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Annie's Chiswick (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Annie's Chiswick in Chiswick & Brentford, London

162 Thames Road, Chiswick & Brentford, London, W4 3QS
Cuisine: Modern European
Tel: 020 8994 9080 | Email to Annie's Chiswick | Transport: Gunnersbury | Write review

Annie's Chiswick Review

Best for: Cushy west London surroundings and a brunch atmosphere.

Great: Friendly, charming staff.

If Richard Curtis makes a new film, I do hope he heads to Annie's restaurant in Chiswick. While it's a bit further west of his normal London set location (Notting Hill), the middle-class, yuppie charm, euphorically inviting atmosphere and quirky design of this adorable restaurant will surely mould easily into any of his scenes. In fact, during a recent visit, I nearly expected Hugh Grant himself to walk in, bumble to one of the lovely waitresses that he foppishly left his glasses behind and, oh, while he's at it, ask her, stuttering, if she'd like a drink after her shift.

Annie's is located on the corner of a charming west London street, just off the river Thames. A walk from the station takes patrons along the sparkling waterways and past an almost-village pub. Shiny, happy people are everywhere, strolling along with rough furred retrievers, or jogging in trendy gear with iPods aplenty. I can only guess they're listening to a rousing bit of Rachmaninov.

With its awning front, lounging plants and summer rattan chairs decorating the pavement, Annie's drips charm more easily than a discomposed Hugh Grant attempting to scale secret garden walls.

Inside, we're seated in the back corner; all the better to view the dark wood-floored, throw pillow-filled, magnolia wallpapered room. Large, distressed window frames, a row of random books and many candles add that dandy charm that would so well fit with a romantic storyline from Curtis & Co.

Beside us, a family with a US drawl laugh as their young grandson with perfect blonde curls beams at me as we sit down, the grandfather, in his drawn-out soft southerner speech, mentioning that he's “one heck of a flirt”. When they leave, they give their goodbyes to another table who they obviously know; it's horrendously cordial.

Outside, a group of young professional married couples sit, one of them leaning back with very pregnant belly, another reaching down to pat his slobbering, smiling dog, all of them no doubt discussing the ballet or summer holidays abroad.

We spend far too much time perusing the well-priced menu. Everything – from the stir-fried shrimps with green chilli mayo and sweet soy dip, to the char-grilled lamb gigot with Greek salad and minted aioli – looks delectable.

We sip diamond fizz cocktails – a refreshing, simplistic concoction of vodka, lemon and Champagne – and feel roused enough to make our minds up. I opt for the goat's cheese salad and seared tuna, while my other half goes for a halloumi salad and Annie's chicken kebab, with the waitress sweetly quipping: “That is my favourite dish on the menu. You've hit a good one.” She's effervescent in her chatter; definitely the one Hugh would choose.

Our food is served quickly and most certainly ascribes to the restaurant's pledge of dishing up 'generous portions'. My starter is lumbered with a steaming round of goat's cheese that is perfectly offset by the candied walnuts and bitter rocket. The halloumi, caramalised onion and fig salad is just as hefty, leaving us both nearing the edge of satiety early on.

I'm impressed with the start, but soon find myself let down as our mains arrive. While my partner's 'posh' kebab is well seasoned, the chicken is overcooked, and my seared tuna tastes only of the charcoal grill it sat on for far too long; a real disappointment since I asked to have my tuna on the rare side of rare.

The staff, however, are so genuine I find myself unable to send the dish back, for fear of seeing any disappointment in their eyes. I would, I'm certain, be as tongue-tied as Mr Grant in Four Weddings. Later on, I regret staying silent, especially when they see I've barely touched my tuna. It's a real shame since everything else – bar a lack of soap in the toilet – was near-on perfect for the evening.

We’re offered the dessert menu – filled with homemade goodies like sticky toffee pudding – but are simply too stuffed to contemplate eating more. It's dark by the time we heave ourselves from our too-comfy chairs and head across the road to wander along the moonlit river and work off some of those 'generous portions'.

Annie's is charming. It's the ideal place to take the parentals for a Sunday brunch or to enjoy a cosy dinner with close friends.

And, Richard Curtis, if you happen to be reading this, remember I want a location manager's fee if I see Annie's in your next film. It really is picture perfect.
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Food

Annie's are proud of their British and Mediterranean influences and their menus reflect that quirky mix of the traditional and the continental. You'll find Pan-Fried Shrimps with Chilli, Garlic and Lemon sitting very comfortably alongside classics such as Scotch Ribeye with Béarnaise, Fish Pie or Sticky Toffee Pudding. They do fresh specials every day for all three courses, and their menus change with the seasons, so there's always something new to explore.

Annie's serve coffee and breakfast from 10am and lunch right through to 5pm. Last orders for dinner are 10pm during the week and a little later on weekends.

Updated 29/04/2008

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Modern European
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: (Unknown)

Special offers, discounts and deals at Annie's Chiswick

Christmas Menu - 3 courses £27.50

Updated 30/10/2007

Annie's Chiswick Hire Details

Annie's love to celebrate and they have the perfect private room just waiting for you. For an evening meal, follow the trail of tea light candles up to the discreet and luxurious upstairs dining room and you can entertain your guests in complete privacy, away from the main restaurant area.

Their private dining area seats 30 and the whole venue seats 65. They're happy to entertain groups in the main restaurant or theur private dining area, the choice is yours.

Updated 27/01/2007

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