Come into my parlour…. Review of the Parlour W4

You've probably passed the Parlour on your wanderings through Chiswick. It's on one of my favourite streets – Devonshire Road. A beautiful, beautiful street full of independent shop and trades.

But if you have passed the Parlour, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a dainty vintage teashop. It's the vintage hairdryers, in gorgeous pastel colours, hanging in the window which give a hint to its true nature.

For the Parlour is a boutqiue blow-dry and braid bar. And when I had a chance to try it out I leapt at the chance. The whole concept of going somewhere just to get your hair blow dried or put up in a pretty braid was new to me. (Although you can also get your hair dyed, highlighted and trimmed there).

“It's more common in America,” xxx the stylist explained, smiling at me in the mirror. “Jacqueline, the owner, came over here and realised there wasn't anything like it. And here we are.”

The salon is an impeccable homage to taste and delicacy. The style books, from which you can choose your braid, look like coffee table books. And upon arrival I was even offered a slice of home made cake. I had a (gorgeous) cappucinno which came in a beautiful vintage cup. There was a laid back feel – it really was like dropping in at friends for tea. This is girlie vintage heaven personifed.

So do people really come to a salon to get a braid? Well in the time I was there three separate people came in JUST to get a braid done. Including one woman who rushed in, having arrived at Heathrow, googled braid bars and got a taxi to drop her off. I had instant envy. For a good 20 minutes I fantasised about being the kind of person who arrives at airports and dashes into black cabs in need of emergency hair braids. She looked stunning when she left – with a beautiful up do that managed to look highly complex and yet carefree at the same time.

“People come in with their friends to get their hair put up before a night out,” Victoria explains as she trims expertly away at my ends. “It's a great present for someone too – you can have a few cocktails, get a blow dry or a braid – have some fun.”

Sighing, I realised that it was a long time since I had an event to go to that required an up do. But you don't have to be going on the town to have a treat night in the salon.

“We get mothers and daughters coming in,” Victoria continues. “Often mum gets a blow dry and the daughter gets an upbraid. They both have a great girlie time.” Luckily I was cheered up from my case of life envy, by the offer of a Bellini. It was still only 3pm and I felt guilty – but had my arm so twisted by the smiling stylist that I said yes. I order any type of cocktail – and this was deliciously made.

The Parlour is definitely our local treat – but it's got London-wide acclaim from mags such as Time Out.

Hmmm... selife

I had a lovely hairwash, trim (with immaculate fringe), foils re done and my roots. (It's a fact that pains me that I need to get my roots done. I started going grey in my 20s and have no intention of going grey gracefully or even disgracefully). It looked gorgeous. Particularly with the caramel toner that my colourist, Danielle, put on my highlights. Like you'd expect, my fringe was perfect… and the blow dry impecabble. (Stylist – Victoria).

By the time I left I felt like I'd spent the afternoon with good friends, watching a steady but gentle stream of clients drop by. I had a warm fuzzy feeling (not just the Bellini I swear) as I left and walked down Chiswick High Road. Peeking at myself in every shop window until I got home…

 

Who I saw

Cut and blowdry – Victoria

Colour – Danielle

 

What you need to know

Main price list: http://www.theparlourlondon.com/menu/

There's some great deals available. Including:

Trendy Tuesday – Blow dry for you and updo for a friend or daughter. £20 (usually £50)

Contact details

http://www.theparlourlondon.com/

 

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A piece of cake – review

This is the very first review on my blog from Chiswick Dad! So please do leave me a comment letting me know what you think! Should I let him loose on my blog again? ;-)

Here he talks crafts, cupcakes and holiday fun – in his review of Cupcake Avenue.


On a bright half term morning we set off for Cupcake Avenue, a place of everything cake and also a fine coffee shop. Situated on Actons, Churchfield Rd, which has become somewhat of a small mecca of interesting shops, which is well served by Acton Central station.

We'd been invited to a Children's Cake decorating workshop run by Alpa in a spacious but yet cosy room just behind the cafe.


Today's group of 5 lucky children donned their aprons and settled down to a demonstration of how one colours icing, then of rolling it thin and finally the cutting out flowers and butterflies.


The Children now set about the task, selecting their favourite colours and working them into the icing, rolling it out and selecting a cutter for their first decoration. A fun process, with Alpha on hand to help where needed and provide additional coloured icing and ideas such as marble effect.


Lots of Giraffes, Robots, Butterflies, Lions, Flowers, Hearts, Stars and Marbled Creatures began to appear before we moved on to a multitude of moulds. Once more Alpa provided a short demonstration and the Children became engrossed in pressing the icing and tapping out their magical designs.


Then time for a well earned short break for drinks and chocolate fingers in the cafe, the children gathered together on soft comfy seating round their own table, instant friends chatting away of their experiences.


But then back to the decorating, this time the mixing of the buttercream. Firstly a check of the texture, then the filling of large icing bags, of which none was wasted on what turned out to be generous sized cakes. Each child was given several cakes with which to fill with their very own crafted decorations and moulds.


Cupcake Avenue has been in business now for 5 years and in the present location just over a year (the other shop being in Rochester), running Children's Birthday Parties and workshops for us older Children on Evening & Weekends.


Overall we has a lovely time and wandered off with a fine bounty of our very own beautifully decorated cakes, which strangely seemed to disappear very quickly.

 

http://www.cupcakeavenue.co.uk/

 

Acton, London

69 Churchfield Road,
Acton
London
W3 6AX

Telephone : 0208 896 1831

 

Rochester, Kent

137b High Street,
Rochester
Kent
ME1 1EW

Telephone : 01634 830656

 

 

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5 mins with… Sarah from Two Little Boys

I'm super happy to share the latest in the series of '5 mins with'…I was amazed to find out that Sarah is the person who made my much beloved 'Christmas Book'. It's a journal which you fill out at Christmas every year as a keepsake of the family gatherings, rituals and traditions. I've been keeping mine religiously since 2006. So it was remarkable finding that a local bod was the lovely person behind it.

I love finding out how Chiswick folk spend their days juggling home, kids and business. Thanks for all the emails telling me how much you guys like these pieces too.

Sarah Watts

Keep the emails coming! I love hearing from people that read my blog. It still blows me away that people read this little bit of the interweb! I do reply to everyone who emails me, so if you haven't heard from me yet, it will be coming soon. I promise! Email me at chiswick_mum @ yahoo.co.uk

So here we are – it's time to meet the lovely Sarah Watts from Two Little Boys. Read on and find out why ice-cream, the river and micro-sized handbags help make up Sarah's busy Chiswick life…And read right to the end for possibly the coolest hidden talent that I've featured on this blog :-)


Name: Sarah Watts

Business: Two Little Boys Ltd

How long have you been in Chiswick: Pretty much my whole life, was brought up here, moved to Notting Hill in my 20's for a bit but came back to start a family.

Favourite place to unwind in Chiswick: The riverside. There's a particular spot near The Black Lion that I remember watching the boat race from with my grandmother, it has a perfect view of the life on the river and I've often spent a lot of time there sitting and putting the world to rights.

What's your local top tip? Our local independent shops are such an important part of what makes our high street special. So my top tip would be, simply, to support them.

Chiswick's hidden gem? Fouberts! When I was looking for my first job aged 18, I used to meet up with a friend at Fouberts for a toasted sandwich. Now that it has moved around the corner, the ice-cream is the main event and it's delicious!

Vacation or Staycation? I'm really bad at travelling and don't really like holidays. I convince my best mate to come into town with me for a weekend of good food, sightseeing and afternoon naps now and again and it works brilliantly.

If you weren't in Chiswick? If someone gave me a flat by the river next to Tate Modern, I'd be tempted to move. Otherwise, Chiswick is just right for me!

Tell us aboutTwo Little Boys. I created Two Little Boys Ltd to fit around bringing up my children. For instance, my first ever trade fair was 3 days after my twin sons started at school which was fun as I seem to remember picking up Selfridges, Liberty and Fenwick at that show and still sitting down to eat with my children in the evenings.

The range is eclectic as it all comes from my head, but most products have the family in mind, whether it's facilitating 25 years of a family history in a single book (The Christmas Yearbook), activity gifts for children or our notebooks that make great stocking fillers. I often work on the basis that 'just because they're children, they don't have to put up with bad design'. I really wish I had had some of my Snap cards to play with when my children were small – I hated the generic illustrations on the ones I'd bought at the time!

Apart from the business, what other hats do you wear? I gave birth to three babies in a year which has been pretty time consuming!! Now that they're teenagers, my life seems to revolve around work and filling out application forms or permission slips for them all (no-one warns about that in the mum's manual). I have an enormous photographic library and whenever I get the time, will wander around snapping. Anyone who is with me has learned to be patient as I suddenly stop to take a shot at any given moment.

What's on your bedside table? Sleep can be a real issue for me – either waking up way too early or not being able to nod off. I was given a lamp that turns off with just a touch which has revolutionised my life as there's no jolt awake as I stop reading and turn out the light. I read alot, so there is always a pile of books I've read and a pile of books I'm going to read on my table, I start to panic if I don't have at least 2 in the 'to read' pile.

How cute are these IOUs for kids? Lovely lovely lovely...

Is there a book in your bag? As soon as I ditched the baby SACK that I had to carry around for an eternity, my handbag went micro-sized. No room for a book.

Glass half full or half empty? I'm an optimist neurotic, so half full but I would wonder who drank half of the glass.

Secret talent? Haha! I do have a ridiculously useless ability to write joined up mirror writing very quickly. It has served no purpose whatsoever in my life.

 

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A Chiswick 5 mins with….Tiana from Le Petit Bonbon

I'm delighted to say that here is the latest in the series of '5 mins with'…I love finding out how Chiswick folk spend their days juggling home, kids and business. Thanks for all the emails telling me how much you guys like these pieces too.

Keep the emails coming! I love hearing from people that read my blog. It still blows me away that people read this little bit of the interweb! I do reply to everyone who emails me, so if you haven't heard from me yet, it will be coming soon. I promise! Email me at chiswick_mum @ yahoo.co.uk

This time we catch up with the lovely Tiana Rassam from Le Petit Bonbon. Read on and find out why Chiswick House, parking meters and blow drys help make up Tiana's Chiswick life…


How long have you been in Chiswick? Almost 5 years, we moved here about a year after we got married from Surrey.

Favourite place to unwind in Chiswick? When the weather is nice, it has to be Chiswick House and its beautiful gardens. We live in an apartment so outdoor space is missed.

Top local tip? Locals should definitely have the Ringo application downloaded on their mobiles and set up an account. Having coins for the meter will never be a worry again, within a few seconds you can pay for parking and then you can top up if you’re running late and get text reminders 10 minutes before its going to run out. Love technology!

And Chiswick hidden gem? The Parlour on Devonshire Road – a gorgeous boutique blow dry and braid bar. Lovely staff and they really do great hair!

Vacation or staycation? My husband and I love to travel and discover new places so its vacation for us, especially as our families both live abroad so we get to spend more time with them and get a holiday at the same time.

If you weren't in Chiswick where would you be? I would like to try a few years abroad, perhaps in Dubai (my parents live there, so that helps!) Its somewhere where the sun is almost always shining and family life is fun and pretty easy with lots of help!

What is Le Petit Bonbon, in a nutshell? We specialise in handmade and bespoke baby gifts. I design personalised artwork for baby nurseries as well as our unique baby sushi sets which are sushi rolls made from tiny baby socks. We recently starting retailing some up and coming brands that we’re very excited about such as Amy and Ivor baby chrome free leather moccasins.

Apart from your business, what other hats do you wear? Being a wife and a mother to one energetic and bubbly little boy plus my business keeps me very much on my toes, I have so much respect for people that have lots of children and work full time in an office – I just don’t know how they do it!

What's on your bedside table? There always used to be a good book on my bedside table but recently social media and good parenting blogs have taken over my reading time.

Is there a book in your bag? Sadly not, these days its normally an iPad and a folding toilet seat (oh so glam these days!)

Is your glass half full or half empty? I would love to say half full but I think I consider myself a realist (denial for pessimists haha)

Secret talent: I studied fine art before my university degree and I love painting with oils. I used to get commissioned to do artwork for various projects including a huge 7 foot canvas in a Covent Garden restaurant. So sad I no longer have space (or time!) to paint these days but hope our next move will allow me to have a tiny studio space one day.

Website: www.lepetitbonbon.co.uk

Blog: lepetitbonbonlondon.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @_LePetitBonbon_

Facebook: facebook.com/lepetitbonbonlondon

Instagram: lepetitbonbonlondon

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5 mins with…Nisia from Out & About mag…

I love these '5 mins with' interviews and you guys have told me that you like them too! It's great to find out more about the people who help make Chiswick and West London such a vibrant place to live. So I'm delighted to say that here is the latest in the series.

If you know anyone you think should be featured – or you'd like to be featured yourself, just shout! Or alternatively email me at chiswick_mum @ yahoo.co.uk ;-)

This time we catch up with the lovely Nisia from Out & About magazine. Read on and find out why poetry, farmers markets and notebooks feature heavily in her West London life…


How long have you been in West London? I have lived in Isleworth for about 7 years. Before that I was in St Margarets and before that in Earls Court.

Favourite place to unwind in Chiswick? Chiswick House, Dukes Meadow.

What's your top local tip? The Farmers markets in Brentford and Chiswick.

And what's your Chiswick hidden gem? Well actually, I have just stumbled across a lovely cafe, called Stokers at the Water and Steam Museum – Kew Bridge: a neighbouring hidden gem.

Vacation or staycation? Vacation anytime, somewhere with sunshine and wine, bit partial to Italy.

If you weren't in West London where would you be? Somewhere by the sea.

Tell us about Out & About, in a nutshell. We are an enriching local mag that targets the heart of the community, knitting communities together and all things local. We want to share people's ventures and stories.

Apart from your business, what other hats do you wear? I write, I am a poet and have a second collection out in October, called 'What Things Are'.

What's on your bedside table? Too many unread books in a pile that is serving well as the bedside table.

Is there a book in your bag? There are notebooks in my bag for ideas for the magazine or for my own writing.

Is your glass half full or half empty? Sometimes it's very full and then I get very thirsty!

Secret talent: indecisiveness- is that a talent?


Twitter @outandabout_mag
Facebook: Agnieszka Studzinska

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bank holiday weekend theatre in Hammersmith (plus June dates in Richmond)

I'm very excited to have a discount offer which has been set up especially for readers of my blog – how fantastic is that?!

It's for Up and Down by the Gaga Theatre Company. It's based in the Oliver Jeffers picture book and it sounds simply enchanting. The age guide is 0-5 years but all ages are welcome. Under 2s go free (if they sit on your lap). I'm taking my six year old to see it on Sunday. And I will be reviewing it here!

The special discount code gets you a whopping 20% off at Hammersmith Riverside and Richmond Curzon shows. Enter CHISWICKMUM at the checkout on the website http://www.gagatheatre.co.uk/book-tickets/

Full ticket price is £12 – same price for adults and children. So 20% off brings it down to £9.60 a ticket.

Show times:

THIS WEEKEND! Hammersmith Riverside – Sat 24 May 10:00am and 11:30am; Sun 25 May 10:00am and 11:30am

Plus Richmond Curzon –

Tuesday 3rd June – 10.30am

Wednesday 4th June – 10.30am

Friday 5th June – 10am and 11.30am

 

Putting families at the heart of theatre

Co-producer Rachael Richards told me that Gaga theatre was set up to “localise high-quality children's theatre and make it a stress-free, fun experience for all the family.”

She speaks from personal experience:

With two young boys, I've been surprised to discover how many parents don't take their young children along to the theatre (other than an annual panto trip) because of the perception that they wont sit still or get anything from the experience.

“One of the key aims of Ga Ga Theatre is to make a theatre experience as stress-free as possible, both in terms of local (independent cinema) venues and making parents/carers feel relaxed by creating a truly enriching and engaging performance for all the family.”

More info on this production

It had a sell-out London tour last Autumn and a four star review in the Mail.

The producers say it's a “highly innovative production which integrates live theatre (two actors) with magical projections on the cinema screen based on illustrations from the book which tell the story of the penguin who wants to fly and the boys who tries to help him.”

See you at the theatre! Don't forget the discount code – 20% off with CHISWICKMUM

 

 

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Disney Junior Play – app review

This is my very first app review so I'm mega pleased to be joining the geeky set! Is there a name for a mummy geek? A meek? But anyway I digress from the rather splendid Disney Junior Play app that I've been trying out.

This app is aimed at 0-5 years so I wasn't sure how my six year old would take to it. But actually he really loved it and it was endearing to see him searching for treasure and placing disney characters onto a landscape. Such a contrast to battling on skylanders!

I really wish that I'd had this app when I first got the ipad a couple of years ago. I did a lot of googling back then to find reviews of apps that were suitable for preschoolers and downloaded a lot of stuff that was fair to middling, or just below par. I really recommend you download this game if you have toddlers to reception age children.

Now a proper geeky review would tell you about gamification logic, hours of game play, maybe animation resolution…but I'm going to tell you the things that I'd want to know as a mum(my).

  1. The main narrator voice has an English accent. I mean this in no disrespect to my North American readers – but so many games for toddlers have an American accent because they're made in America. This is great for American kids who are learning to talk, but not so great for Brits.
  2. The voice is also pleasant and has natural inflection and annunciation. If buoyant in that bouncy children's tv presenter way. (There's a narrator off option if it gets too bouncy for early mornings before you've had your coffee.) I've had other apps where the narrators sound completely mechanical.
  3. The in-app purchases are sensibly set up. To buy them you need to type in the answer to a sum before you're directed to the iTunes Store. This is either a good block, or an incentive for your child to learn complicated sums! :-)
  4. The basic app is free to download and offers some good features. Add on packs are £1.99 but you can download a bumper back for £4.99. For the purposes of this review I was given a voucher to download this pack. Now this is a lot of money to spend on an app, so I suggest you have a play around first, and if you're going to download packs you may as well do the bumper pack which is better value. For goodness sake – please tell me that your iTunes account is password protected, and that you've switched off in app purchases in the main settings of your ipad. Disney junior is good at making it difficult for kids to download purchases, but other apps are more nefarious!

Another nice little touch is that children can set up their own profile in the app, and click on this when they open the game.

 

Now this is a Disney Junior app. Disney Junior is a tv channel so the app is based around these more modern Disney programmes. Jake and the Pirates, Sofia the first, DocMcStuffins. There is a Mickey clubhouse section, and the traditional Minnie, Goofy et al do appear in the sticker book section. I'd love to see some of the old fashioned Disney characters in there, from the films. But then that would be a different app! Sigh, I'm a Disney princess at heart!

 

The Disney Junior app is available on the iTunes Store. Free basic download. Add on packs from £1.99 each to £4.99 for a bumper pack.

 

 

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Chiswick summer fair – get involved!

I love Chiswick in summer. One of my favourite things about the summers here is that there's a school fete or local festival on practically every weekend. I've been asked to spread the word about the Chiswick Summer Fair on 5 July, as they need YOU to get involved. There's lots that local people and businesses can do…

In fact one of the best things you can do is nominate which charities get a share of the proceeds! .All proceeds go to local charities. Although it is run by the parishioners of Our Lady of Grace the church takes none of the money.


You can use the #chiswickfairnominate on Twitter or post on our facebook pagewww.facebook.com/chiswicksummerfair.

 


This fair is very special to me as it's on Turnham Green which is one of the first bits of Chiswick that I saw when I arrived here from Yorkshire – gulp – almost four years ago.

I'd only been here a week or so when I approached the green and saw an amazing village fair laid out. It was like something out of a Miss Read novel, not what you'd expect to find in London on a Saturday afternoon. Seeing this fair – with its bookstalls and pims, toy stalls and local theatre performances, raffle and fairy cakes – was my first glimpse into how special Chiswick is – a cross between country village and vibrant London city. The Fair was of course the Chiswick Summer Fair.

Tugged at the heart strings

That was the year that my partner took part in the tug of war and I stocked up on armfuls of toys & books from the bric-a-brac stall. And I cried at the performance of local theatre school kids. (Torch song ballads from musicals sung by children. They get me every time.)

Another great thing about Chiswick is that it can really feel like a community. So it's fantastic that the organisers of the Chiswick Summer Fair are reaching out and continuing to make this a truly community event. The Chair, Clare Muldoon, says:

“The Chiswick fair is a wonderful opportunity to show what is best about our local community. A team of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to make sure that the fair is a success and we rely on local businesses to give generously. And there is still time to get involved! We’d be delighted to have more volunteers and more donations…”

It's organised by Our Lady of Grace and St Edward and the organisers say “the fair represents a coming together of the local community with volunteers and local businesses working together to ensure that all proceeds go to the charities that will be supported.”

Please do get in touch with Chiswick Summer Fair now if you can get involved:

w: http://www.chiswicksummerfair.org.uk/

t: @Chiswickfair #Chiswickfair

f: ww.facebook.com/chiswicksummerfair

I love Chiswick and environs events. Let me know if you're organising something local that you'd like to see featured on my blog!

Here's to summer 2014 in Chiswick!

 

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Swedish design for cool people – review

I couldn't resist using Me&i's slogan for the title of this review. Swedish design – for cool people. Love it! I'm a big fan of Swedish design and culture. From Ikea to Camilla Lackberg, The Bridge to Let the Right One in, I can't get enough of Swedish chic.

So when Swedish clothing range Me&i asked if I'd like to pick something from their women's and children's range to review, I said 'yes' quicker than you can say 'ja tack'. (Which means yes please – picked up from two series of The Bridge!)

For Chiswick Boy I picked these gorgeous and versatile yoga pants in Turquoise (£19-21). For myself I picked out this grey cardigan in a beautifully soft grey knit. (£75)

Ethics first

My fashion criteria is that items have to be ethically produced. And me&i ticks that box. I checked the labels in both items and they both say made in Portugal. This is backed up by an ethical statement on their website.

The design on both is impeccable with great attention to detail. The yoga pants can be worn turned up or just straight down making them incredibly flexible. It's hard to get funky, comfortable clothes for boys. But as soon as Chiswick Boy put them on he started bouncing around and also doing some tree yoga poses. They definitely pass the bounce test!

I'm happy for Chiswick Boy to spend lots of time in these and also to wear them as lounge wear around the house. With no buttons or hard hems to dig in they are perfect for a growing, active little boy or girl. I think bright colours are really important to have in a child's wardrobe: colour has such an emotional effect. Great also to have a truly unisex cut.

Joy to wear

For my cardigan I was a bit nervous in case it didn't fit. Being generously boobed (!) it's hard to get tops that are flattering. But this is perfect. It's so soft in 100% cotton knit that it's a joy to wear and while it's thin and clingy in the right places, it's also generous and flowingly draped. I love the way I can wear the sleeves over my wrists, but yet it's cut narrowly so they don't look messy and baggy.

Like many mothers, buying clothes for myself is high on my wish list but of necessity down at the bottom of my list of everyday purchasing priorities. But I believe in buying good quality. I would definitely buy more stuff from me&i for myself and slowly build up a proper capsule wardrobe again. As a working mum I know how important clothes are in making a professional impression and it's amazing how a well cut item can make you feel amazing.

I also feel that I'm wearing something unique and Swedish.

For my son – again, I would definitely buy from this range. The cut of the yoga pants means they will last for ages and adapt through a couple of growth spurts, so they have longevity. And of note – I've washed them a couple of times already and the intense hue is still as bright..

The info

Okay – buying from Me&i is slightly different. Rather than ordering online you contact a sales rep (easy form on their website), or attend/host a me&i party. All the details are on their site. If you host a party let me know!

http://www.meandi.se/en/

Yoga pants: http://www.meandi.se/en/products/141304.aspx

Holey cardigan: http://www.meandi.se/en/women/141610.aspx

 

 

 

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Japanese express – in Chiswick!

Last weekend we tried the express lunch at Chisou – the Japanese restaurant on Barley Mow passage in our beloved Chiswick. It was a complementary meal for the purposes of this review, but could end up being very expensive – as over the course of the meal we decided we definitely wanted to go to Japan! And developed a bit of a passion for luxurious sake! More on that later…

We won’t go quietly


I was a bit nervous around whether Chiswick Boy, six, would have a good time. He’s a joy to be with, and interested in food and new experiences. But it’s a ‘proper’ restaurant, not a colouring book or chips in sight, and I was mainly worried about him getting bored and making too much noise.


But the lovely crew at Chisou put us at our ease straight away.We were welcomed by the charming very hands-on Operations Director David. He won Chiswick Boy’s heart by providing him with spring wired chopsticks, which made it easier for him to use! If we ask Chiswick Boy about the restaurant now, the chopsticks are the things he mentions!


We got there at 1:30pm and were the first customers that lunchtime. So it gave us enough time to get settled (“I’ll sit there next to mummy, no next to daddy, does this cushion fit on my head, ooops I’ve dropped the chopsticks, look I’m under the table – it’s like a castle, can I have some water, I’ll sit next to you now mummy…”).



Express by name


The great thing for families is that the express lunch does what it says on the tin – it comes quickly. Which as we all know is an absolute blessing when you’re with kids. Once we were told this we were able to take a little bit more time over selecting our food, savouring the choices and lingering over the exotically named dishes.


Chiswick Boy loves rice so we took the director’s recommendation and ordered Iberico Katsudon (Iberico pork cutlet topped with egg).


We also went with two other dishes that he said were the most popular:



)

  • Ebi Fry Bento (Tiger prawn tempura coated in spicy mayonnaise and served with lettuce)
  • Chisou Bento (Assorted Japanese bento)

Each dish was a rather good value £9.95


Once we’d ordered we concentrated on enjoying looking at our surroundings. It’s a smallish dining room, and round, which makes for great acoustics. Our table was raised with wooden pillars and we felt private but close enough to stare pleasantly at the other diners as they arrived. People watching is definitely one of the highlights of eating out!



For goodness Sake


The real highlight for me was the sake. In my ignorance I had no idea that sake came in so many varieties – and so many price tags! Don’t worry, there are all price budgets accounted for – although I did see one or two special varieties at £380 a flask!


David said he would bring us a sake which complemented our meal selection. The ensuing cherry blossom sake, chilled, was delicious. It was indeed like drinking pure delicate cherry blossom.


Chiswick Man said that it reminded him of a single malt whisky menu in a Scottish highlands bar. So to keep the whiskey analogy, for me tasting this was like tasting smoky single malt after a lifetime of bells and coke.

Reader, I fell in love with it. I must admit I was too scared to look up the price tag in the menu. I am seriously going to get into sake now, and would go back just to try and taste some more from the menu.




The Doctor Who stage


By this stage my son was using the paper and pens we’d brought to create a story board for the Doctor Who film he's set on making. Completely stuffed and sated, we knew it was time to hit the road and let Chiswick Boy burn up some of that pork and rice at the swings.


Will we go back? Definitely. I'd never have thought of taking Chiswick Boy here but can say that it's a lovely place to take a family. It’s a great place to know about and the perfect spot to get a quick lunch, or even a lingering one.



The info

Chisou

1-4 Barley Mow Passage
London, W4 4PH

www.chisourestaurant.com

 

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