswick resident and the father of satirical caricatures and moral prints, brought his pug along to sit in the establishment contemplating the averse effects of gin.
If pubs have been accustomed to drinkers bringing their dogs for centuries, Chiswick’s hipster version of this must be The Italian Job. Here on Devonshire Road, just off Chiswick High Road, you can sample a massive range of Italian Craft beer in a bare brick bar with industrial touches, your dog at your feet, adding that particular on-trend look.
And if craft beer is not for you, then perhaps cocktails and steak at the wonderful neighbourhood restaurant, Foxlow, on Barley Mow Passage who welcome dogs in the bar area. If you can grab one of the booths then you have a readymade kennel for your dog too.
The SmokeHouse on tucked away on Sutton Lane North is another gastro pub with a speciality which has factored canine visitors into its refurbishment plans. Treats for the dogs are on offer, a secluded patio garden area, and as barbecue specialists, the smell of meat grilling will be guaranteed to appeal to four legged visitors.
It is Chiswick’s café culture though, which has seen the greatest uptake of dog friendly venues. Many of the owners of the new cafes springing up around west London are dog owners themselves and know that bringing the dog along for the latte and brownies is a sure way to bring in returning customers.
There are, like the pubs, almost too many to mention, but again Chiswick Dog show rosettes should go to Tamp, on Devonshire Road, which allows dogs inside as well as on the small terrace. Angie’s Little Food Shop on Chiswick High Road, has fabulous cakes for two legged clients as well dog treats, and Nikki’s Bakery just along the road, is another good pit stop if you are out shopping with the pooch.
Finally, the café in the Chiswick House grounds allows dogs at the outside tables, several of which are undercover. The speciality for their visiting canine friends after a sociable walk in the park, cups of sausage slices. Once eaten, your dogs will not forget and may even try and make their own way there without you to put in an order!